In The Midst Of Madness

Things happen that make me think we live in a very strange world.

Take this as a for instance. We’re at a local park. A mother is pushing her small daughter on a swing. A father of another child is waiting impatiently nearby for his kid to have a turn.

He asks the woman how long her daughter will be. She replies five minutes. Apparently, that was the wrong answer. The father takes matters into his own hands. He manhandles the little girl from the swing and tries to replace her with his child.

The mother of the little girl is understandably shocked and outraged by this obvious show of rudeness. But what she does next might surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

She called the cops. Now I don’t know if that is what most mothers would do but that’s what she did. Amazingly, the local police arrived very soon after in their police car probably with lights and sirens blazing.. I bet you wouldn’t get that kind of service if you were ringing to report a burglary. Never mind. It seems our police have nothing better to do than to waste their time. Ok. The man was a stranger. He was rude. He had no right to touch her child. But calling the cops? Give me a break.

The police spoke to the two respective parents. A police inspector later released the following statement

“Police attended the scene, there was a dispute over one child staying on the swing longer than reasonable. The police spoke to both parties, and no offence was detected by the police. Neither party wanted to make a further complaint. From the information police had at the scene there was no incident.”

You can say that again. Like I said. It was a complete waste of valuable police time. Of course this soap opera doesn’t end here. It was bound to be replayed on social media, which it was, as these kinds of incidents have a habit of doing. And you might be interested in knowing the response it got.

One mother was right behind the decision to call the police. After all, the father concerned was teaching his child disgusting manners and how to be impatient and rude. Well that must be a criminal offence.

Another opined that a stranger touching your child is not something you can just let go. If the mother had tried to sort it out herself there is no telling what the man might have done. Taken it out on her perhaps. The issue clearly was the fact that he got physical. I guess you would call it child rage.

Yet another said I would definitely call the police. The heart stopping feeling of some stranger picking up your child would be enough to make me smash him in the face with the swing. Of course that kind of advice would only result in the mother being arrested and charged with assault.

It must have looked like a crazy scene. The idea of armed police (they all carry guns and tasers these days) descending on a child’s playground would be disconcerting for everyone especially the children.

I just think what a waste of precious resources. Instead of doing what they should be doing and making our streets and neighbourhoods safer places to live in, the cops are responding to a call about two adults fighting over a swing.

But of course it raises some interesting questions: Should the mother have called the police? Well should she? What would you do if you found yourself in that situation?