The Jail Cells

by Chester, The City Hall Mouse

Jail Cells in basement of Portage la Prairie City Hall

Jail Cells in basement of Portage la Prairie City Hall

A lot of folks don’t know about the old jail cells in City Hall’s dungeon – er, I mean, basement. The south basement, that is. Not to be confused with the north basement which you can’t get to from the south basement without climbin’ upstairs to the main floor and down another set of stairs. I think they mighta set it up that way fer security reasons or sumthin.’ Takes me a week to make the trip from one dungeon to the other. Anyway, I digress.

Rumour has it the jail cells are still there from the days when the police used City Hall fer their detachment, but I have my own theory. I think them cells are still used. They are reserved fer folks who get caught defacing Council candidates’ signs at election time. Them cells have no beds, no toilets, no sinks, no nothin’. They musta been made special for the lowest of the low.

Reminds me of my Granddaddy on mama’s side. Pops, we called him. Ol’ Pops ran fer election one year in the race for Mouse Council. He knew he didn’t have much of a chance on account of his advanced age of four years and three months. But then some upstart drew goofy mustaches, googly eyes, and nasty words on Pops’ posters. Perty soon, everybody was rootin’ fer Pops. Sure enough, Pops got elected to Mouse Council. Served for three days before passin’ away peacefully of old age. Meanwhile, the cowardly do-badders were caught red-handed and thrown into mouse jail where they deserved every nasty thing what happened to them, though I shudder to remember.

So that’s the real reason them cells are still in City Hall—to round up the varmints that do such things. If ya ask me.

Not that anyone’s askin.’

All for this time,


One Response

  1. greg

    Okay, okay….I will admit it, I was thrown in those cells twice, both times as a juvenile. 1st. time – about April 1978, me and the boys were parked out front of the Firestone store which is now Dino’s. Probably about 10 of us, sitting on the hoods of our rides, watching everyone cruise the avenue, realistically the worst thing we were probably doing was smoking cigarettes. It was dark, about 9 p.m. or so, and we heard SMASH, SMASH, AND MORE SMASH, from the alley behind us. A couple of minutes or so later, the owner of the café which was next door, came running around the corner and the first person he saw was me. Mr. Outstandingcitizen, knew who I was, I worked at Dan and Pete’s Auto body then and he operated the coffee wagon. Anyways, as fast as he came , he left. Five minutes later, the R.C.M.P. pulled up, asked which one of you is Greg? Everyone looked at me, the cops grabbed me, threw me in the back of the cruiser, pulled me out of the car, took me down those steps behind City Hall, threw me in a cell. Then they left me in there for about 5minutes, which seemed like overnight when you don’t know what the hell is going on. Then two officers came in, and they reminded me that they knew my dad, who was the City Manager at the time , and his office was pretty much right above where I was. They asked me “why did you do it”? I said “do what”? They said “you know damn well what”! Then they said something to the effect of “we’ll give you some time to think about it”. It wouldn’t have been 10 minutes later an officer came up to the door of my cell, unlocked it, then proceeded to tell me “there has been a misunderstanding”, they would say nothing else, and gave me a ride back to my car. I didn’t find out till the next morning when I went to work, and my boss already knew what had happened , and he thought it was hilarious, I didn’t. It ended up that Mr.Outstandingcitizen, had just that day, bought a new Lincoln , without his wife’s knowledge. She got pissed at him, and while he was working in the cafe, she took a hammer and smashed every window out of that brand new Lincoln. He heard the noise, came running out, and the first person he saw was me! That night I told my dad what transpired, and him being the forgiving soul that he was, said “see if he gives you an apology”. Naturally, I saw him the next day at coffee time at work, I got in the line up, and when I got to the front, I said I’ll have a coffee and a Denver, he said that’ll be 75cents. No apology, no sorry, no free coffee. I am sure you can imagine what I wanted to say. From that day on I never gave him another penny of my money, not at his coffee van, not at his cafe. I later told my dad that there was no apology, he said what goes around, comes around, don’t worry about it. Shortly after that I found out that one of Mr. Outstandingcitizen’s bigger accounts was catering to the every Monday night council meeting, and somehow he never got called to cater again. Could you imagine if that happened these days? WOW! Well my fingers are getting sore again, I am getting hungry, the dogs want to go for a dump! Oh Yeah, I was in there twice. But that’s another bed time story. Good night.


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