Tips for Surviving Prison: Bernie Madoff Edition

The day so many have waited for is finally here: Bernie Madoff is going to prison.


The prospect of prison is daunting for most CEOs, who are used to giving orders, not taking them — certainly not from a man named “Snake.”

To help ease the transition for Mr. Madoff, satirist Andy Borowitz has reprised his popular tome, “Who Moved My Soap? A CEOs Guide to Prison,” with a special Bernie Madoff edition.

Borowitz offers all sorts of helpful tips, including: what to pack, a guide to prison lingo, how to feng shui your cell and “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Prisoners.”

First, on packing: “Divide [your packing] list into three categories: (a) necessities; (b) luxury items; and (c) cigarettes. Now, a draw a thick black line through every item on that list except for ‘cigarettes.’”

He also notes that the orange jumpsuit may be daunting at first, but you’ll soon realize it’s “a whole lot more flattering than most of the golf pants you own.”

To maximize the chi (pronounced “chee”), or energy, in your cell, you want to “arrange your bunk so that you face the bars, not away from them.” Beyond chi, though, it’s just a good rule of prison thumb to not turn your back.

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And, contrary to popular belief, it’s not the shower that’s the most feared area of prison: It’s the cafeteria, according to a recent poll of incarcerated CEOs. Borowitz offers a “Zagat’s Guide” to fine prison dining. He also discusses the merits of making wine in your cell toilet.

When it comes to the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Prisoners,” numero uno is “Be Proactive.” The first way to switch from proactive to reactive is in your language. So, instead of saying: “Please don’t hit me with that big thing,” you want to say, “I’mo bust a grape, peckerwood.”

(The glossary will prove invaluable in your verbal transition.)

The book ends with — what else — Chapter 11.

But don’t think of it as the end. Think of it as a new beginning. A fresh start.

And remember: Prison is a status symbol. Prosecutors “only want to reel in the biggest fish—so the very fact that you were arrested … is proof of just how big a fish you are.”

Now, go in there and get up in someone’s “grille” before he tells you to “press the bunk, punk!”

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