Christmas is coming. I know this not because of the weather, which is still balmy, nor the date. I know it because yesterday I saw the county prisoners putting up Christmas decorations in the town square.
Usually I see them by the side of the highway, filling orange plastic bags with litter. They wear matching, short-sleeved jumpsuits with zippers up the front and "county prisoner" stenciled on the back. A much better-dressed guard walks behind them with a rifle propped on his forearm and a broad-brimmed hat on his head. I drive far too fast to see any of their faces. Like everyone else, I whiz past them with a blast of exhaust that sets their pants legs flapping against their legs.