There are people reading the title today and getting ready to burn me in effigy. They will say that they know of this guy, or at least know the guy who knows this guy, who is a great dad and doesn’t need a mom to help him through the day. I am sure such men exist just as I am sure that there are men who can run a five minute mile and solve quantum formulae as they do so. They exist but they are not common. I am talking about guys like Earl. You know him. He sits at the end of the bar, nurses his $1.50 Schlitz and wonders when Cutler is going to live up to the hype. He will also drain a shot in honor of Derrick Rose, discuss baseball in January and wonder aloud why there are no more high quality TV shows like Dukes of Hazard. Not that Earl’s a bad guy, he’s not, it’s just that his focus might need the occasional tweak if he is going to be responsible for kids. Guys can be great dads as long as there is someone to issue little reminders like “dirty clothes in the washing machine, dirty baby in the tub.” As you can readily tell, without intervention, men would never have clean clothes.
Oh, yeah, and bad things would happen to the baby.
The person intervening can be male, female or some combination thereof, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that there needs to be someone who takes that extra step when it comes to child care.
A simple example. When I was around 7 years old my grandfather got tasked with watching me and a couple of my cousins. He wanted to finish putting in the dog kennels. So, obviously, he gave us a bag of M-80’s and told us to go play safely so he wouldn’t get yelled at.
The fact that I am alive today is exclusively do to a neighbor lady who called my granny once she realized what we were about to do. While I thought her humorless at the time I can see now how M-80’s and gas tanks in trucks might not be a good combination.
So why are people surprised that Art Deaner almost went to jail for kidnapping when he tried to pick up his niece? It would be obvious to any guy you’d care to ask.
A man narrowly escaped abduction charges after he mistakenly picked up the wrong girl from a New Jersey school.
Courtney Durr was waiting to be picked up by her mom’s friend after school in Gloucester City, N.J., on Tuesday. At the same location, Art Deaner was supposed to pick up his friend’s daughter, Courtney Fetters.
When Deaner arrived and saw Courtney Durr, who looked vaguely like the girl he was told to pick up, he called for her to come inside his vehicle.
“I told her I was looking for Courtney,'” said Deaner. “And the young girl said her name was Courtney.”
“I got off the bus and he pulled up and he asked if there was a Courtney,” said Courtney Durr. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ My crossing guard let me go and I went with him.”
Courtney Durr knew she was being picked up by her mom’s friend so she reluctantly went inside. There was only one problem: Deaner was supposed to pick up 6-year-old Courtney Fetters, not 9-year-old Courtney Durr.
Deaner hadn’t seen Fetters in some weeks and the girl recently got a haircut so he assumed Durr was the Courtney he was looking for.
“My girlfriend called me and said, ‘Where’s Courtney?'” said Courtney Durr’s mother, Pam Durr. “I said, ‘Well she’s supposed to be at the bus stop waiting for you.’ She said, ‘She’s not here.'”
Deaner said he started to realize something wasn’t right when he talked with the girl about a recent vacation.
“He was like, ‘You weren’t with Aunt Mary in Maine?'” said Courtney Durr. “No, I would never have been in Maine.”
“I know Courtney was in Maine for two weeks,” said Deaner. “I had to turn around and take her back. I got the wrong Courtney.”
Police, however, were already on his trail. They pulled Deaner over and arrested him.
The crossing guard noticed that Durr went inside a vehicle that she didn’t normally go in. Fearing an abduction, the crossing guard recorded Deaner’s license number and alerted police. After asking him several questions, however, police say they realized it was all a mix up and didn’t file charges.
Courtney Fetters was found safe and sound while Courtney Durr was reunited with her mother.
“I forgive them!” said Pam Durr. “They didn’t know any better because they haven’t seen her in a while.”
There was also a lesson learned.
“Don’t go in someone’s car when you don’t know ’em,” said Courtney Durr.
While Deaner had trouble recognizing the right Courtney, he tells NBC10 he’ll always remember what she looks like now.
“I won’t forget,” said Deaner. “I’ll take a picture.”
Okay, let’s count the many things that were done wrong;
- (1) Courtney #1 has never been taught not to get in the car with strangers.
- (1)(a) She has never been taught a code word that an adult would use in cases like this or in an emergency.
- (2) The mom of Courtney #2 knew her daughter’s appearance had been changed but neglected to tell the guy picking her up.
- (3) Mr. Deaner (rhymes with Neener) didn’t ask one useful question of the child or himself.
A simple, “Hi, are you Courtney Fetters?” would have prevented everything.
But, as noted above, Art’s a guy. Just like Harvey Whetstone.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG (FOX! Sports) every Friday around 9:10 AM.