Friday, January 07, 2005

The Chain Gang

One of the strangest, yet most common sights in the Phoenix area, is the Sheriff’s Chain Gang. You are likely to find men or women in striped jumpsuits collecting trash by the side of the road. Our sheriff is a non-nonsense guy who is a bit of a caricature who combines the image of the Old West with a modern-day hard-liner. The chain gang's goal (I think) is to produce cheap labor, maybe teach these folks a skill, and to also provide a dose of public humiliation.

Anyway, on our way to the Carefree Farmer’s Market, we saw the womens chain gang cleaning the road. Motorists are alerted via several temporary signs along the highway; I am not sure if the intent is to suggest that motorists lock their doors or to ensure that humiliation takes place. The gangs travel in a specially marked bus and even tow along their own Port-A-Potty.

Everything is cool except when some jerk honks his horn at them, which we just experienced. Was the idiot honker letting these women know he saw them? Was he looking for a date? Was he looking to sell Amway® products? Who knows?