Sunday, April 02, 2006

Blueberry Waffles

I sat at the tall table, shoveling blueberry waffles with peanut butter and fresh berries into my mouth. The coffee was hot. The orange juice was fresh.

The Monkey mashed bananas and grinned at Mama from from her high-seated position above the hungry dog. It was a nice Sunday morning Springtime breakfast at the Gin & Tonic house. A rare April sunbreak poured cool white light onto the early bulb blooms, and reflected rays through the French doors from the dew-dripped stem tips of the rhododendron in in the back yard.

The Monkey rehearsed the run of her six-word vocabulary, while mama processed the possibilities of which cake to bake for the office party on Monday. I paid particular attention to my scrambled eggs as I paged lazily through the ad-laden Sunday Oregonian.

It was then that a column title caught my eye: To Portlanders, a toddler in peril is everyone's child.

However, it was the sub-title that hooked me: MAX station incident - Passers-by come unhesitantly to an Eastern Oregon couple's aid when a stranger grabs their daughter.

The article, like this blog, was a little over-written, but told the tale of a couple visiting Portland over the weekend with their two young children. While riding on the mass-transit train that bisects the pedestrian-friendly city center, a man snatched their baby daughter and darted out onto the sidewalk.

The gist of the tale was that, unlike the harrowing horror stories of civil disinterest you hear about in New York, damn near every Portlander within earshot of the screaming mother literally ran to the rescue, from the 14-year old boy who chased down the child thief to the fat man wearing a tie who pinned the bastard's arms. The author heaped praise upon the Portlanders at the scene, and the civic-minded city in general.

As I scanned the story, and the details unfolded, I began to lose interest in the back patting and the cock sucking. There was a growing buzz in my head, and I found myself becoming angry, furious even. I read faster looking for IT. The story was long enough, and enough detail was provided, that IT had to be there. I kept reading, and finally, there IT was.

IT was the response of the father.

"Helmuth Rogg (the father of the girl) wrapped his hands around the man's neck and pressed his knee into his chest. 'What are you doing?' he asked. 'What are you thinking?'"

"Not bad," I thought to myself. I expect that my hands would automatically go for the throat too. But what then? I tried to put myself in his place, there on the sidewalk, staring into the eyes of a monster. What would I do with my hands around the neck of the man who tried to steal my daughter. Am I capable of great violence?

I have my suspicions, but I never want to find out.

...So, I put away the paper, and smiled at the banana-splattered Monkey. That made me feel mostly better almost instantly. Although, the article, and my emotional reaction to it, continued to haunt me throughout the day.

If you'd like to read the whole story, you can find it HERE.


  1. I don't have to read the full article to know full well what I would do to anybody that makes the fatal mistake of messing with MY little monkey. All I can say is-- quick deaths are too merciful and easy...

  2. right, and you're a trained military killer...

  3. I've already trained my son to kick and pummel his daddy... actually, he was only imitating what he saw me do, but still... it's cute to see him readily comply when I say "Kick Daddy!"


  4. Mrs. Tom9:24 PM

    I like when you post stories like that because it makes me see you as a grown up.

  5. But I've assured her you're not.

  6. oh if you want to see me as a grown up, I've got pictures for you...

  7. Are those the pictures with you and the midget?


Be compelling.

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