UnNews:Lancaster to bring back scold's bridle

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Lancaster to bring back scold's bridle

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23 January 2012

Scold's Bridle

A gentle reminder to keep a civil tongue.

LANCASTER, Pennsylvania - For the past several months, city officials in Lancaster have been perplexed about how to reign in the out-of-control Occupy Lancaster movement that has been meeting in Central Park off and on for several weeks. Police records show that the Lancaster Police have been summoned to the park on several occasions to deal with the unruly protestors, and have issued several citations for public drunkenness, littering, disturbing the peace, breaking curfew, public indecency, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, noise violations, drug use, interfering with police operations, and throwing solid waste into the porta-potties.

"Look," said Mayor Judy Killjoy, "the city has no problem with peaceful, controlled, public assemblies, but when a bunch of drunken college girls surround one of our mounted police officers and demand that he 'let his oppressed pony go free in the city', that's just a little over the top."

According to witnesses, the protestors have been causing disturbances including, having 2:00 AM "scream-a-thons", removing their clothes and chaining themselves to the children's playground equipment, and throwing empty beer bottles at passing traffic. A local pizza restaurant owner claims that the protestors ordered 75 pizzas, but when they arrived, no one claimed the order. The driver ended up selling the pizzas to a protestor who offered to buy the pizzas for 50 cents each.

"These people are a complete public nuisance," said Chief of Police, Ivan Dole, "but jail and court costs for all these arrests are leaving the city with no money for basic services like pot-hole removal and replacing burned-out stop lights - not to mention the strain on my force."

In desperation, the city council asked the city archivist, to research all city laws to look for something that could resolve the problem, but not cost a fortune. The archivist found a law that has been on the books since 1681. The law prescribes the use of a scold's bridle for people who make a nuisance of themselves.

City officials in Lancaster have officially requested that the Lancaster Historical Museum provide them with several scold's bridles for use on members of the Occupy Lancaster movement. Records at museum indicate that in 1694, Lancaster city officials donated the bridles to the museum's predecessor, His Majesty's Royal Store of Useful Implements, with the stipulation that they be made available in the event that they are ever needed again.

"Well, they're needed now," said Killjoy.

When asked if the scolds bridles would make a difference, Killjoy responded, "According to our Lancaster County Psycholigist, most of the people assembled at these protests couldn't care less about the whole Occupy Movement. The males are there only to pick up on the females who are there, and 90 percent of the females there are only there in hopes that they will be picked up. So, we find the 20 or so females who actually believe in this garbage, throw some scold's bridles on them for a day or two, and presto, problem solved without breaking the bank."

A scold's bridle is an iron muzzle in an iron framework that encloses the head. It features a metal bit about two inches long and one inch wide that projects into the mouth and presses down on top of the tongue. The bit is studded with spikes, so that if the tongue moved, it inflicts pain and makes speaking impossible. The bridle also makes eating difficult, but drinking is still possible.

"We hope that these people will learn a valuable lesson about what it means to be an upstanding citizen in Lancaster," said Killjoy. "If you want someone to take care of you, tell the person in the mirror to go get a job."

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