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The Cultural Dis-ease of Affluenza
by Leah Sellers
2013-12-30 11:45:17
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When Worlds collide, and Fact meets Fiction……
“Aaah-chooo !”
“Bless you.”
“Sure you do,” the young disheveled boy/man sourly retorted.
“Name ?” asked the tall, barrel-chested Police Officer.
“Ethan Couch,” the young boy/man answered flatly.
“Age ?”
“Sixteen.  You know all of this.  It’s not like I haven’t answered all of y’all’s questions before,” the young boy/man announced more forcefully.
“You want me to take you back to the cell you came from do ya‘, Boy ?” 
“No, and you can’t do that.  Judge Jean Boyd let me out, and I’m headed for some Long-Term Treatment Facility while I’m on my ten year probation,”
Ethan Couch sneered.
“Yeah, yeah, I heard all about it.  Your some Rich Kid from Fort Worth, Texas who went out partyin’ with some of your friends, after stealin’ some beer from a local Walmart.  Then after gettin’ stinkin’ drunk as skunks at your parents home, you piled into one of your Rich Daddy’s company owned trucks and took off for some other local store.  Possibly to steal some more beer to guzzle down.  And then for some cock-eyed reason or another you swerved off of Burleson-Retta Road, and killed four innocent Souls, and brain damaged and paralyzed one of your own friends who went flyin‘ out of the back of your Rich Daddy‘s pick-up.”
“Aaah-choo !”
“You really gotta’ do something’ about that cold, Boy,” the Police Officer snarled.
“I don’t have a cold,”  Ethan whined.
“Oh that’s right,” the Police Officer said nodding his head.  “I remember, you’re sufferin’ from the Rich Man’s dis-ease of Affluenza.  It appears you got off light from what the State Prosecutors were askin’ for, twenty years in the hooskow, because you weren’t responsible for your actions.  That you’re sufferin’ from the hardships and psychological abuse of bein’ raised by Affluent parents, and livin‘ the life of a poor little Rich Boy.”  The Tarrant County Police Officer frowning with distaste, hockered up a wad of phlegm into his mouth and spit it ferociously into a nearby trash can.  “Huh !  Feed that line to the Homeless Families down at the Salvation Army’s Short-Term Facilities.  They don’t get any kind of Probation from their sentence of Poverty and Psychological Abuses.”
“You’re not supposed to speak to me this way…” Ethan began to complain.
“What way, Boy.  You too skittish to face the facts of four dead, and one brain dead, Souls, all due to your irresponsible and homicidal actions ?  The minute you staggered into your Rich Daddy’s truck you were steppin’ into a two ton cannon ball headed straight for the unsuspecting lives of Hollie and Shelby Boyles.  Two Lady, Good Samaritans, a mother and her daughter, who left their home that evening to help, Breanna Mitchell, a young lady they had never met who had broken down on the side of the road.  And lets not forget the young man who was out there with ’em, Brian Jennings.”
“All four of‘em out in the dark, on the side of the road, tryin’ to help someone else, when along comes an Affluenza Dis-eased little Rich Boy drunk with beer to mow ’em down, and make road kill out of ’em in my county.  My county.”
“Needless to say, I don’t take kindly to you or your Rich Boy’s Excuse for gettin’ away almost scott-free with the murder of four folks in my county.  And I’ll bet your little brain damaged, paralyzed pal, Sergio Molina’s, parents don’t take kindly to your Rich Boy’s sentencin’ either.  Not by a long shot.”  The Police Officer continued to glare unblinkingly at Ethan.
“I wanna’ call my mom and dad.  I have a right to call them,”  Ethan said sharply.
“I’m almost done with your paperwork here.  Your Rich-Boy-gets-out-of-jail-free paperwork.  But, hey, maybe the Judge was right.  Maybe you can be Rehabilitated.  Lucky you.  You’re gettin’ an opportunity the four folks you murdered, and their suffering Families will never have.  A Second Chance.”
“Try and make the best of it, Boy.  Try and make the best of it,” the Police Officer rumbled.
“Alright, Rookie, take him on down to meet his parents.  They’re waitin’ to see him off to the Rehab Facility,” the Police Officer said off-handedly.
“Aah-choo !”
“And get the kid some tissue paper outta’ the bathroom on the way outta’ here, will ya’ ?”
“Will do, Chief,” the young officer said eagerly.
“And Rookie, afterwards, run down to Maybelle’s place and pick us up a couple of Poor-Boy ham and cheese sandwiches would ya’ ?”
“Will do, Chief.  Anything else before I go ?”
“Aah-choo !”
“Yeah, bring a mop and a bucket, some disinfectant and some rags.  I hear this Affluenza Dis-ease is catchin’.”
“Will do, Chief.  Will do.”

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