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The Purloined Ladder

Entry 1582 posted in: 1. General Mish Mash

Based on a picture from Pascal Vyncke, SeniorenNet.be Six prisoners escaped from a Belgian prison by putting a ladder against the wall and jumping down, obviously at the other side where one of their mothers, Ma Baker, was waiting in a getaway car. Four could be arrested almost immediately; two are still on the loose…

Is it normal, so wanted to know a journalist, that a ladder high enough to climb over the wall is lying there out in the open? This was a pertinent question because it had already been established that nobody had visited the escaped convicts carrying a four hundred centimeters long cake under the arm. Well, answered the prison spokesman who was visibly annoyed. He clearly was aware of the fact that he was running for the imbecile of the week award, technically the ladder did not belong to the prison but to a subcontractor who was doing some repairs inside the prison.

The press officer then overzealously added that any fule kno that ladders and construction sites go together as dry bread and water, police and thieves or computer helpdesks and sheer sadism. The journalist, who for once was not a total nitwit, was not impressed and slightly rephrased his previous question.

Is it normal, he asked, for construction sites located inside prison walls to have unattended ladders lying around for about three weeks? Foreign readers who are not accustomed to our rich Belgian culture need to know that in the beginning of July the annual summer holidays for the building sector kick in. Moving a ladder on a construction site during the holiday period would create chaos all over the country, a possible revolution and almost certainly a general strike… (but only in August, after these holidays, of course.)

The press officer looked indecisive and his eyes made clear that he wished to be in Torremolinos with those construction workers on leave, drinking beer and burping very loud. We will have to investigate on a national level how we can ameliorate the safety in our prisons, was the neutral answer, but besides that I would like to add that the prisoners deliberately ignored the forbid sign and illegally entered the construction site when they stole the ladder.

As I put before: imbecile of the week and this time he was not even hiding it.

These inmates were in the nick for rape, torture, attempt at murder and violent theft and thus it is a bit silly to think that a sign saying


will keep them from doing so, see also the cat and the milk, the kid and the cookies or Felix Atagong and ArianeB

Thieves will steal, that is what they do for a living, so assuming that a NO ENTRY sign will stop them from doing what is written in big friendly letters on top of their résumé is a bit naïve, even for a prison spokesman.

It is no wonder that Belgium has been invaded so many times since our Neanderthal days: Belgae and Gauls suffered attacks from Germanic tribes, from Julius Caesar, Germanic tribes again, Vikings, French, Spanish, Austrians and even the Dutch, and when our little country was finally independent, basically because Luxembourg refused to take its turn, those Germanic tribes tried again, twice, just to honor their rich tradition of conquering other people and states…

If there is one point that glues this country together, normally so divided in feudal feuds between Wallonia and Flanders, it is that we are all so damn mediocre. That is our only common point.

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