This awesome comment from legendary waffle baron Maury Compson on the sad state of police inaction in the Cleveland rescued missing girls story got me thinking about something similar that happened to me once.
I lived in a little rural Amish country town in Indiana for about a year. I moved there from Chicago. The culture shock was akin to those movies where a spaceman from the planet Glorgon 4 played by Tim Allen crash lands on Earth and struggles to try and learn our silly human ways.
I called the police lots of times on shit that freaked me out, like people just walking around with their hunting rifles strapped to their back like it's nothing (OH MY GOD. HE HAS A GUN. HE IS STANDING IN FRONT OF HIS HOUSE WITH HIS OTHER FRIEND THAT HAS A GUN). Or like my neighbor, who dragged his couch to the yard and set it on fire. The 911 dispatcher asked me if I knew why he was burning the couch. (WHY THE FUCK IS THIS IMPORTANT.)I said I have no idea. She said well, if it's his couch and he's not burning the couch because he's mad at his wife, that's probably OK (Probably OK. Just probably.).
One time, I came home and there there was a baby. Standing in my driveway. It may have well been a moose dressed in drag. That's how freaky it was. I got out of my car and walked around the baby. (I left my keys in the car, engine running, blocking the road. I TOLD YOU I WAS FREAKED OUT OK)
I don't know what to do with random babies. Can you pick them up? Or should you just corral them and wait for the proper baby-wrangling authorities? I didn't know.
So I dialed 911.
"There is a baby in my driveway."
"A baby what?"
"A baby baby. A human baby. "
"Oh. Is it your baby?"
(WHY WOULD I CALL YOU FOR THIS, 911??? WHY?)
"No. It is not mine. Absolutely not. No way.[READ THIS IN VOICE OF SASSY FREE SPIRITED 27-YEAR-OLD BRIMSG WHO HAS SHUNNED ALL SOCIETAL CONVENTIONS TO MOVE TO SHITTY RURAL INDIANA TO WORK WITH SMALL SOCIAL JUSTICE-Y NONPROFIT. ALSO PICTURE BRIMSG WITH BRAIDS. BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT THEY LOOKED CUTE. I WAS WRONG, OBVIOUSLY. BUT WHAT DID YOU KNOW AT 27? ]"
"Oh. Does the baby belong to someone who you know or live with?"
*scrolls through mental Rolodex, searching for friends with babies and who among them might leave them in my garage. Find none.*
"Um. No. This is just...a random baby."
"Oh. Did you take the baby from someone?"
OK, now here is where I go from bizarre wonderment over a baby in my driveway to being totally fucking freaked the fuck out. Did I just get accused of taking a baby? What the what now?
"Oh my god. No. It was here when I came home."
"Oh. Could it belong to one of your neighbors?"
Jesus Christ, it is not a fucking lawn chair that blew in to my yard, lady.
“Um. I don’t really know. But either way…it’s in my driveway now…so maybe you should, you know...come and get it."
She responded to me that an officer would be there shortly, in the same way I would tell my mom that I would pick up my toys just as soon as the A-Team was over. (I'll dooooo it. I wiiiilllllllll. GODDDDD.)
So I went up to the baby and said “Hello” (Do they speak our language? Is there some sort of secret handshake or special sign you can throw up that signals the mothership?). The baby looked up and me and grabbed my hand. (FIRST CONTACT)
To make a long story short (TOO LATE, BURT. WAY TOO FUCKING LATE) the baby eventually got collected by a neighboring family; turns out mom thought it was a good idea to let her 5 kids go wander the fucking neighborhood and put a 12-year-old in charge of watching the baby. The 12-year-old (being the Type-A leader he was) decided to assign baby watching duty to the six year old.
So by the time the cops got around to showing up (They only took about an hour. They were busy with other calls in a town with 3 stoplights. BECAUSE MAYBE THERE WAS A BLACK PERSON AT THE WALMART. WHO KNOWS??), the mother was busy screaming at the six-year-old for not watching her brother. That’s right. A six-year-old got in trouble for not being responsible enough with a fucking baby. .
I don’t know what the cops said to her. It’s probably best I didn’t hear, because I’m sure it just would have caused me to go even more insane than I did when I found out they didn’t charge her with shit or, you know, arrest her for fucking letting a baby wander in the streets without adult supervision. But hey, what do I know—I was just city folk.
City folk with braids.
EDIT: You have to scroll down a ways to find Maury's comment in the link to the Gawker post. I tried to link to his exact comment thread, but it didn't work. Sorry!