Things weren't the same in the old west. In the old days a man had to answer for the wicked that he done (thank you Willie Nelson). There was no "suspended sentence" or "probation". You were either innocent and you went free, or you were guilty and you went to jail (or the noose if you'd been particularly naughty).
Of course, different places in the old west had different ideas of what would get you thrown in jail. My wife found that out the hard way when we spent an afternoon at Rawhide Western Town, located just south of Phoenix in Chandler, Arizona. Rawhide is a replica of an 1880's western town, and although they say it's authentic, I suspect that they may have taken a few liberties when writing out the penal code for the city.
The town is full of fun adventures like stage coach rides, panning for gold, riding mechanical bulls, and a Wild West show loaded with shootouts and stunts. Plenty of shopping and restaurants are available too, but our fun started at the sheriff's office.
Probable Cause doesn't seem to be much of a stumbling block for law enforcement in these parts. You only need three witnesses (and the sheriff and deputy are more than happy to be two of them) to send law enforcement out into the streets, guns firing, to round up the suspected criminal. Once located, the outlaw will have the charges read to him (If you really want to embarrass your kid, have them arrested for having Dirty Undies.), and the culprit will be led off to jail.
Sorry Lori. We asked around, but even people who had never met you before were pretty sure you were guilty of Over Shoppin'. Actually neither the sheriff, the deputy, or I had to testify against you, as all three of your kids were more than happy to send you up the river. I told you we were paying them too much allowance.
Luckily, the length of sentences in Rawhide seems to correspond to the seriousness of the crimes. I saw some children sentenced to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, others who had to recite a poem, and some who chose to stay in jail rather than promise to obey their parents (Occupy Wall Street, I've found your future leaders).
Lori was sentenced to do the Can Can. And we all smiled. Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star would have been nothing for Lori (she's a preschool teacher), but dancing in public would probably rank very low on her list of preferred punishments. The sheriff stepped up and showed her all the moves she would need to perform for her release, and then it was showtime!
There is video of this performance, but I'm still in the doghouse for the Captain Jack Sparrow post, so I'm afraid I won't be able to post it here. Suffice to say that it was the highlight of my kids day in Rawhide. It took Lori a few tries to get it right, but eventually she was able to get those legs up high enough and earn her release from jail. They gave her the copy of her arrest warrant (which unfortunately had my signature on it) and her mugshot then sent her on her way, reminding her that if she didn't behave, she was only another $10 from being sent back to jail.
They say doing time changes a person. It gives you time to reflect....to think. Of course we all know what that really means. It gives you time to plot your revenge. I fully expected some payback. You don't lock your wife up and laugh at her while she dances her way out, then expect that you'll never hear about it again. I was prepared to suffer the same fate (I'm a great Can Can dancer anyways), but my wife is far more creative than that. She got me back alright. I only wish that I could have danced my way out of this one...