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Saturday, August 22, 2015


A long-winded cranky opinion for
The following is the opinion of a cranky old man with little expertise on the subject opined.  Opposing opinions are welcome but will be ignored.  Mean spirited opinions will be deleted.  As always, please, no name calling…and that means you, you big stupid head!
A lady in New Jersey was recently exonerated from a charge of child abuse after fighting it in the courts for six years.  This lady had an 18 month old child asleep in a car seat when she ran into a convenience store to make a quick purchase.  She left the car running which was pretty stupid whether she had a child asleep in a car seat or not, but this was in a low (practically non-existent) crime area.  When she came out, a police car was waiting and she was charged with child abuse.
Before you comment, I know car theft happens and leaving a child in a running car is careless.  On a hot day, children can become dehydrated and die if left in an unventilated car.  There are many, many, instances where leaving a child unattended in a car is so careless that it could indeed be considered child abuse.  However there are also many, many instances where it is perfectly safe and reasonable.
 If you ever had a child who would not go to sleep, who cried uncontrollably for several hours and then fell asleep in a car seat when you left the house for a bottle of milk, you understand leaving the child in the car while you run into a Quick Check for a two minute purchase.
Apparently until recently, in New Jersey this meant you were automatically guilty of child abuse.  No questions asked.  No excuses.  You perhaps would have your child taken away to be raised in a foster home…like there is never serious abuse in a foster home, or like being pulled from his mother does not seriously affect any child negatively.
Fortunately the New Jersey Supreme Court has amended the law to be interpreted as leaving a child unattended MIGHT, in certain circumstances, be considered child abuse.
See, my issue with any of these across-the-board law interpretations is the many self serving, self appointed, holier…better than thou, busy bodies out there who just go looking for shit to complain about.  The local Mrs. Kravitz (TV’s “Bewitched”) of which every neighborhood has at least one, just waiting to dial 911 for any perceived indiscretion.
There is one in our townhouse community.  I don’t know who she is, but I know her from her signs.  She leaves laminated signs at the post drop telling all the residents how to behave.
“REMINDER…There is no alcohol allowed in the pool area.”
I have been going to this pool several days a week in the summer for five years now and have never…EVER…seen anyone with as much as a can of beer.  Why the sign, and why the seven (yes I counted them) signs declaring the same thing within the pool area?
“RERMINDER…When you collect your mail, please do not sort through it while in your car.  There are people behind you waiting to get their mail.”
REALLY?  Well then the people behind me should haul their fat ass out of the car and walk the five yards up to the mail boxes and stop worrying about how other people choose to check their mail. BITCH!
Today there was a new sign:
“REMINDER… (With a picture of a dumped garbage can) Please leave your garbage out on pick up day properly covered!”
Well, thank you so much for your concern.  In five years I have never seen a garbage can tipped over and spilling out garbage, but we do have raccoons, foxes, and other creatures…maybe even your dog, that are occasionally very good at garbage can tipping, so yeah, it is possible.
My neighbor in a previous home had two small children and she appointed herself as the traffic control officer because she was afraid for her children.  She even clocked cars with a radar gun and reported speeders to the local police.  The police had to tell her to stop. I drove by her house today, and she still has signs out telling cars to slow down because her children are at play…Her children are in high school! Teach them how to cross a street for Christmas sake!
Where was I? 
Oh yeah, don’t leave a child unattended in your car, but laws should have an element of common sense and not be cut and dry. Unless, of course, you want to live your life with ex-high school hall monitors like Mrs. Kravitz peeping at you from their holier than thou windows ready to report you for littering, getting your morning newspaper in your bathrobe, spitting on the sidewalk, or leaving your child asleep in the car seat while you bring in the groceries.
The preceding way too long-winded opinion was from a cranky old man and not necessarily that of management…Mrs. Cranky.


  1. this is why i like living in the country with a loooong-ass driveway. :)

  2. Some people just seem to thrive on creating drama - I'm guessing very few parents could honestly say they haven't left their children for a moment in some circumstances. The other stuff is mostly people who have very dull lives and, if they weren't so irritating I might pity them.

  3. The note lady clearly does not have a life. After you laugh at her foolishness, feel sorry for her, she needs it.

  4. I love humanity--it's PEOPLE I can't stand!!

  5. You are right, there needs to be room in many laws to interpret whether that situation fills the bill.

  6. Some people are so narrow-minded that the greatest satisfaction they get is from tattling on other people.

  7. I think my kid was about 8 when I left him alone in the car. Ha.

  8. When I was a kid (50 million years ago), it was common practice in Germany to leave your kids by themselves in the house. I used to come home from nursery school/preschool (about age 5 or 6), find the key on the windowsill, and let myself into the house. My parents were farmers and worked out in the fields...the first thing I had to do after coming home was to check on my little brother who was asleep in his crib.

    My cousin would put her baby down for a nap in the afternoon and then ride her bike to the grocery store to get groceries. And lest you think she was some poor, uneducated redneck - she was a teacher, her husband an engineer. Like I said, it was common practice. People here would get arrested for doing that nowadays. I don't know if it still is "normal" to do that in Germany today. Now I'm curious...

  9. Dang! It's not like she left her kid in the bathtub while she took a chartered bus to the casino!

    Good thing we don't have a neighborhood-watching lady near our house. Hick would run over her with one of his tractors. By accident, of course.

  10. She seems like she would love to be the president of the local home owner's association; she must enjoy micro managing; she would drive me NUTS


  11. I agree with the kids in car seats thing. Keep a watch and see if a parent returns after a short while, if you feel you need to, but wait before calling police or anyone else. It depends on the area too. I wouldn't be leaving a child alone in a busy supermarket carpark; if the child was finally asleep, I'd be inclined to go home and shop at a different time.

  12. I think Val's man has the right idea.

  13. Hi Cranky,

    My response to people putting out "REMINDER" notices would be:

    (a) Take them down.

    (b) Replace them with a sign saying "DO NOT PUT POSTERS UP IN THIS AREA".

    The irony would be lost on such busybodies though.

    Re the car thing: That was a stupid thing to do. I would never do anything so daft.. But the punishment over here would be a public dressing down from the cop for being so dumb.

    She wouldn't do it again.




  14. I can't believe a resident would put laminated signs up in community areas. Maybe 'someone' needs to put a letter in her mailbox prohibiting laminated signs made by residents.