W-A-Y West of Jewfish Creek
Dear Friend & Subscriber,
is really true. It's not an opening statement I'm using
for shock value. No. It's not a joke either. Or a clever
prelude to a marketing lesson. The alarm bells in my head are
clanging and shrieking, stridently demanding attention.
Listen: I've been on an especially hot roll lately and it's
starting to go to my head. For one thing, I've just produced
my first TV show (it's about the Beverly Hills Medical Diet)
and I think it's a very good first effort. For another, I've
just beaten one of my old direct mail control packages and now
my client can profitably double his mailing schedule.
And He Was Already Mailing
700,000 Pieces Per Month!
so on. But, best of all, as far as my ego is concerned, I just
received a letter from a man named Drayton Bird who is the
Vice Chairman of Ogilvy and Mather Direct in London. And, the
reason that letter was so good for my ego is he was writing to
tell me he is in frequent telephone communication with David
Ogilvy and that Mr. Ogilvy has just sent him all back issues
of my newsletter including what Mr. Bird refers to as the
"brilliant" dollar bill acknowledgement letter. Mr.
Bird wanted to know, among other things, if he could include
some of my work in the upcoming new edition of his book called
"Common Sense Marketing."
I don't know about you but, for my money, David Ogilvy is
easily the most astute advertising man alive and, to have
captured his attention through these letters is the prize
feather in my self-serving war bonnet of ego accolades.
for the actual numbers that are produced by a good
piece of marketing: Those, of course, remain the supreme
accolade of your work.
else the supreme indictment.
you ever heard of the Caples Awards? John Caples is one of my
marketing heroes, but the new wrinkle in the awards given in
his name makes me sick. You know what some slobs have decided
about the Caples Awards? It's this: The direct marketing piece
in contention doesn't have to be a winner for the writer to
win the award, it only has to be "creative."
that nice? It must truly cheer many a clients' heart, after
being rendered damn-near destitute by some fool's
bird-brained, stupid ad campaign, to know the writer won the
on everybody connected.
me, I digress. Anyway, to get back to what I was saying, if
you were to visit my offices and look around and talk to the
staff, you'd see pictures of me with some celebrities and
clients, you'd see I have a loving and gorgeous woman, you'd
see framed letters on the walls from subscribers and clients
I've helped make a lot of money, you'd see me working with my
children, you'd see all of us laughing and joking and having a
good time while everybody works like crazy and, if you could
also read my thoughts, you'd see a man (me) dangerously close
to making one of the deadliest mistakes a man can make which
Starting To Believe
Your Own PR!
can be fatal. I'm not talking injurious to your business
(although it can most certainly be that), I'm talking fatal,
once upon a time when it almost was for me. Listen: Do you
remember how, in my direct mail pitch, to get you to
subscribe, I promised to write about "the dark side of
success"? Well, it's time for me to do that. Therefore, this
letter is not about how to improve your marketing or
make more money. No, this letter is about how to keep
your success from ruining your life as it almost did mine. If
you have children and/or anyone else you love and, if you
think there is value in these letters, this is the one,
by far, that would be the most important to let your loved ones read.
What you are about to learn is just how dumb, foolish and
ignorant a supposedly intelligent man (Ol' "Guru
Gary") can be. But let me suggest something: Before you
smirk and get condescending about the stupidity I am about to
reveal and say, "that Halbert is really dumb, that stupid
stuff will never happen to me," I suggest you listen to
that little whisper in the back of your mind that says...
Don't Be Too Sure.
Don't Be Too Sure.
Don't Be Too Sure.
us go back in time to the first half of 1973. Back then I was
truly living high on the hog. I had sold my half-interest in
Halberts Inc. (the coat-of-arms company with over seven
million customers) for a sum that translates into today's
money to something like 2 to 2-1/2 million dollars. I also had
my publishing company (Good News Incorporated) cranked up to
where it was generating millions of dollars per year. I had
highly profitable investments (sometimes my silver futures
contracts would appreciate as much as $20,000 per day), I had
a showplace home atop a hill, a condo in Ft. Lauderdale, a
boat in the Florida Keys, lots of hangers-on and, in general,
A Big Fish In A
believe me, I milked it for all it was worth. For example,
whenever I found myself in a conversation with strangers and
the conversation turned to money and everybody was trying to
impress everybody else, I would always emerge victorious by
using one of my conversational "toppers." Like so:
If one of the group would ask me how much my income was, I'd
say, "Oh about 20 thousand, I guess." And then
they'd smile and say, "Well, that's not too bad. I guess
$20,000 a year is decent money for a young guy like you."
And then, of course, I'd use my "topper" by
"Oh No, You Misunderstood. My
Income Is $20,000 Per Day!"
like that one? Did it make you smile a little? Pretty clever,
huh? Actually, what it really demonstrated was my...
tell you something: Watch out for self-made guys in their 30's
because many of them are just as insufferable (and dangerous)
to themselves and others as I was.
example. Once upon a time, the First National Bank in Massilon,
Ohio wouldn't even let me have a checking account
because their credit research deemed me so unworthy.
you imagine that? A bank that says you're such a bummer they
won't even let you deposit money?
guess where I did my banking after I made my big bucks? You're
right. Right there at the good ol' First National. And guess
who, when the bank deposit was especially huge, made the
You're right again. Picture this: It's about two o'clock on a
Monday afternoon. The door to the bank opens and in walks what
appears to be a young guy in his 30's who has been working on
a road gang. He's wearing faded and torn blue jeans, a sloppy
sweatshirt and he's carrying a canvas bag over his shoulder.
He waits patiently in line and, when he gets to the teller, he
tells her he wants to make a deposit. And then in full view of
all the customers in the bank and its employees, this rather
shabby-looking young man starts pulling out wads of checks and
cash and stack them side-by-side a foot or so high in front of
the open-mouthed teller.
of asking for it, wasn't I?
I got it and it went down like this: One day in the first week
of July, 1973, just after dark, I went to get the groceries
out of the trunk of the car. The car was outside the garage
and, as I was coming from inside the house, I had to push the
button that would open the garage door automatically. As soon
as the door went up, I saw two figures standing outside the
garage wearing ski masks. At first I thought they were kids
and I started to bitch. But the complaint died in my throat as
I discovered they were indeed adults and were both armed with
.45 caliber handguns. Have you ever seen a .45? I carried one
for three years when I was an MP and they are scary.
Especially when you are looking into the business end of one
of those monsters.
of the guys marched me over to the air conditioner unit on the
west side of the house just outside the garage and had me take
off my glasses and give them to him. Then, he did something
strange; he said to me very politely, "I'm putting your
glasses here on top of the air conditioner so they'll be easy
to find when this is over."
he marched me back into my house where his buddy had already
subdued my wife, Nancy. Then they tied me up, blindfolded me,
gagged me and put me inside a canvas sack.
also did all this to Nancy except they didn't put her into a
they ransacked the house. They took our "emergency"
silver coins, they took a cherished heirloom ring that Nancy
had been given by one of her favorite relatives and they took
sacks of mail all containing checks from our recent full-page
ad in "Parade" magazine.
this point, Nancy said, "Gary, do something! They're even
taking the mail!"
what was I to do while all tied up inside a canvas bag?
they wanted more and they began to threaten us. However, after
a while, they were convinced there was nothing else to get and
they left, taking my car (a Cadillac naturally) and all the
loot they had gathered up including thousands of checks
written to "Good News Inc." which were worthless to
them. By the way, before they left one of them said,
"This is what happens to people who make a lot of money
and who live in a big house like this."
you ever had anything like this happen to you? I hope not.
It's unnerving and much more so than you would think. You
know, we're all so used to watching TV we sort of get the
impression that, after a violent act, a person just gets up,
brushes himself off and goes about his business.
me, it's not like that at all.
no stranger to violence and danger. I grew up in a town that
was, during my youth, the most heavily industrialized per
capita city on earth. I'm talking about Barberton, Ohio and,
back then, it was sometimes, almost like a war zone. In high
school, my buddy, "Pompadour Bill," and I would
drive around in his father's car and we kept a German Luger
and two knurled steel blackjacks in the glove compartment.
Then later, when I was an MP, I was sent to Germany and my
tour of duty consisted of breaking up massive bar fights and
dealing with enraged servicemen and going up against
everything from pocket knives to a lunatic with a
this was different. This was in my home, my sanctuary, my cave
that was supposed to be my "safe place" and secure
from the tigers and bears and demons of the night.
my family was home!
only my wife, but my kids too, who were all (thank God!)
for nearly a year after this, I could hardly sleep. I was
already a heavy beer drinker back then and, after the robbery,
I began to drink even more heavily. My work suffered, my
business went downhill and I knew something had to change.
after a year, more or less, of living like this, I sold my
business to a tall Texan named Jerry Antill for $15.00 and
never bothered to cash the check. By the way, at that time,
the business had over 1,000,000 customers and more than
$60,000 cash-on-hand plus all its other assets.
I did next is I moved my family to Los Angeles, California so
my wife and I could become patients of the Center for Feeling
Therapy which was formed by a group of nine psychotherapists
who were formerly associated with the famed Institute of
Primal Therapy formed by Arthur Janov.
founders of the Center for Feeling Therapy were acclaimed
worldwide. They were supposed to be the best. They had been on
150 talk shows like Merv Griffin, Johnny Carson (I was in the
studio audience), Good Morning America and all the others.
They published endless learned articles and, I believe, four
hardcover books. When Nancy and I signed up for this
"therapy" it was our understanding that in about
nine months we would be relieved of all our mental trauma and
we'd be able to get on with our lives.
What We Got Instead Was
A Three And A Half Year
so-called psychotherapists, all licensed by the State of
California, turned out to be the most sophisticated and
manipulative mind-benders the free world has ever known. They
nearly ruined the lives of hundreds of their patients. They
were, (unknown to me at the time), sexually molesting some of
the female patients while they were sucking money out of all
of us with an efficiency that would've made even Jim Bakker
controlled your life. Everything from where you worked to
where you lived and even to with whom you could sleep.
me take a moment here to say that, at this point, you may be
saying, "How could any intelligent adult let such a thing
happen? That could never happen to me." Well, what
I say is you only ask for therapeutic help when you are
very vulnerable so...
Don't Be Too Sure.
Don't Be Too Sure.
Don't Be Too Sure.
the way, all of those "therapists" were subsequently
indicted by the California Board of Medical Quality Assurance
and they went through the longest malpractice trial in
California history and they all lost their licenses and were
publicly shamed. If you are interested, you can read about it
in the September 30, 1987 edition of the "L.A.
anyway, I didn't get out of that "therapy" until
January, 1978 and while I was in it, my mind was in virtually
constant turmoil. And, while in the midst of this mental
turmoil in 1976, I was approached by a couple of guys who
wanted to go into the mail order business. The idea was to
sell a book on "Proud Bi-Centennial Americans" and
also a decorative bi-centennial plate. The idea was I'd write
th copy and put up the money and these two guys would run the
business. well, for a little while, things went fine. We
mailed our sales letters, took in orders and started to
produce the products both of which, incidentally, had to be
all of a sudden, everything went bad.
of our big direct mail rollouts only produced a fraction of
the earlier test results to that list. Also, all my income
from other sources, for reasons not relevant to this story,
almost dried up completely.
a nutshell, what happened is we ended up with thousands of
orders and not enough money to fill them all.
was certainly a bad situation but it was, I felt at least
correctable. You know, at that time, a lot of people had come
to know and respect me and I was pretty sure I'd be able to
borrow enough money to fill all the orders and make things
this was not to be. What happened next is one of our customers
who had not received his order decided to complain and he did
so to a local TV station. Well, as you know, the news media is
ever hungry for bad news and they sent a camera crew to our
offices. The resulting footage was not very dramatic but, when
it was aired, we came to the attention of the postal
authorities and soon thereafter two postal inspectors came to
our offices. Soon they learned that, even though I wasn't the
official owner of the business, I was, in fact, the
"force" behind the company.
they wanted to talk to me.
not knowing any better, I invited them to my house.
mistake. Real BIG! You see, at that time I was living
at 637 Pacific Coast Highway, right on the beach in Santa
Monica, California. My home was one of only 17 on that stretch
of real estate (law forbids the building of any more) and it
was truly fantastic. The house next door to me was formerly
owned by Peter Lawford and it was the western White House when
Kennedy was president. I'm not going to go on and on about my
house but I will say it was perhaps the finest home I've ever
seen. It had a 50 foot swimming pool and it later became the
most expensive home in history ever to be sold at private
in come these two postal inspectors, one of whom I can hardly
remember and the other whom I'll never forget. The one I'll
never forget was a tall, skinny guy with a scraggly mustache
who had a look of deprivation about him. In fact, to me, he
looked like a guy who'd never had a good meal or a good woman
in his entire life.
guess how he reacted to my home on the beach with its
50 foot heated swimming pool?
know already, don't you? Let's just say he wasn't exactly
overjoyed to see me enjoying the evil fruits of my
capitalistic endeavors. During that first meeting, and during
subsequent ones, he would slip in comments like, "Well, I
guess I'll never know what it's like to live in a house like
this." Or, "I'm sorry to have to ask you and your
wife to ride in this plain old car but we can't all have
it begins to look like this is really serious and it's not
going to go away so my partners and I hire a lawyer. I can't
remember his name. Actually, I only chose him because he was
so handy as he was in the same building as our offices. After
we explained everything to this lawyer he said it was obvious
that none of us ever had any criminal intent (true) and we
should open our books and give the postal inspectors any info
was a big mistake. A real BIG mistake!
being investigated is like being interviewed by a TV news
team. In other words, if they find out 50 good things about
you and one bad thing, it is only the negative
that is recorded on their minds and has a chance of going on
the air or in their reports.
were indicted. All three of us. For mail fraud.
happens next is the postal inspectors have a little chat with
my two "co-conspirators" and it is explained to them
that if they help the inspectors get me (Mr. Big), they will
be allowed to plead guilty to only one count of mail fraud and
probably get a suspended sentence.
to their eternal shame, those two guys laid down and rolled
over. And, in fact...
They Were So Scared
They Pled Guilty To A
Crime Of Which They
I'd better modify that "innocent" part a bit.
According to the law, you are not guilty of any type of fraud,
including mail fraud, unless you had "criminal
intent." Well, let me tell you, neither of those two guys
(or me, for that matter) ever had one smidgen of criminal
the other hand, the mail fraud statutes are written so broadly
it is difficult for anyone who has ever mailed a letter not
to be found guilty. It's so bad, in fact, that sometimes, it
seems to me anyone who has walked by, driven past, or flown
over a U.S. post office is guilty. What this means is that,
often, a jury does not have any real choice as to whether or
not to find a defendant guilty. You see, what happens is the
judge will issue jury instructions that dictate the jury must
find you guilty if such and such or so and so occurred.
since those such and such's and so and so's are so broad in
98% Of All Defendants
Are Found Guilty!
a side story. Once upon a time, in the San Fernando Valley,
some paid arsonist torched a restaurant and a couple of people
were killed. He was guilty of trespassing, breaking and
entering, arson and murder.
And They Got Him
For Mail Fraud!
somebody, to get the insurance payoff, sent the claim in by
mail. And the prosectors know, if they can't get someone
for something else they can almost always get anybody
for mail fraud.
with my story: So, here I am indicted for mail fraud and, in
August of 1978, I went to trial. It lasted about a week and
guess what was the most persuasive piece of evidence the feds
had against me?
It Was My House!
One of those zealous little public servants stuck a camera
over the hedges on the beach side of the property, took a
picture, had it blown up to
poster size and then forced the jury all week to look at
this photo of "Halbert's Beach Villa."
this: If you are a successful businessman, there is no such
thing as a "jury of your peers." Basically, your
fate will be decided by 12 men and women who are "have
nots" and who believe all the "haves" got that
way be being crooked.
was sentenced to 18 months but I was released on my own
recognizance, pending appeal. The appeal took three years and,
trial was, in my opinion, a farce and, unbelievably, the 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals seemed to agree. Now what happens
when you win an appeal is you are back to square one. What
means is the government has the option of putting you on trial
again, dropping the whole thing or else letting you plead not
guilty to a much lesser charge.
third choice, the "plea bargain" is, by far, the
most popular choice. And that is what the government decided
to do with me, to let me plead guilty to a misdemeanor and pay
a fine or something. You see, by this time, the "news
value" of "The Big Bi-Centennial Rip-Off" was
non-existent and, after everything that came out in the 1978
trial, I think even the prosecutors no longer thought I was
such an evil guy.
this was not to be. And, according to my lawyer, it was
because that "from hunger" postal inspector wouldn't
let it go.
don't know if that's true or not. But I do know this: The
mental and emotional turmoil of being "in therapy"
and fighting these mail fraud charges cause me to go broke
around the time of the first trial. However, between 1978 when
I filed my appeal and 1981 when I won it, I did something
I Made A Lot Of
Money All Over Again!
in 1981, when the postal inspector came out to serve me, I was
then living at 201 Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica and I owned two
apartments there (they're co-ops) which were both worth a
ton of money.
have that, can we? No Sir. So, in August of 1981 I got back on
trial again. But this time I've got a new lawyer (wait'll you
hear about all my wonderful lawyers) and I'm a lot more
prepared and I think I'm going to win. The prosecution trots
out the picture of the house again but, anticipating this, my
lawyer and I have prepared what we think are effective counter
the trial ends on a Wednesday or Thursday afternoon and when
the jury walks past me, they actually look friendly and that's
a good sign says my lawyer. But the next morning as they walk
past me and my lawyer, their heads are down and they won't
even look at me and that's a bad sign says my lawyer.
later, that afternoon, they find me guilty.
in an interview, what do they say as to why they found me
guilty? "It's the house," they say. "Anybody
who was really trying to do right and fill those orders
wouldn't have lived in such an expensive house."
I thought we explained that," says my lawyer.
but just look at this article that is in this morning's
'Herald Examiner,'" says a lady juror. And she waved it
in front of our faces and there was a three page article all
about my house complete with pictures, the main one of which
was the same one the jury had been forced to look at poster
size all week.
a strange coincidence. Here it is something like six years
since I've lived in this house and the "Herald
Examiner" which is a morning paper comes out with this
long article about the opulence of the house and its
furnishings and all the Rolls Royces and other exotic cars
parked outside and so forth and it comes out just in time for
the jury to see it...
And Take It In The
Jury Room With Them!
we immediately ask for a new trial and I'll never forget the
judge's face as he denies the motion muttering how he may be
wrong but we've got to make sure the appellate court has
enough work to keep them busy.
once again I file an appeal and try to retain my sanity (I never
did regain it) as I wait for the outcome.
time it only takes 2-1/2 years and I lose; I don't see how
but I did.
on May 21, 1984 I reported to Boron Federal Prison Camp
("Club Fed") in the Mojave Desert to start serving
my time. I'll tell you a little about that experience in a
minute but first two more of my semi-famous "side
I want to tell you a little about the seven lawyers I
used fighting this nightmare. One of them was a respected law
professor who wrote both of my appeals. Another was a Mormon
who fought his heart out for me but could not overcome the
impact of the newspaper story about my house. Another one did
almost no preparation for my case and he was eventually
disbarred. Another one is the naive, young guy who told me to
freely give the postal inspectors any info they wanted.
Another one was too busy laundering drug money to be of any
real help to me and, besides, he was found shot dead in the
Century Plaza shopping center while clutching a paper bag full
of paper money. Another, reputed to be a "fix it"
lawyer, was indicted along with a local judge for obstructing
I Sure Can Pick 'Em
seventh attorney was Howard Weitzman. Remember him? He's the
guy who won for DeLorean and the only attorney in this story
who I have decided to mention by name. You know, I really have
a lot of respect for this guy. Here's why: When I asked him to
do some post-conviction work for me he said...
you ought to get someone
else because other lawyers
will do it cheaper than me and
you don't have much of a
could hardly believe it; honesty from a lawyer? So I
hired him, he gave it his best shot, I lost and paid him
willingly and never regretted it simply because...
He Was Straight
the way, I talked to him on the phone from Boron the day after
DeLorean was acquitted and I told him that, when the verdict
was announced, the whole camp burst into applause!
this a bitch of a story? Hold on. You ain't heard nothing yet.
Let's take side trip #2.
we go. After my conviction in 1978, while I was on appeal, I
did some work for a publisher back East. What I did is I wrote
a diet ad for him that featured a San Diego M.D. (a
psychiatrist) that became one of the highest pulling ads in
my situation, I was very careful about what I wrote. I
checked and double-checked with the doctor to make sure the ad
money started coming in like crazy and the guy back East
couldn't keep up with the orders. I literally begged
him to slow down, to stop advertising till he got caught up.
To no avail. He got thousands of orders behind, many of
which were four months
overdue. And guess what? Yep. He got indicted, I got indicted
and the doctor got indicted...
On An Ad I Thought Was "Hound's Tooth
indictments were later dropped but they massively interfered
with my mental peace and also prevented me from bringing in
character witnesses during my second trial.
love a duck; I was starting to feel like a one-legged man in
an ass-kicking contest.
so what? What can be learned from all this that is of practical
value to you?
lot. Assuming you don't want to be robbed, incarcerated
or swamped with the emotional and financial trauma of
litigation, I herewith offer 10 rules for your consideration:
living in a dream world!
like this really can happen to
you. People who never take any
risks are boring cowards but people who take stupid risks
are, in fact, stupid. Consider this: The news is full of
stories about the dangers of AIDS yet, by far, the #1 and #2 most
common preventable cause of death in the U.S. are cigarette
smoking and not wearing a seat belt. Yet millions of dummies still
smoke and ride around sans safety belts while mouthing banal quips
about how everybody has to die of something.
me, Buckwheat, if you get lung cancer or permanently mangled and/or
paralyzed in a car crash, the memory of all those cute little
banalities you used to say will make you vomit.
it is with taking unnecessary chances in your advertising campaigns.
No one is in complete control of his or her destiny but, for God's
sake, don't beg for problems like I did. You'll get enough
problems no matter how careful you are without insisting on
customers, to your partners or business associates and to yourself.
If you lie in your direct mail letters and/or space ads or
commercials, the one time you get caught may easily cause you more grief than it was
worth for the hundreds of times you slipped by.
this: In the last 1-1/2 years I've met three different people
who routinely cheat everybody they do business with.
Well, let me tell you, one thing I learned while serving time is
that not everybody who gets cheated elects to right that wrong via
litigation. Instead, many choose mayhem or murder. But you don't
really believe any of those wimps you've ever shortchanged would do
anything like put out a "contract" on you, do you?
Don't Be Too Sure.
Don't Be Too Sure.
Don't Be Too Sure.
acknowledge every order you receive via first class mail!
penny-for-penny, this is the most profitable point in all your
communications with your customers. But profit is not the issue
here. No. The issue here is staying out of trouble. And, believe me,
nobody represents more "trouble potential" than a
customer who has sent in his hard-earned money and feels it has
disappeared down a rathole because no one ever bothered to confirm
or acknowledge his order.
all orders as fast as you can!
times I got in trouble with the post office, it was because of
unfilled orders. Had the orders been filled and filled promptly the
ads and letters would most probably never been questioned. Whether a
certain statement in an ad or letter is deceptive is often
subjective. However, there is nothing subjective about an
either did or you didn't and, if you didn't, you are begging for
give a refund to anyone who wants one!
screwing around with this. If you say you'll give refunds, do
it and do it promptly. If you don't one day you may end
up with a problem that can no longer be solved even if you do finally
decide to make refunds. The problem I'm talking about, of course, is
the one where you become a convicted felon.
answer all your white mail!
mail" is any written correspondence from a customer that does
not contain an order; like requests for more info, requests for
refunds, inquiries from BBBs and government agencies, etc.
to communicate can lead to a loss of
ability to communicate like, for example, when you're locked up.
rub your wealth in other people's faces!
off is one of the "perks" of being a success. However, I'd
like to suggest you avoid trying to impress people who are losers.
Losers are bitter, frustrated people who are constantly looking for
new people to blame for their failures. And, if their bitterness
becomes too intense and their focus settles on you, only
trouble can result.
and drive your Rolls to a meeting of the Young Millionaires Club but
beware parking in the K-Mart lot.
trust your life to a lawyer!
care if he's your brother, your father or you spouse. It seems to me
that almost all lawyers are forced to have an "ethical
bypass" operation as soon as they pass the bar. Question: What
show has the most ridiculous premise of all shows on network TV?
Answer: L.A. Law. L.A. Law always has a bunch of lawyers sitting
around discussing lofty ethical considerations.
kidding? That's not what lawyers sit around and gab about. No
way. What they truly concern themselves with is...
what's the alternative? Well, what I suggest is, in addition to your
lawyer, you get some "reality oriented" advice from
someone who has already suffered through whatever legal problems you
currently have. Believe me, you can get more sound advice from a few
intelligent ex-cons than all the lawyers in the world.
want to know how you can tell when your lawyer is lying? That's
easy. It's when his lips are moving.
pump a little iron and run three or four miles a day, you'll
unconsciously give off a different class of vibes that signal you're
not a vulnerable wounded fish and easy prey for all the
two-legged sharks of the world.
your sense of humor!
think I've had it hard? Don't be silly. What I've endured is nothing
compared to a kid born with AIDS, a man who has lost his family in
an air disaster or any of a jillion other things that millions of
people endure bravely every day of their lives.
history is any guide, none of us are gonna get out of this mess
alive so we may as well have a few laughs along the way.
know when you finally realize it really has happened and you really are incarcerated? It's when that big, ugly, muscle-bound guy
across the hall informs you he thinks you're "cute."
know when you know you've done too
much time? It's when you're glad
he thinks you're cute!
God I wasn't in long enough to get to the second stage but, I'll
tell you, I learned what it means to really
miss your woman and I remembered why my nickname used to be
"Goat Glands Gary."
Someone once said every man's life has value if for nothing else
than to be used as a bad example. Maybe that's me. You're a dumb
bunny if you follow my footsteps. Instead, let me serve you another
Let Me Be Your
Gary C. Halbert
you one of those people who take chances because going to
"Club Fed" sounds like a vacation to you? Trust
me, there are a few things about it you won't like. For
example, do you have a tendency to befoul the atmosphere and
make funny little noises when you use the bathroom?
How wonderful! Just think, when you go to Club Fed you can
"share" those quaint little personal
eccentricities with dozens of other people everyday who will
be going to the bathroom with you! And gosh, you can also
enjoy all their quaint little personal bathroom
Are you someone who values your privacy? Hmn? I wonder how
you're going to like it when some hack tells you to
"bend over and spread 'em" so he can explore your
most private bodily cavity with this flashlight.
think that, just because Club Fed is a camp, it only has
white collar felons. That's not the case. There are also
bank robbers, drug dealers, blackmailers, contract killers
and many, plain old garden variety murderers.
Oh yeah, and
there's one more bad thing about Club Fed.
other hand, I think going to Club Fed was easily the most
valuable experience of my life. One of the reasons is that,
in a perverse way, it set me
free. One day I was jogging and I suddenly realized I
felt much lighter. Why? Because of lack
of guilt. You see, I figured that serving time for
something of which I was not morally guilty made me even. It
made up for all those library books I never returned, the
teenage girls after whom I lusted and I was even able to
forgive myself for all those times I drove while drinking
for which, in my opinion, I really deserved to go to
life evens things up, doesn't it?
Copyright © 2003 Gary C. Halbert. All Rights