Is it jail…or is it a romance novel?

Now, back to our regularly
scheduled blogPunishment
Sure the word PUNISHMENT is printed right there over the door. So so so many people would take that to mean jail. Me? Well, sure. Probably, but come along with me for a tour of the Fort Atkinson, Nebraska detention center and free your narrow little minds, people.

RulesFirst of all, this isn”t … like … an IMPULSE. They don”t put you in here on a WHIM. You had to be really bad. That sign there says so.

SignsThere is that long forgotten gem of punishment known as public humiliation which sure, it”s got a downside. Think of all that damage to the delicate self-esteem of the criminals in our midsts. But on the other hand, these signs are crazy cheap compared to a penitentiary.

Standing PostThey”d hang the appropriate sign around your neck. Drunkard. Whatever, and make you stand on this stump. I wonder why the stump? Is there a trick to keeping your balance that makes this harder (I mean beyond the obvious if you really are a drunkard). I”d like to insert the comment here that this fort in 1820, was the only civilization west of St. Louis and it”s in far east central Nebraska. Where”s the booze coming from? Who”s in charge?  Don”t they take inventory? Don”t they have a lock on the store room door? Is there a bar on the post? I”d think being a drunkard would just be really tricky. Anyway, who knows? Next picture.

Cat-o-nine tailsAll I could think when I saw this was, Who named this thing? Who looks at this and thinks, “I”m looking at a kitty with nine tails?” Good grief, go back to the comment above. If someone came up with this thing and said, “I want to name this after my pet, Fluffy.” I”d have that guy on a stump with that Drunkard sign around his neck asap.

StocksWe have your usual, run of the mill, stocks. Those were the good old days, right? Some stocks. A scarlet letter. An occasional burning at the stake. Ah, our Puritan forefathers. How we all pine for simpler times.

Lower stocks. I didn”t get a real feel for what one had to do to earn the various punishments. Punch someone. You get the low stocks. Steal their horse, you get the high stocks. Insult a fellow officer. Cat-o-Nine Tails. Drunkard. Sure, stump/sign combo-that one is at least clear.

Hitchin postThis thing was at my daughter”s gymnastic”s training center. We paid a lot of money for her to walk along on top of it.

I get the sense that a lot of modern day sports have evolved from punishment and possibly torture. Football comes to mind.

HorseDid you read the sign? That “cut to a “V” shape” part is disturbing? Who invented this? Best guess? The same sadist who invented thong underwear!

They call it a horse. It”s like they didn”t even take it seriously. Why don”t they call their punishment devices something scary. Cat. Horse. C”mon.  Call it the Parallel Bar of Doom or the Vicious 9 Bladed Whipper. Think Deterrent by Name! And they used this for drunkeness, too? Doesn”t this make the judge sound a little…capricious. Like, if he”s in a BAD MOOD he gives you a worse punishment? Or maybe this is third offense? The 1820s equivilent of losing your license for a year?

Choke BoxThis one is just annoying because for heaven”s sake, you pump some steam into this baby and you can charge upwards of $100 an hour and rich people will line up to spend the afternoon in one of these. And if they”ve got an attendent named Jean Claude standing by to mop their brow, the price can go to $250. Throw in a sea weed wrap and the skies the limit. Which doesn”t mean it isn”t pretty miserable, but still…you”ll sweat off some pounds and your skin will be all satin-y.

Ball and ChainThis one is adorable. Look at the sign. How cute that it has the same name on it that My Cowboy husband has used as a nickname for me for the last 30 years. What a coincidence!

Although he affectionately adds, “The Old….” to the beginning.

Leg ShacklesAnd then the prison went kinda Fifty Shades on me. Not that I would know of course, but a woman HEARS THINGS. It”s all very alarming. I just kept wondering what a guy had to do to get himself hooked up with this stuff. And did they realize the full potential of it as NAUGHTY TOYS? And that”s when I have to ask, is this really a prison? Or is this a romance novel in the making? HUH???

SolitaryAnd as we wind down our visit to the PUNISHMENT center of the fort, we pass through the solitary confinement center. I stared at it and tried to remember. Something I read in the newspaper. I believe there was a lawsuit because the state penitentiary was cutting costs by taking Premium Cable out and only giving them basic. And maybe they were making Jean Claude withhold the sea weed wraps, too. I can”t recall the details.

Oh how times have changed.

Jail CellAnd here, the last picture for your viewing pleasure. It”s a jail cell. It”s bars. A little room with metal bars. So simple it”s kinda sweet. It”s actually a pretty nice little area and the bed it in looked slightly more comfortable than the one I”d just seen in the HOSPITAL.

Fired UpFIRED UP is out, and I”ve got my author”s copies!!!

Today, I”m giving away a signed copy of FIRED UP.


Now for the special announcement!!!

Mary Connealy Upcoming Webcast October 8th! (THAT”S RIGHT, A WEBCAST…the way I understand it, my head will be like….moving and talking like alive and stuff…YIKES!)

Go Here to RSVP and you will receive a reminder near the correct date and time. Here”s more info about what we”re doing and the prizes we”re giving away:
Best-selling author Mary Connealy will be hosting a web cast on October 8 at 8:00 PM EDT, where she will be introducing readers to her latest release, Fired Up. During the live online event, Connealy will be discussing the series, previewing her upcoming releases and answering reader questions. Throughout the hour, readers will have an opportunity to chat with other fans, answer trivia about the book and submit their own questions for Connealy to answer during the evening. A number of prizes will be given away to those participating in the discussion, including copies of Connealy”s books and gift cards. At the end of the webcast, the winner of a Kindle Fire HD will be announced. The Kindle giveaway is being held in conjunction with the Fired Up blog tour being coordinated by Litfuse Publicity Group.

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

31 thoughts on “Is it jail…or is it a romance novel?”

  1. This is definitely easier to look at then the hospital. I’m enjoying your tour. Many interesting things to see and learn.

  2. Oh Boy is right, Melanie. Think of the potential for disaster. Think of the potential for me ending up standing on a stump with a sign around my neck!!!!!!!!! Metaphorically of course!

  3. Mary, you make me laugh! Never did I enjoy “punishment” more. To answer your question, those side by side solitary confinement boxes reminded me of the couple sitting in separate bathtubs on the Cialis commercials. (Never could figure out why they’re sitting in separate bathtubs, but maybe the time wasn’t right.) So my answer is ROMANCE!

  4. I have to agree – this post was much less faint worthy than the hospital one. But still…you have stumbled upon something, a romance novel could totally come of this. 😉 Handcuffs, shackles, signs with words on them. Endless possibilities.
    Great post – can’t wait for the webcast or big screen event. We expect BIG things.
    lattebooks at hotmail dot com

  5. My thought, scrolling down through these delightful devices (and your truly delightful comments, Mary) were …how did they go to the bathroom in this dang thing?
    And I’ll leave you with that. Thanks for a thought-provoking blog, Mary.

  6. “The same sadist who invented thong underwear” had me laughing out loud! I love your posts about the crazy things from old times 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway! I’m excited to read Fired Up!

  7. Mary, great post. And lots of food for thought. Romance novel, indeed. Your mind takes some of the most interesting detours. Maybe I can borrow it now that I’m plotting my next novel? I can be over to your house this afternoon…

  8. Thank you, Mary, for starting my morning off right with loud, crazy laughter!!!! I LOVE your commentaries through these forts tours! So excited about the webcast and the release of FIRED UP! Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!!

  9. Thanks for the post! Learning about this stuff is so interesting! There is a fort where I use to live and it had an area for where they use to hold prisoners. it had some of these same things. I wonder what it would be like if we still used some of these ideas on our criminals today.I cant wait for the webcast!

  10. Mary, your posts always tickle the funny bone. And the thing I like about is is that your books are the same way. NO ONE could ever accuse you of being dry and boring. Well, they could but they’d either be drunk or have severe mental problems. I was trying to read the second sign in the third picture. Looks like it says Salt Fishing? Is that a huge crime? Especially in Nebraska? Thank you for the laughs. I’ll probably find myself chuckling all through the day!

    The webcast sounds interesting. How neat.

  11. Mary, thank you for the laughs. I always enjoy your blogs.
    I’m with Margaret on the Cialas commercials. My husband and I have been laughing about them since the twin tubs first appeared.

  12. Mary, I loved the way you paid attention to the details of the prison, especially how your mind can take a simple ball and chain and turn it into laughter.

    Looking forward to reading this book. The Husband Tree is still one of my favorites.

    Will plan to be at the web cast party. Sounds like fun.

  13. Mary, you are someone I want to meet someday! Can we have lunch? I think it would last 3 days 🙂 You look so much like my friend, Erin! Every time I see your picture, I think of her! BUT, I still want to go on a field trip with you and then go to lunch and just talk for hours…..I guess that’s why I love your books! They are good and funny and …..funny and great! Like you! Thanks for the post! I sure wouldn’t want any of those punishments…good thing I’m a law abiding citizen!

  14. good news about the webcast.FIRED UP sounds wonderful. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  15. Congrats on the webcast… Ummmmm you can make booze out almost anything… and it was used medically back in that day.. But I’m thinking someone was making hooch!!

  16. I’m looking forward to reading Fired Up and also watching your webcast. I bet you learned all kinds of details from this trip to Fort Atkinson that you can use in your books.
    Thanks for offering a copy of Fired Up today. I’d love to win!

  17. Mary, I don’t remember when I’ve laughed this hard in a long time! I needed it! Loved this post and all your descriptions of each picture. Can’t say I’d be thrilled about any of the punishments above! Don’t worry too much about your webcast next month…you’ll do fine!

    I would love to win a copy of fired up!

    Judy B

  18. I enjoyed the history lesson. I agree with the torture items, where did they get the names from? I love your books.

  19. Thanks for sharing this interesting research information. I loved your humerous approach to your blog post. I’m excited for the webcast. Thanks for the chance to win your book.

  20. Unfortunately, the punishment part of jail/prison has faded from the equation. You don’t have to be sadistic, but it shouldn’t be better than being on the outside. Yes loss of freedom and having to watch your back around other prisoners is a downside, but you get 3 meals plus snacks, education (including college), a fitness club,entertainment, and health care. That is more than a major part of the people in the country have. No it isn’t a nice place to be, but in many cases it is better than they would have otherwise.
    There needs to be an adjustment somewhere.

  21. Agreed, PatriciaB!

    Missed the giveaway – but always love reading the posts, even if late, just for the laughs that go along with the history lesson!

    Thanks, Mary!

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