Photo: frank_strong, Flickr
As Drew Harwell, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times, reports, honey buns have taken the nation's penal system by storm. Yes, it seems hardened criminals across the country are eagerly lining up for these cellophane-wrapped sugar-and-fat bombs (the same sort that you find in all manner of vending machines) like kids making a beeline for the ice cream truck in July. (Though most third-graders aren't armed with homemade shivs.)
In Florida alone, inmates buy 270,000 honey buns a month, outselling all types of tobacco and cans of Coke. Their favorite honey bun of all: Mrs. Freshley's Grand Honey Bun, which, with its hardened crust of bleach white frosting looks more like a plastic parody of baked goods than an actual baked good.
But when your choices are limited and you're forced to eat whatever the state can afford to feed you on the equivalent of just under $2 per inmate per day, who's going to fault you for your lack of culinary discrimination? Besides, these buns have a shelf life that may just match the prisoner's sentence.
In any case, as Harwell reports, the honey buns have taken on a life of their own in the big house. They've been used to sweeten bootleg wine made from orange juice at a prison in North Carolina, while an inmate in Virginia used his cache of honey buns to pay his public defense attorneys after they saved him from the electric chair.
But all is not sweetness and light when it comes to honey buns behind bars. In 2006, a Michigan inmate dragged his cellmate from his bunk and killed him. Why? Because he couldn't find his honey bun.
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