This is a true story, sadly.
It was a busy day for Biff and me, one of lots of fun things, some practical things too, and which culminated in a trip to the grocery store for meat and chocolate chips (primary on the list but not the ONLY things thereon).
The temps were a wee tad high, in the high 80's to low 90s, so some of the effort-requiring things did cause one to break out in a bit of a glow. Thank goodness for air conditioning!
Anyhow, on our way out of the store and as we were packing the van with the delicious nom-makings, we couldn't help but notice a woman standing oddly next to our car looking into the one next to us. You know what I mean - she was all lookee-lou into the next-over car, and it was quickly evident why: There was a young boy of maybe three years old strapped into his carseat in the backseat, fast asleep. Next to him was in infant carrier wit ha baby in it, also fast asleep.
And alone in a locked car with the windows shut tight.
Did I mention the temps? This handy infographic
might inform as to what was going on inside of it. Notice how, at 10 minutes, the inside of a car that's sitting in the sun as this one was would have an internal temp of almost 110 degrees. In 10 minutes! In 20 minutes? 119F.
From the time we noticed, at least 5 minutes had passed. Heat building every moment.
Because nothing was hapening very fast on behalf on those babies, I went in to notify the store manager. She very quickly got all the info I know and then she made a storewide announcement I heard LOUD AND CLEAR that the driver of a Red Toyota should come to the service desk immediately. Repeated it twice. I made sure to stay for that.
Returned to our van, where Biff was standing watch over the babies. Five more minutes passed, nobody's doing anything about the kids trapped asleep in the heating-up red freaking PRIUS. The store manager comes out, looks very concerned, and seems to agree to call the cops then returns to the car.
At this point at least 15 minutes have gone by after we noticed the kids in the back of the car, possibly getting their brains stewed.
Nobody has yet come out to go 'oops! Forgot the kids were with me because they were so quiet! My God I hope they're OK!' or even just to open the damn doors and turn on the A/C for them so they don't experience heat shock. NOTHING is happening to get those kids out.
We back then van into a spot not directly next to the car and decide to wait and see if the cops come. 5 more minutes go by. Nothing.
I am next to being ready to bust out the windows with the hammer that I KNOW is in the back of the van when a younger man, perhaps in his early 30s, approaches the car. He goes to the back of it, then opens the hatch to put in his groceries. Not once does he look in the car. Then he steps to the front door, unlocks it, gets in, and PUTS IN FREAKING EARBUDS immediately, never once turning to the backseat or otherwise visibly seeming to check on his children. From what I could see, there's no way he could have known what the condition of the baby was - the toddler was easy to see. No checking. Not a word said. Nothing. He was the king of Don't Give a Damn, and he clearly wasn't going to give up that crown.
Keep in mind that about 20 minutes had gone by since we noticed what was happening. Never mind that someone could have come by and STOLEN those children, who knows how long the kiddoes had been there prior to us noticing? At 30 minutes of exposure that car would have been at 124F. A greenhouse, if not a bakery, and not any temp I'd want to spend any time at. How long would Lord Moron have wanted to spend in that car?? Not nearly as long as he expected his kids to, I'm sure, I'm sure.
But dude was casual, easy-breezy, hey-the-kids-are-quiet kind of earbud-wearing asshole who locks his kids in the car on a hot Southern afternoon and goes to do his shopping because it's awesomely easy to do without kids and man they need their rest, right? kind of jerkface obtuse child-endangering fuckwit who shouldn't be allowed to have a pet FISH much less children of his own loins as his legacy
that makes the blood of concerned parents boil and their souls flame when they know they can do almost nothing except maybe punch him the virtual face every time they think of what happened and howclosetheywere to smashing out the windows of his car to get those kids to some of the AC that Daddy was enjoying while he was shopping for his pita chips and IPA.
GOD I AM STEAMED.
And so, if I ever see that car with the license plate I've memorized
around town, I'll be real careful to pray for that man and his need for wisdom and that he needs to be aware that that he is the loving protector of his family and should always put them ahead of himself. Because otherwise, I might just jump out my car and slap some sense into that smugmug.