Some time ago, back in the early dawn days of Big Dave and Company we discussed the dilemma faced by a man in the Australian Outback who had to decide which of his beloved things to belt in with his last available seat belt: his young child or his 30-pack of beer. Needless to say when he was pulled over by the friendly local constable (at least that's what we assume they call their police in Australia) the child was roaming free about the car. Let's examine now what happened when a father in a rural, central California farming community had to decide between his child and his beer.
Friendly local police have arrested a 36 year-old Greenfield, California man for selling his 14 year-old daughter into an arranged marriage for $16,000, 100 cases of beer, and several cases of meat. I can't make this up people. I know this sounds terrible, but let me just say, before you get all worked up about the fate of this young girl, she did go willingly when the deal was struck, so I think that there was something more to this than we know right now. Like, maybe she knew the 18 year-old who bought her. And we can go on and on about how desperate and lame you'd have to be to have to buy your wife, but that's not here nor there. I would rather focus on the daddy-o and the shocking decision that me made.
Let's look at the sheer economics of the deal, shall we? For most fathers, the price for their daughter's hand in marriage is a lifetime of love and devotion and a little shit in the pants when he reminds you to treat her like a princess while he cleans his bazooka. Fair enough. But not this guy. He actually managed to put a price tag on his 14 year-old. So how much? Well, we know that she started at $16,000. Which doesn't seem like enough. I mean, in Indecent Proposal Woody Harrelson sells his wife, Demi Moore, for $1,000,000 for ONE NIGHT. This guy sold his daughter for LIFE, or until the divorce papers are notarized, for at least $16,000.
But this guy got more than just the $16,000, didn't he? That's right. He got 100 cases of beer. Much like the guy in Alice Springs, our boy in Cali couldn't resist the temptation of the suds when stacked up against his first born. So how much is 100 cases of beer worth? Well, at my friendly local grocery store they are selling 30-packs of Miller High Life cans for $14.29. And I live in a state where liquor and beer are usually dirt cheap, so basically what we are doing is low balling this offer. If you do the math, which I didn't do but I had a university math professor do it for me, you will find out that at that rate 100 cases of beer is worth about $1,429. So that brings our girl up to about $17, 429.
But we still have to account for the meat. Now, the article is especially vague about how much meat he received, or what kind of meat it was. So we will have to sort of guess. At the same friendly local supermarket where I did the beer research, fresh ground sirloin was going for about $3.29 per pound, and the average cow weighs about 1600 lbs when it is taken to slaughter, and we will say that about half of that is nasty stuff that gets ground up into fertilizer, then if daddy-o got one cow's worth of meat it was roughly worth about $2632. So if we total the whole thing up, he sold his daughter into a lifetime of what I would assume to be backwater, My Name is Earl-style heaven for a package of cash and prizes totalling just a notch over $20,000 ($20,061 to be exact). Wow.
Now, aside from all the economic business we just discussed, my ultimate favorite part of this whole drama is how the whole thing got discovered. See, since the Princess Bride went willingly with what she just found out was the love of her life all the major players in this deal would have gotten away with things scott-free if daddy-o hadn't have gone to the police to get his daughter back.
"Wait, what?" I am assuming that is what you just said out loud. I know that the guy in the next cubicle is probably looking at you like you are a nutjob, but it's okay. Because that is the correct response. That's what I said when I first was reading about this incident. I am sure that you have already figured out that our daddy-o wasn't the sharpest arrow in the quiver, but I bet you never thought he would come to this point. I am also sure that upon further reflection you are not surprised in the least bit. See, after he sent his daughter off to be wed into marital dysfunction with her new husband he never got paid. No $16,000. No meat. And most importantly no beer. He was getting swindled by his new son-in-law. So he went to the police and asked them to go get his daughter back. I am assuming that he laid out the whole story and the deal because he spent the night behind bars on suspicion of human trafficking. And his son-in-law joined him on suspicion of statutory rape. So I guess we know they consummated the marriage, which by the way was null and void because a 14 year-old is below the legal age of consent in California and can't legally marry. Maybe they should have had their lawyers look over that deal first.
Editor's Note: If you want a more in-depth look at this story read this article from the local paper, it's much more complete than the AP version. It's also linked above where it says "the article." Thanks!