Foag Gallagher’s “Psychology”
by Jack Yalch
The Valley Gazette, May 1974
If you want to give your ears a real treat, arrange to be in Chappy Shappel's company when he’s reeling-off his laff-a-minute accounts of the old days.
Chap, an east-ender from Lansford, likes to tell the one about the two out-of-town drunks who used to “raise hell” in Coaldale just about every weekend. This, says Chap, usually ended with the pair spending an overnight stay in the Tigertown lockup.
But finally their week-after-week nonsense got the best of Police Chief “Foag” Gallagher, who decided it was time to invent a cure.
After still another Saturday night in the hoosegow, chief Foag approached their jail cell early Sunday, wielding a long, thick rope, at the end of which he had fashioned an impressive looking hangman’s noose.
According to Chappy who witnessed the drama unfold, it went something like this:
"O.K. get up let's get going," Foag bellowed to the pair of scoundrels as he waved the noose back-and-forth like a pendulum on a grandfather’s clock.
"Where we goin'?" queried one of the hangover-ridden duo, as he rubbed the sleep from his bloodshot eyes.
"I'm tired of your bull around here every weekend I'm gonna take you up to the pits and hang you, then push you down the hole. When they find you, they’ll think you were drunk and fell in," was Foag's stern reply, according to Chappy.
He said the two weekenders dropped to their knees, then burst into tears and pleaded for their lives, unaware that Foag Gallagher’s scheme was simply a well-organized scare tactic.
After all kinds of carrying-on and a string of “We’ll be good from now on” promises, Foag finally led the pair from the cooler; pointed one of the culprits to the east and his partner to the west; then showed them the noose one more time.
He warned the pair that if they ever resorted to such shenanigans again, it would be “all over” the next time.
And they didn’t.