this home for wayward droolers I’ve finished up in

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
It was still as hot as the hinges of hell, October or not. The door to the exercise yard opened, letting in a flood of brilliant light and the biggest man I’ve ever seen, except for some of the basketball fellows they have on the TV down in the ‘Resource Room’ of this home for wayward droolers I’ve finished up in. He wore chains on his arms and across his water-barrel of a chest; he wore legirons on his ankles and shuffled a chain between them that sounded like cascading coins as it ran along the lime-colored corridor between the cells.
Source: The Green Mile by Stephen King
Context: The narrator is the superintendent of the death row (commonly referred to as E block) in the state penitentiary at Cold Mountain. He is describing a new comrr inmate.

What does the lexicon cluster in bold mean? Does droolers refer to the inmates watching TV and drooling at the mouth? What does the narrator mean I have finished up in? Is the narrator referring to the droolers or the new comer.

Glossary:
as hot as the hinges of hell: very hot
Resource room: rec room where inmates can watch TV.
wayward: difficult to control or predict because of unusual or perverse behaviour
sounded like cascading coins: The sound of coins that you hear on a gaming floor of any casino, when the slot machine gamblers win.

Thank you.
 
  • Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Your bolded cluster does not form a single unit. "I've finished up in" refers to what King in his inimitable style calls the home for wayward droolers.
    So the character who says this hasn't finished up in the droolers, but in the home.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    Thank you. home for wayward droolers would then be an euphemism for a penitentiary, right? The speaker (what I called the narrator) is the block superintendent.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Right. Well, perhaps not a euphemism, more of a joking label. It's not clear whether it refers to the whole penitentiary or just to E block, probably the latter.
    He "finished up" there, more usually expressed as "ended up", simply means that this is where fate has brought him, for the present time and the foreseeable future.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    A facility for housing juvenile offenders was, in the past, sometimes called "The XXX Home for Wayward Boys (and/or Girls)". I think "XXX Home for Wayward Girls" was sometimes a euphemism for a home for unwed pregnant girls.
    A men's penitentiary would not be called a "home for wayward anything" except to jokingly compare it to a detention center for boys.
     
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