Danna Banana is the nickname of a guy who I blogged about while I was incarcerated. The blogs were posted by my friend Paul Bass on his New Haven news website. After some time the inmates found out that Paul Bass was publishing these blogs. Inmates got very upset because the blogs were about them. The prison motto is, “What goes on in Otisville stays in Otisville.” The gabbai tried to get me thrown in the SHU (solitary confinement). He felt he had power because he was involved in an ongoing feud with a guy by the name of Matt Ryan, who actually did get thrown in the SHU. But Matt dug his own grave and got the blueboyz mad at him.
Another inmate by the name of Jewmark threatened to sue me. I told him to take a number. So Jewmark threatened to send inmate Badboy Russell after me. Russell had just left the prison for a halfway house. I wasn’t sure how Russell would be able to sneak back into the prison to beat me up. At times Russell’s name was invoked in order to scare other inmates. Russell did end up back in prison, not by choice, he violated probation. But by this time I was already out of Otisville. Head Blueboy Scalboni once told inmate Muss that Russell was going to come back to the prison and mess him up for hitting on inmate Charlie’s sister in the visiting room.
Danna Banana got his nickname because an 80 year old Satmar Hasid, ie., Zaidy, carefully chopped up bananas into little slices and then proceeded to throw them at Danna Banana while he was singing and playing the guitar on a Saturday night in the Jewish chapel. Danna got very upset at Zaidy and stood over him and screamed at the old man. The old man is immune to such intimidation. Zaidy has spent years locked up, and has years to go.
Danna Banana is still locked up. I recently heard the he has worked his way up the prison food chain. He is now assistant to the Head Blueboy in Charge, the Grand Exhaulted Mr. Scalboni.
There was a time when Danna Banana was just a lowly unimportant inmate like Larry Noodles. In fact, at one point Danna Banana almost got thrown in the SHU for getting in a fight with Mr. Magoo. Magoo was a short, bald man with thick glasses, and a very bad temper. He used to get into very heated fights with 80 year old Zaidy. He grew up in the same Satmar hood as Zaidy in Williamsburg.
Magoo left the Satmar hood and the religious life many years ago, only to be dragged back into this world by living in close quarters with hard core Satmars like Zaidy. Zaidy used to tell Magoo that he was a disappointment for leaving the fold. Magoo responded by saying that he was a grown man, who was Zaidy to tell Magoo how to live his life, in prison no less?
Magoo couldn’t handle Zaidy. He blew up many times on Zaidy, accusing Zaidy of having an affair thirty years ago with a woman named “Rachel.” Zaidy denied it. But that didn’t stop Magoo from screaming at him. Eventually they stopped fighting and made up. Only to start fighting again. Magoo had a short sentence, so the fighting ended when Magoo left.
Danna Banana was a very competitive tennis player. He played to the death. He got very upset if he lost, and would not quit playing until he won the last match. One day while he was playing tennis the prison pill guy came to the camp to dispense with the “Skittles.” Guys cannot be trusted to keep pill bottles in their cubes. Many guys are on narcotics, tranquilizers and heavy duty pysch drugs. The prison pill guy crushes the pill and watches the inmate put it in his mouth. It was ok to keep blood pressure medication in your locker. I had a few bottles of blood pressure meds. There is no black market for blood pressure pills.
Sometimes it takes a long time for the pill guy to dispense pills to all the inmates, because the pill guy is usually a nurse or paramedic, so the inmates usually have other medical issues to discuss. On this particular summer day Magoo was in line waiting for his pills. Danna Banana put his tennis match on hold. He told his opponent that he was going to get his pills and come back and resume where they left off.
Danna Banana stepped behind Magoo in the pill line. Magoo had many questions for the nurse. Magoo was taking too long. Danna Banana started to lose it and told him to hurry up. Magoo shrugged him off and told him to go F himself. Some form of road rage kicked in. Danna Banana took his tennis racquet and held it above Magoo’s head and threatened to whack him with it. The paramedic hit the security alarm button on his blueboy belt. A team of blueboyz swarmed in. The two guys were taken away to the medium next door. I thought they would be locked up in the SHU for a good week, but to my surprise the blueboyz released them right away. I guess the blueboyz cut them a break, they hadn’t had their psych meds, they must have pleaded temporary insanity.