#AtoZChallenge: I is for I Shot the Sheriff, Item Lifting and other Illegal activity

stormtrooper airplane 2018 pics antique shop
This would have been a cooler shot with a better phone. #androidlife #backintheday

The Is have it on Go Ask Daddy today.

AtoZ2019IIt’s time for the letter I in the #AtoZChallenge. I picked three questions with the letter I from the list. They’re also the oldest I questions, so it’s nostalgic. These were probably asked at least six years ago. There are some hilarious early questions in there.

For example: Are jesters slaves to the queen?

Good one. Can’t wait to tackle that one. I suspect it might have arisen as we talked about my employment options at one point. I so was born in the wrong era, y’ all. Ever get that feeling? At least I can still blog about it.

Also, remember, I’m soliciting questions from grown-ups to answer in this here space.

Send questions to elipacheco (dot) ejp (at) gmail (dot) com. I do it that way to throw Russian gangsters off their game. Or, just because I’ve seen other bloggers do it. It’s supposed to keep us from getting crow’s feet, I think.

1. Did he just sing “I shot the sheriff”?


And what’s more, this was the first question on the Go Ask Daddy list. It’s been there … well, maybe since Eric Clapton was topping the charts. But maybe not. I feel like The Office when the DVR square hit the corner of the TV screen.

This joint is about to get all kinds of YouTube-y.

Because I didn’t know this, but Bob Marley definitely sang this song too. Check it:

And here’s Eric Clapton’s:

I feel so culturally sheltered. Bob sang it first, and it was one of his biggest hits. He sang it with The Wailers in 1973; Eric did his version in 1974. Before current-day protests and Twitter gatherings to fight the power, this song was an anthem for injustice.

They’re both pretty rocking if you ask me.

2. Why do they call it shoplifting? Shouldn’t it be item lifting?

I get the coolest questions, don’t I? I worked with an old dude (before I was an old dude!) who was a greeter at a membership warehouse. Besides telling off-color and dirty jokes to college guys, he’d direct people to enter and go “sharp left – NOT SHOPLIFT!)

People sometimes still did.

It’s shoplifting because you’re not taking the entire shop. It’s shoplifting, whether it’s a baseball card shop or a Tinkertoy shop or a barbershop. It’s also in Wal-mart, Target, Best Buy, Caldors, Piggly Wiggly and Demetra’s Weaves & Whiskey (now in six locations.)

Any time you’re in a store and take something without paying, you could be arrested for shoplifting. Except for that time the cashier forgot to charge us 33 cents for the clearance Christmas M&Ms that one time. Shh.

If you conceal a product and don’t leave a store, you can still get busted because of intent to leave without paying. Most places will wait until you leave, though, to have a better shot at an open-and-shut case. Sheriff, deputy or otherwise.

photo credit: New NNN Episode debuts Jan 26! via photopin (license)

3. Is it illegal to be a con artist?

It varies from state to state.

In a dated online forum (that’s admissible in court, right?) I found these criteria:

One or more police reports are filed
The district attorney finds elements of one or more crimes exist
The DA feels they have enough evidence to pursue a criminal case
The DA brings criminal charges
The defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by a jury
A judge determines jail or prison time to be part of a sentence

All you have to do to be a con artist is trick someone into believing something that isn’t true. Like, if I told everyone Eric Clapton’s version came out before Bob Marley. But unless I’m tricking people out of money, it’s not a crime.

We could have used this post for C, for Crime.

A to Z Challenge:

A is for Almost (and also At Last)

B is for Baggett (as in Laura, the actress, and #GirlsRock interview)

C is for Cursive, Cats, and Chinese Restaurants (Go Ask Daddy about them)

D is for Drawing the Line

E is for Every Day Gratitude

F is for Fieri, Falling in Love, and Focus (Weekend Reads IV)

G is for #GoAskDaddy: An interview with realtor Kristen Foxx

H is for Habit of Peace

Garfat-Pratt quote con artists


  1. ksbeth says:

    what about the time that my little daughter arrived home with new shoes and had left her ‘ugly’ ones behind? shoe-lifting?

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      In today’s market, she could say she was “shoe sharing.” It’s likely been around since the Byzantime Empire!

      1. ksbeth says:

        I think I’ll tell the story in a blog- i is for inspiring me. – thanks )

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Sweet – can’t wait to see it!

  2. ladystubbington says:

    Ha! Amusing musings!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thank you! It’s how I prefer to muse.

  3. Liam says:

    Whoa, a Caldor reference. Blast from the past!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Word! ARe they not still around?

      1. Liam says:

        Went out of business in the 1990s, at least in the Northeast.

  4. Beth says:

    LOL at not knowing Bob Marley’s version! I shouldn’t laugh though, I was exposed to the Clapton version first too, but eventually figured out Mr. Marley did it first. Both versions are quite good though! Probably wouldn’t fly as a hit nowadays though…

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Ah, I was just a dumb kid! haha. I dig this live Clapton version. I listened to them back to back a couple of times. And yeah – times have changed for this sort of thing.

  5. It’s shop lifting, i thought, because you are lifting (fancy word from England for stealing) from a shop, rather than stealing from a person. Now i’ll have to do research.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Imagine that – fancy stealing!

  6. Brett Minor says:

    For me, the song was the other way around. I knew it was a Marley song. Only later learned that Clapton sang it too. Although, I had probably heard the Clapton version many times and just didn’t catch that it wasn’t Marley singing.

    This month, I am participating in the A to Z Challenge. Each day this month, people around the world are writing blog posts and working their way through the alphabet. Each person decides their own personal theme. I am writing about people who have affected my life.

    1. Brett Minor says:

      HA! I left the wrong tag on the end of my comment. Here’s what I meant to leave,

      I am at Transformed Nonconformist. I usually write humor pieces, but I am getting serious this month. I’m writing about people who have deeply impacted my life.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Nice! I’ll check out your stuff.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wonder if I heard Marley and thought it was Clapton back in the day. So many good songs for both of them. Mellow in those days, weren’t we?

      Digging your theme, by the way, Brett.

  7. Lauren Becker says:

    I don’t know that I’ve heard Bob Marley’s version! thanks for sharing. And that’s interesting about shop lifting versus item lifting; never thought of it that way. LOL


    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I hadn’t before I wrote that post, Lauren! Both are so good. The minds of kids … I’d rather they ask about shoplifting than go do it!

  8. I love the song by Eric Clapton… have to admit, had no clue Bob Marley did it.. like AT ALL! No idea! I listened to it, but I still like Eric’s version better since that was one of my first real R&R songs I learned. I was 11 in 1974. (I told you I was old)
    Anyway… great set of questions. 🙂

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I can’t believe I missed it either, Courtney. There’s a good bit of similarity in the two, I think. I wasn’t far behind you in 1974!

      1. Nah… you haven’t hit 50 yet. I’m at the double nickel (love saying that) but I’m a dork. Some days I feel every year…others I look in the mirror and wonder who that old woman is looking back at me 🤨

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        As long as I keep moving, Courtney …

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