Mental Floss

Friday Happy Hour: Creative Punishments

Jason English

1. I don't know about you, but my favorite judge in Ohio's Lake County is Mike Cicconetti. He's known for his creative sentences, like making a man who played his car stereo too loudly sit in the woods—so he could "appreciate silence." After two teenagers scrawled 666 on a nativity Jesus, Cicconetti ordered them to lead a donkey through the streets, with a sign that said, "Sorry for the jackass offense."

This brand of justice inspired today's first question. What's the most creative punishment your parents ever handed down? (We'll also accept the most creative punishment you've levied against your own kids.)

2. A couple years ago, I wrote a story called "Fictional Sitcom Employers For Which I'd Like To Work" for YesButNoButYes. The list included Spacely Sprockets (three-day work week/three-hour work day), the Malibu Sands Beach Club (or any Malibu establishment willing to also hire all my friends) and Mr. Drummond's company (they weren't the best corporate citizen, but I feel like I could have made a difference.) Since today's quiz is about how TV characters made a living, let's use that for our second question: what fictional sitcom employer would you like to work for?

3. The U.S. Department of Labor has some good data on the historical prices of random items, like hamburger rolls and Anjou pears. If anyone is interested in getting their hands dirty and finds some interesting data ("In the last seven years, the price of cupcake mix has risen faster than any other supermarket item"—I made that up, but that's the kind of stat we're looking for), we'll shamelessly use your statistical analysis in a story next week. We won't be too shameless—you'll get full credit and we'll link to your site, if you have a site for us to link to.

4. Last month, Erica Palan contributed a great piece about Prince. We're looking forward to doing more of these "things you didn't know about _______" pieces on popular musicians. Any particular acts you'd like to learn more about?

5. During our last Happy Hour, I asked for help with girl names. Caroline, KC and Katey all suggested 'Charlotte,' which was already on our short list. I can't say whether their nudges helped lead us in that direction, but little Charlotte Lynn English turns one month on Monday. I hope she goes on to do great things, so you can tell people with pride that you helped name her. Or, maybe you three could go off and do great things. Then Charlotte's claim to fame could be that she was named by you. Either way, thanks to everyone for their creative ideas—"London English" does have a nice ring to it.

(I guess this last one isn't a question.)