I got the nickname Larry Noodles in prison because I was caught with spiral pasta in my cubicle. I got busted on November 23, 2014 with the noodles.
Officer Grogan had raided my cubicle because he saw me sitting outside near the visitors parking area listening to music on my headphones. You can’t go near the parking area, as the blueboyz suspect you are going to smuggle something into the prison from one of your friends who parks his car in the lot.
Officer Grogan searched me near the visitors parking lot and found that I was clean. I was relieved he didn’t conduct a full body cavity search. He let me go. Then he went to my cubicle and searched my personal belongings.
Officer Grogan found a bag of cooked spiral pasta that was hanging on a hook in my cubicle. He wasn’t sure whether it was authorized pasta. You can buy pasta on the commissary, and eat as much as you want.
Officer Grogan conducted an investigation. He questioned the kitchen staff. The inmates who work in the kitchen told him they didn’t have spiral pasta but there were boxes of it stored in the prison warehouse. Officer Grogan looked up my prison file and determined that I worked in the prison warehouse.
Officer Grogan’s sharp investigative mind led him to determine that I had smuggled spiral pasta from the warehouse into the prison dorms. He interrogated me. I confessed to the crime. I figured if I confessed he would go easy on me. Instead he wrote up an “incident report” and a disciplinary hearing was scheduled. Luckily Grogan didn’t find the tomatoes and other illegal items I was hiding in my cubicle. I was only busted for the pasta.
A hearing was conducted a couple of weeks later and I was found guilty by the hearing officer. As part of my punishment the blueboyz moved me from my semi-private cubicle into a crowded room with 25 other guys. I also lost my right to have visitors for 60 days. I saved a copy of the disciplinary report.
After the incident with the noodles, an inmate named Roman started calling me Larry Noodles. The name stuck. Some guys shortened it to just “Noodles.” The guys who spoke Yiddish called me “Larry Lokshen.”
One of the benefits of working in the prison warehouse is that you have access to prison food. There are many boxes of pasta to choose from. You could either buy a small bag of pasta on the commissary for five bucks or you could open a box in the warehouse and take what you need.
In Otisville prison you don’t have access to pots or a stove. You had to put the pasta in a triple plastic bag, add some salt and water, and cook it for about 20 minutes. The salt prevents it from sticking. You let it sit for about a half an hour and the pasta will get cooked with the steam. It will stay hot for hours. You can bring it back to the dorms, add some cheese, garlic, and tomato sause and eat it later for dinner.
On New Years Eve I made a lot of pasta at the warehouse for the party the guys were having back at the dorms. But I didn’t want to get caught with such a large quantity of pasta. I would have got thrown in the SHU (special housing unit, ie., solitary confinement). But if I split up the pasta with a few inmates, the odds were good that most of the pasta would make it back to the camp. And if you got caught with just one bag of pasta, you wouldn’t get thrown in the SHU.
Most of the guys in the warehouse wouldn’t join my conspiracy to smuggle pasta back to the dorm for the New Years Eve party. Only a Russian inmate named Uri agreed to bring back some pasta. He was a good comrade.
The guys back in the prison appreciated my pasta and complimented me on my cooking skills. I told them I used to work for an Italian restaurant named Mamma Mina’s when I was in high school.
There were a few New Years Eve parties going on in the prison. The Russians had their own party. The guys in the dorm, where I was living, had a party. We had music and bottles of seltzer. No champagne.
We had some prison issued egg nog. The egg nog was closely guarded at the warehouse for a week before New Year’s. There were just enough bottles for each inmate, with only a few extra. The inmates in the warehouse couldn’t sneak one extra bottle. If inmates back in the prison didn’t get enough egg nog, the warehouse workers would be in bigger trouble with their fellow inmates than with the blueboyz.
Some guys stayed up to watch the ball drop in Times Square on the prison televisions. After the ball dropped some guys started singing and dancing. Other guys went to bed early. Just another day in prison.