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Author: Larry Simoneaux
Date:  March 5, 2007

Topic category:  Other/General

Poor choices.

One wonders when the thought "This isn’t good" began creeping into the three alleged (I have to say that) muggers’ heads.

It sure wasn’t when they first decided to assault a group of senior citizens who’d left their cruise ship to visit a beach in Costa Rica.

One imagines that the three bozos (I wanted to say that) thought they’d found some easy money.

But let’s back up a bit in case you’re not familiar with the story.

According to an AP report, three young men approached a group of seniors touring a beach in Costa Rica. Witnesses said that one of the alleged muggers was armed with a knife and a gun.

Shortly after they approached the seniors, a scuffle broke out. Unfortunately for the young men, one of their "victims" was a 70 year old retired military veteran. He, and the rest of the seniors, turned out to be a good bit more than the thugs had bargained for.

The good news is that the seniors were able to disarm the armed assailant. The better news is that, while so doing, the 70-year-old put the armed thug in a headlock and broke his clavicle. The best news is that the individual with the now broken clavicle (who, wonder of wonders, had a history of assault charges) expired from asphyxiation.

What this means is that one assailant got to meet his maker far sooner than he’d ever planned to and that the two surviving assailants learned one of life’s harsher lessons. To wit: No matter how tough you think you are, there’s always someone tougher just around the corner.

Having met those tougher individuals, they fled the scene.

This next will likely label me as being heartless, cruel, and completely unable to empathize with those poor souls amongst us who’ve chosen to walk down some of life’s darker alleys. Some will think that I don’t realize that such individuals need only be shown a brighter path in order for them to return to a more happy and productive life.


When I read this story, I laughed out loud. Not so much because the story was funny, but because a couple of thugs made a really poor choice and got their comeuppance almost immediately at the hands of a group they thought would be easy marks.

Most of us know that a major part of life is the often-painful process of learning that choices have consequences.

Good choices, good consequences. Poor choices, poor consequences.

I’ll never understand why, for some, that simple equation is so clouded in mystery. But there are those who never seem to grasp the concept.

Those seniors were, most likely, on that beach most because of many good choices they’d made throughout their lives.

The three thugs were there because of many, much poorer choices they’d made.

Nowhere in the social contract have I ever come across the idea that, when one person attacks another, the person being attacked must assume the role of victim.

Granted, many become victims because of circumstances beyond their control. However, there are times when the bad guys find themselves facing something - like a fight - they weren’t expecting. Which, when making their poor choices, is something they seldom consider.

This time, the stars aligned and the consequences of a poor choice were instantly apparent and, for one lowlife, somewhat irreversible.

Too often, however, we read or hear about those who harm (rape, murder, rob, mug – take your pick) others. Then, when they’re caught, we find that these same individuals have criminal histories that run to pages.

Unfortunately, at about the time that we, as a society, should be looking to put the stars of these long-running sagas of poor choices under the jails, we always seem to hear about the need to "understand" why said individuals committed whatever outrage was committed. Then begins the chorus on how we must provide said individuals with yet another "chance" to be brought back into the fold.

Do note that this same level of "understanding" by do-gooders for the victims, however, always seems to run about a quart or two low. Which is why it did my heart good to read this story.

It did my heart even better to find out that the local police didn’t press charges and quickly allowed the seniors to resume their cruise.

Still, to check my feelings on all of this, I showed the story to my wife who has compassion like Bill Gates has money.

She laughed too and said, "Well, that one sure got what he deserved."

Which showed me, yet again, why I love this woman.

Larry Simoneaux

Biography - Larry Simoneaux

Larry Simoneaux is a regular columnist for The Everett Herald in Washington state. He is a retired ship driver for the US Navy and NOAA.

Copyright © 2007 by Larry Simoneaux
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