Brothers Campfire on Chilling, Breaks, Brakes, and Slamming.

Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!

Tuesday was my first day back to work and I was pleasantly surprised to see a mini refrigerator in my office.

This is a mild exaggeration of what it looks like, but the picture above depicts how it felt. It came stocked with bottles of water and a few energy drinks. On my lunch break, I went to the dollar store and stocked it up with a few snacks. I plan on going to the City Market and getting some fresh produce like carrots, celery, cucumbers, and peppers.

Fresh vegetables are the primary reason for wanting a mini-fridge. Ooh, and ice cream. One cannot forget the ice cream.

I am not sure exactly how it got up the stairs and into my office, but I have my suspicions.

Wednesday, well, I exercised some new skills. I am in a completely different aspect of the people business than I was just a few short weeks ago and I am trying my best to keep up. My work history can be summed up pretty easy.

Show me a problem, and I will tackle it, win, lose, or draw.

All a supervisor has to to is give me the word…. And game on. Playtime is over.

Dig a hole, Done.

Tell angry men in prison clothing to go to bed, Done.

Organize chaos.. I have a resume with that written all over it.

It is a fatal flaw and a strength. No give, back up or back down. Full Throttle, 100 percent.

Wednesday….. Was somewhat hard to understand. I will try to describe it with animations.

In this gif, combat skills are demonstrated. An understanding was saught between these two and Brown Jacket is trying to get Redbeard to listen. After it is affirmed that Redbeard is compliant, a meaningful conversation will have transpired without speaking a word. This is poetry, friends.

I will call this skill S.L.A.M.

Seek understanding

Listen first


Meaningful conversations

In the gif below, a mother monkey in slow motion teaches a similar technical skill that will be passed down for generations to come.

I have the S.L.A.M skill down so effectively, it is hard to slow it down. Wednesday was S.L.A.M. practice in slow motion. Back to basics I suppose.

Today (Thursday)was a day of checking off boxes. All the little annoying bits of paper with words on them that piled up from quarantine were organized and processed. It was my kind of day and I fixed things that were broken.

Pleased with myself, I told my supervisor how effective I was hard-charging. Slowing down and having conversations about stuff was pretty ineffective. I got the S.L.A.M thing down.

I was driving home feeling great about it and jamming to my favorite tunes when a teenage girl drove her bicycle right in front of my car. There was no time to yell Jesus and I heard the car squeal. The brakes were in good order and my hands were froze at the 10 and 2.

A million thoughts filled my head. A young lady with a future almost ended up in a wheelchair or worse.

Her family and friends would have been devistated.

She looked shaken and kept yelling “I’m sorry!” Over and over. I did not have the frame of mind to say anything and she rode away.

I tear up thinking. Had I been going even a smidgen faster, she would have been road rash at best.

Perhaps a little slam on the breaks and slowing down is in order. Though I was probably going the speed limit, I would never have forgiven myself If I had hit her with my car.

Author: Benjamin

Benjamin Thiel is a husband, father, correctional professional and author of The Ongoing Tale at Brothers Campfire.

124 thoughts on “Brothers Campfire on Chilling, Breaks, Brakes, and Slamming.

  1. herbthiel says:

    What an awful feeling, I know. But there is an Omnipresent ONE who was still with you and knew all of those things.

          1. Benjamin says:

            I have a Colorado accent. I wonder if I will need to adjust my dialect . Also, does the lobby have a Campfire?

          2. Cassa Bassa says:

            Dialect is no issue whatsoever, I work with the Scotts, the Kiwis, the Irish… phew, and they work with me๐Ÿ˜ธ…we have Aboriginal smoking ceremony in lieu of campfire, will you settle at that???

          3. Benjamin says:

            Hahaha! Well, I am not down with inhaling, but I am sure we can find a compromise!

          4. Cassa Bassa says:

            And we service/serve inmates, ms universe, jack of all trades, lion tamer, sex workers, young athletes….never a dull day…
            .sounds attractive???

          5. Benjamin says:

            Sounds like my line of work, Lol! I am a Volunteer Coordinator in the prison system here.

          1. Benjamin says:

            My Beloved is making eggs and I am getting ready to go to work soon.

          2. Benjamin says:

            It is not as bad as it was. I hear India is hit hard with Corona.

          3. pooja meghwal pm says:

            yes . situation is bad over here . many problems deal in pandemic time. oxygen problem , those who are poor they face meal problem .

  2. Beverly says:

    Sorry you had to go through that experience. Yes, praying for your peace of mind now, it is an awful image to keep replaying. Thank you, Jesus, for your protection…

          1. Benjamin says:

            Fyi, when I click on your gravatar, it does not lead to a site with material on it.

          2. Terveen Gill says:

            That’s strange. I’ll check that out. My site is Please check it out when you have time.

          3. Benjamin says:

            Terveen Gill
            Author, Writer, Editor, Indie Filmmaker
            From the Great

            It is an honor and privilege to meet you!
            Currently your Gravatar leads to instead of

            I follow many websites through WordPress and this will assist me and in seeing your amazing posts!

          4. Terveen Gill says:

            Thank you so much! It’s a pleasure to connect with you. Thank you for stopping by and taking out time. Much luck, peace, and success to you. Look forward to reading more from you.

  3. kagould17 says:

    As a cyclist, I am so glad this all turned out well. When I am on my bike, my head is on a swivel looking for danger, but at 67, it does not swivel as far as it used to. I almost got doored once when a parked car opened the door. Glad you are back at work and achieving Ben. Stay well and have a great weekend. Allan

  4. Omatra7 says:

    That is sooo awesome with all your work things and a mini fridge to boot!!

    Movin on up ๐Ÿ˜„โœŒ๏ธโค๏ธ

    Glad you did not hit the girl on bike… you can not drive fast in my city… not only bikers but we have so much homeless โ˜น๏ธ they walk the streets with shopping carts ๐Ÿ›’ PILED HIGH with every belonging sometimes including mattresses โ˜น๏ธ so you kinda have to go slow in my city.

    We have homeless tents all over the place – itโ€™s very sad โ˜น๏ธ๐Ÿ’”

    Definitely be careful and aware of kids, bikes, homeless and in my country area – I have critters galore so you CAN NOT drive fast there either

    (But I do have dreams of the German autobahn โค๏ธโœŒ๏ธ) lol … ahhh dreams ๐Ÿ™Œ

    1. Benjamin says:

      I am glad I did hit her as well! There is wisdom in driving slowly and being alert for sure. One day perhaps you speed on your dream highway however

      1. Omatra7 says:

        Oh yes definitely!! Plus in my job I sometimes see those things – it sticks in your mind in certain situations.

        Yeah maybe?

        Is ok if not… speed not that important to me – I just like the thrill โค๏ธโœŒ๏ธ

        1. Benjamin says:

          Speeding can be fun. By the way, I meant, did not hit her. I used to speed a lot, but I have slowed down over time.

          1. Omatra7 says:

            Yes I am aware – I drive highways mostly lol โœŒ๏ธ

            I drive normal now myself, in high school I got in trouble for drag racing lol shhhh ๐Ÿคซ

            Luckily records are sealed lol โœŒ๏ธ that was my only spot on record ๐Ÿ˜ luckily was a minor and not permanent adult record

            I was only kid – under age and no license ๐Ÿ˜ฎ it was the speed that drew me ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I was sheltered and controlled so that made me feel โ€œlifeโ€ that adrenaline โค๏ธ

            But I squash that down lol โœŒ๏ธ๐Ÿ˜˜

            It makes me nervous with those people who speed and cut in and out – and motorcycle people too – I see them at work.

            I am cautious everywhere now โœŒ๏ธ I keep that squashed because I will want that

            Btw I knew what you meant lol โค๏ธโœŒ๏ธ

          1. Tina McFarlane says:

            Well, you got the most important thing done first. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hope that you enjoy your service and the rest of your day!

      1. Tina McFarlane says:

        Smart advice. I don’t stay online anymore than I want to. Just like family life and work, you have to keep everything in balance.

    1. Benjamin says:

      Ha ha! I spent tme using the SLAM acronym I just made up. I used a comparison of fighting and communication.

      1. The Paltry Sum says:

        So no actual persuading angry men in prison uniforms to go up the stairs to beddington like good boys? Isn’t “spending time” most of the problem?

        1. Benjamin says:

          I suppose I have needed to slow down the interaction in these roles and work on listening.

          1. The Paltry Sum says:

            To be frank, I have been chased down the street by cracked out loons way too often, and ended up getting a pepper spray (legal, boss, don’t worry). What we have here is failure to communicate…some men ya just can’t reach…so you get what we had here last week…which is the ways they wants it….well…they gits it…
            Or something like that…

          2. Benjamin says:

            So you understand what I am saying about “slam”.

            Do you use the mist or the stream?

          3. The Paltry Sum says:

            Stream. Not had to hit anyone with it yet. I was told mist was not as good an idea. Its the strongest legal stuff you can get, but the ex prison guard guy here was boasting about the shit they gave him in XXXXXX jail. I have to admit to being jealous.

          4. The Paltry Sum says:

            Yup that’s similar to what I have….if this is what is out on the streets, heaven knows what insanity and brutality is behind bars! You have my respect and thanks.

          5. Benjamin says:

            Absolutely friend. If that link is similar, you are on the right track. If you would like additional information, you can use my contact page.

          6. The Paltry Sum says:

            Thank you. I am heading out to get a stun gun or a taser too. It has got crazy out there. Forget what I said about it being safe, it is absolutely crazy! Colorado sounds gorgeous, but I am almost there with my legal issues and will need to stay out here. One day…This is absolutely insane. When someone like me is suggesting Boudin needs to be recalled…things are shit…

          7. Benjamin says:

            I look forward to hearing good things in your legal situation down the road, friend.

          8. The Paltry Sum says:

            ..Little story for you…last week it was decided that every shelter resident – not one of us on probation or in any legal trouble, just using shelter services – was told that they require us now to tell them not only when we go out and return, but also WHERE we are going. I told them, politely that I hadn’t had to tell a soul where I was headed out to since I was 12 years old, and wasn’t about to start again now.

          9. The Paltry Sum says:

            Not on, as far as I am concerned. Not participating, but you gotta play the game, huh. Sorry your boys don’t realize they need to play the damn game…which is why they are in there and you are telling the bastards to go to fucking bed like they are 5 years old….Teach em how to play the game, friend. For their sakes. …and if you don’t mind, spread the word that a short little lady in SF would appreciate NOT being chased when they are off their head on the crack, and she is packing pepper spray and most likely a stun gun within legal limits of self defense in the state of Cali….I’ld appreciate it. Take good care, sweetie, and watch your stress levels….

          10. Benjamin says:

            Thank you friend for your encouragement. I want to influence positive behavioral changes.

          11. The Paltry Sum says:

            By whatever means necessary. We were chased down the street by a guy threatening to beat my son with his shoe and tried to push me in to the road. A few days later flashed at and inappropriate suggestions – I dress like a boy, and am walking with kiddo, he can’t have thought I was ahem…working…more chasing, flashing, general shit behavior from absolute monsters. I swear….I am about to turn into Nancy Reagan at this rate.

          12. Benjamin says:

            That sounds tough friend. I will pray for you to find something better. Colorado is beautiful .

          13. The Paltry Sum says:

            …whoops…pressed send too soon…Where was I…oh yes…not had to account for my whereabouts in many decades…and since I wasn’t on probation, yeah, no not going to happen. I was confronted with a ‘yes you will, or else.” To which I simply write whatever bullshit comes to mind in the damn book, they check their boxes and we all pretend that things are how they demand. Maybe the boys should PRETEND they are going to bed, but instead do whatever …er…boys do when they are locked up at night time…On that happy thought…night!

  5. Shobana Gomes says:

    I am glad you missed hitting her. It must have been terrible for you. The child would have been frightened too. An experience in learning for sure.

          1. Tamara says:

            I almost said that because thatโ€™s one of my favorites, too. ๐Ÿจ

  6. Petra says:

    I just have to say, I read mini fridge, then saw the photo and I immediately thought you must be some kind of crazy in the US if that’s a mini fridge before I read the rest of the sentence haha

  7. eob2 says:

    Wow surprises, thrills and chills all in one day! Happy that the ending was a near miss.

  8. Cindy Georgakas says:

    All ok?
    It’s not like you to be this late with a post.
    hope so…… sending love and prayers๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ’–๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™

          1. Cindy Georgakas says:

            I’m good Ben thanks… busy as always.. hanging with my son and daughter this weekend which is nice. thanks, And You?

          2. Benjamin says:

            I will be with my family. I am well. Lots of work for the BBQ tomorrow. You are cordially invited!

  9. equipsblog says:

    Sometimes we are so in the zone about feeling good with what we accomplished that fate or the Man Upstairs sends us a speed bump to wake us up. I’m glad that your speed bump was the realization that you almost hit the clueless cyclist and not that she became the speed bump.

  10. Dee Min says:

    Oh man … I canโ€™t imagine the scare. Thank God you didnโ€™t hit her.
    On a different note, YES to the ice cream!!!


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