Amidst all the hand-wringing, disgust and anger, one of the most striking things about the case of Ethan Couch — the kid whose family was so affluent and free of boundaries, his lawyers claimed, that he didn't know the consequences of his actions — is how undignified the family acted while on the run. Rich people are supposed to be better than us plebes, even when they are fugitives. (We don't remember crooked financier Marc Rich or rape-accused director Roman Polanski acting this shabby.) So we are imploring the family to rise above their "affluenza" and start acting a little more classy in 2016. Here are some resolutions to help.
We will no longer order Domino's in foreign countries.
Reportedly, the tip that finally led Mexican authorities to the Couches hiding spot in Puerto Vallarta came after either Ethan or his mother Tonya ordered Domino's on one of their cell phones. Domino's is bad even in Dallas. It's not like, as anyone well-traveled would know, the resort town doesn't have any decent cuisine of its own.
We will use better disguises.
Ethan Couch looked, let's be nice, distinctive, before he went on the lam. He's not, as our favorite fugitive expert Frank Ahearn told us, an "average-looking guy." So it makes sense that he would try to disguise himself before heading to a tourist area where people might be familiar with the United States' most popular fugitive. What doesn't make sense is the way he disguised himself — cheap blue-black hair dye. He looks like a villain from a shitty teen movie, not someone ready to blend into the background for the rest of his life.
We will not tip our hands.
There really should be a rule against throwing a going-away shindig for one's self or one's offspring when you intend to either ditch the country or help your kid do so. This is one of the last things for which one deserves a party. Someone, invariably, will snitch, and you will just look silly. The Couches couldn't help themselves and, sure enough, there was Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson telling the whole world about the sad spectacle on December 29.
We will pay attention to the little things.
It might have been even more complicated than it's going to be now to get both of the Couches back to Tarrant County if mother and son had followed basic immigration rules. Because they didn't register when they crossed the border, Ethan and Tonya were in Mexico illegally, making them subject to deportation in addition to extradition. It's likely that when they crossed, they weren't yet on the wanted persons radar, so maybe they should've gotten their visas ready to prepare for just this eventuality. They were never going to not get caught.
We will pay our tabs.
According to Alfredo Corchado, a reporter at The Dallas Morning News' Mexico bureau, Ethan Couch stayed in his room for much of his time in Puerto Vallarta. On one night when he did go out, he availed himself of a local strip club, before being escorted back to his hotel by a waiter and manager from the club. He didn't have enough cash to pay his bar tab, so Tonya had to pay it for him.
We will not make Donald Trump look bad.
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists." You remember the quote. It seems the Couches were dead set on making sure we're not accused of sending our best people south.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.