Count time, Gentlemen! Stand at your bunks and shut your mouths. It's count time! Count time! Titus and I stand there looking at the guard with anger in our eyes as the power-monger gives an equally-angry look back.
"They think they're so cool, I'd like to kick their ass," I smirk over at Titus.
"Yeah. It wouldn't take much. They think they can say anything they want."
"What sucks is that they're going home tonight to a comfortable home and a warm soft wife -"
Titus laughs, "Probably some skanky prison guard wife with only two teeth and a big fat cellulite ass, and she's got some cheese burgers and fries and a shake on the table to see if they can get even fatter," I laugh even harder.
The guard points at each of us, mouths the words, "shut-up," and he mumbles the numbers thirty-seven and thirty eight. We have nothing to do but wait until dinner is called.
"Chow time, Gentlemen! Go get your chow!"
Titus and I engage in a speed-walking match with the other hundred and fifty inmates as we try to get to the chow hall first to get to pick the best foods available. Chicken breast and salad are our target foods. The guards treat Titus and I better since we're the hardest workers at the Lompoc prison and, as a result, we often get larger portions of food.
You see, Titus is the muscle and I am the brains at the Lompoc Maintenance Shop. We're always laughing and poking fun at our C.O. (Correctional Officer) James Buchannon. He has a good sense of humor, but he also depends on myself and Titus to make him look good in front of the Warden.
"Titus… Dennis, get your asses out back and get the asphalt cutter and the chalk line and the water hose. I gotta fun job for you two clowns today. Get the truck and get to the C.O. housing. You're gonna cut a trench for a new water line you're gonna run tomorrow. The Warden is pissed about the leak he drives through everyday. I'll see you there in a half hour to show you where to cut."
We give each other a look of discouragement as we know the difficult and dirty task which lies ahead of us. But I know Titus will make it fun with his comedic ways. While we're there on the residential street at nine am cutting, Titus removes his shirt to show off to any lonely C.O. wives who may be watching through their kitchen windows as we work.
To spice things up, Titus asks me to take the tending water hose and make like I'm whipping him in a seductive way as he arches his back and wiggles his butt. We find it difficult to work as we laugh so much we almost fall to the ground in tears.
It's lunch time and we have early-chow privileges due to our importance to the institution by saving them money from not hiring outside contractors; after-all, we've built complete communications buildings with class A foundations and walls; which are impenetrable, even with a jackhammer. We've completely rebuilt horse stables for Vandenberg Air Force Base. We continually build fences, patios, sidewalks, fix machines and everything else that breaks during many abusive years of weather and inmates who just don't give a damn about taking care of the equipment they use. So because of this - that buys us special food privileges such as extra chicken breast, extra egg whites, extra fruits and veges, and just about any other food we so desire.
A couple of days later, once the Warden's roadway and water line is repaired, Titus, myself, the C.O. boss, and some wanna-be-gang-banger-bank-robber, head to the California hills in order to remove a communications tower and crane it away. Titus and the boss end up screaming and running from a swarm of bees. After ten minutes of sprinting and puffing, they finally escape unharmed to help finish the job. We spend several hours dismantling the tower. Titus then operates the crane and picks the huge 60ft' tower from its platform and lowers it onto the flatbed I drove up the dirt and grass-covered mountainside.
The day is over and we prepare for the weight pile. Nothing like lifting weights with rusty bars and plates while laying on a rain-soaked benches. Flies buzz our faces then, land on our necks, ears and arms. It really sucks. The inmates continually bombard Titus with muscle-building questions and he always… always takes the time to help with a smile on his face and patience in his heart. Even in a prison environment Titus is a champ… a real good human being. He adds a lot of humor to the weight-pile environment with his jokes and comical antics.
After the workout we head to the Law Library for the last productive effort of the day: working on my newest book, "The Counterfeit Millionaire… a true crime adventure." Titus likes the story of rags-to-riches-to-prison. He marvels over the $15 Million I printed in $20 Federal Reserve notes. He reads the chapters and offers me praise with occasional constructive criticism. He questions me a lot and I answer back with bravado. We talk awhile and I type more. He reads a few pages and offers more praise.
"Hey man," Titus says with a tired sounding voice. "I'm beat. I'm gonna hit the bunk. Check you tomorrow at the shop."
"You eat'in breakfast, Craig?"
"Oh yeah. See you at the chow hall, then. Hey, dude, bring some of your cinnamon from Baker Bob. I need some for my oatmeal, okay?"
"Always do. See ya, Dude. Sleep tight. Don't let your Bunkie bite," I laugh.
"Get outta here," he cracks a smile.
Craig Titus always had something nice to say. He always had a smile on his face and a good-natured attitude… even when the chips are down in prison. He often had women visitors who pleaded to come see him on Saturdays and Sundays. And after his visits and a little making-out with his groupie visitor, he'd head straight to the weight pile. All in all he was a model inmate and good friend. It's safe to say that everyone liked Titus. The few that didn't like him were likely jealous of his popularity and physique.
Titus was a hard worker and, although our work was for the prison, he took pride in all the labors he was asked to perform. He always loved The Counterfeit Millionaire story and it's a shame that he may not be around to see its success; especially when it airs on National Geographic Channel this early summer. I hope he doesn't have to watch this documentary from a prison cell like we did in the past. But we can help him with the book in an ironic manner. This is where he needs all of our help because I strongly believe he needs the best legal representation he can get at this point in his life.
If each reader of this article logs onto http://www.counterfeitmillionaire.com and purchases the paperback book, I, The Counterfeit Millionaire himself, will ensure that fifty-percent (50%) of the profits will go towards Titus' legal defense fund. I'd give more but I made many public promises of donating ten-percent (10%) of every book sold to go towards purchasing new recreational equipment for underprivileged schools and school children so they can stay healthy and active in an enjoyable way.
With your help… if we can sell one million (1,000,000) books of "The Counterfeit Millionaire," and I reiterate, will donate a full fifty-percent (50%) after taxes, to Craig Titus' legal defense fund.
For anyone who has ever known Craig Titus, or ever cared about him, or thought good or bad about him… come-on folks… as fellow body-builders we cannot let him go away forever. Wouldn't it be nice to continue to see his antics on stage, or see if he ever wins a Mr. Olympia? By purchasing a personally-autographed copy of "The Counterfeit Millionaire" you will not only help save the life and career of a very genuine, down-to-earth, fellow body-builder, kind human being, but you will also help thousands of children enjoy a smoothly-paved road to better health. Go to your computer and log onto http://www.counterfeitmillionaire.com. Oh… and you'll enjoy the story as well. Thank you and best of wishes.
*** Picture courtesy of Wayne Dennis - must have permission from Wayne to reprint.