When my parents got divorced, my brother and I were still young enough to believe that there might be something we could do to bring them back together. We spent the summer of ’77 coming up with one elaborate plan after the next, hoping that they would fall back into each other’s arms. The most elaborate of those scams involved playing dead. We arranged ourselves on the floor—arms and legs at chalk-outline angles—and waited to be discovered. The fantasy ended the way all of our fantasies ended: the four of us at IHOP feasting on pancakes and the waitress bringing free helpings of extra whipped cream.
The other scams—equally as earnest and proving to be just as ineffective—involved broken washing machines, bizarre mall abductions, missed phone calls and official letters from the government. But as wild as our young imaginations were, we never—not once!—ended up at Disney World. I mean, to end up at Disney World, the land of magic and make-believe and Goofy and sunshine, well, that would just be too idealistic, too silly, too much.
Philadelphia mom, Bonnie Sweeten, it seems would beg to differ. While our fairy tale didn’t end at Disney World, Sweeten’s fairy tale did: with her in handcuffs. Not exactly what you dream of as a child–from Mickey’s wonderland to the Orange County Jail–but Sweeten had come upon tough times, and based on the recent embezzlement discovery by her employer, times were about to get tougher.
The story began on Tuesday when Sweeten called 9-1-1 from what she claimed was the trunk of an SUV driven by two otherwise nondescript “black men.” The whole thing just got more bizarre: Sweeten had “borrowed” her friend’s ID to get onto the plane; had left her 8 month-old at home; had withdrawn $12,000 from local banks to fund her escape. $12,000. That’s it. I’d imagine after a few Big Gulps and the price of admission, Sweeten didn’t have much of her booty left.
But it’s got me wondering about how–if I knew my days outside of the clinker were numbered–I’d like to spend my time. This isn’t about disappearing; it’s about living it up. Sweeten chose Disney World; I might choose Rio with its pulsing life or all those canals of Amsterdam or Paris with its Moules Frites and tiny cafes. How about you? Ah reader, do tell.