Warning! Heartwarming Story Alert!

The following story was on CNN.com a few days ago. I was alerted to its presence by the one and only Joe Speaker that one of his counterparts over at the impressive new parenting blog Offsprung had written something I would enjoy. He simply said, "My gift to you. Have at it."

So, here is the story. After which, I have at it.

TACOMA, Washington (AP) -- A woman who coached her children to fake mental retardation to collect disability benefits was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday.

Rosie Costello, 46, must also pay nearly $288,000 in restitution after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiracy to defraud the government and Social Security fraud. Last week, a judge sentenced her son, Pete Costello, to 13 months in prison.

The scheme was discovered after Pete Costello, now 28, was seen contesting a traffic ticket in a Vancouver, Washington, courtroom. Since he was 8, his mother had represented to state and federal officials that he was so severely retarded he could not perform simple tasks.

Earlier, she had used the same scheme with her daughter, Marie, beginning when the girl was 4. Investigators have been unable to find the daughter.

The sentence imposed was longer than the federal guideline.

U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton called Costello a "habitual offender" who "asked her children to do despicable things," according to a statement from the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle.

"I'm sorry for what I did," Costello told the court. "I had a very hard life. I have grandchildren out there who need me. If I could, I would take it all back."


Best. Gift. Ever.

The problem with a situation like this one is that everyone nowadays is so scared about lawsuits or offending anyone that nobody thought to simply check those kids for the retard markings that are common to the mentally disabled.

These are located under the left arm (near the armpit) and resemble a birthmark-like discoloration that, when glanced at quickly, looks like the guy from the bitter beer face commercials. Everyone knows this. Shame on them for not checking.

This could have also been solved with a "Retard Whisperer."

This is a special (in a non-retarded kind of way, special) individual who has been gifted from Jesus Christ himself, the power to speak to the retarded.

I have this special talent and will share with you a real life example...

I was working as a kid at McDonalds and a mom used to bring her mentally retarded daughter to get food quite often. She always let her order, despite her speech being mostly gibberish sounding, and at the end of the order her mom would always ask her daughter if she wanted a bag. The daughter would light up and start getting all sorts of pumped for a bag. Her mom would then ask me for a small brown to-go bag and her daughter would grab it and run off as happy as could be. One day I decided to give her a better bag. If a small bag was amazing, a large bag would be mind-blowing. I beat her mom to the punch and got the girl all riled up for a bag. (Who wants a bag?!? Who's a good girl?!?) I turned, grabbed a large bag, and spun around to hand it to her. She took one look at the big bag and screamed, a blood curdling type of scream, and I never saw her or her mother again. I think I cured her.

I am, The Retard Whisperer.