Idiot Man Throws Pop Tart On Toddler, Mom Responds By Assaulting Him
Scene: the gas pumps at a convenience store, 8:30 on a Tuesday night. Without warning, a half-eaten Pop Tart in its wrapper sails through the open window of a mini-van, smashing to pieces on the pavement below. Pop quiz: having witnessed this insidious act of littering, how should you respond?
A. Roll your eyes and ignore it
B. Roll your eyes and pick up the garbage to put it in the trash
C. Pick up the trash and approach the car to say, “Excuse me! I think you dropped this.”
D. Pick up the trash and fling it into the face of whoever is on the other side of the open car window
If you picked A, B, or C: Congratulations! You have passed the “reasonable human being” test. If you picked D, though, you are probably a man in Des Moines who decided the best possible reaction to see a half-eaten breakfast pastry on the ground was to totally lose his shit.
Of course, after answering littering with total lunacy, the man realized that the target of his breakfast pastry onslaught was a very startled two-year-old (the primary audience for the frosting-covered cardboard that is a Pop Tart). He also must have realized that the toddler’s mom was pretty pissed about his over-the-top retaliation, probably around the moment when she punched him in the face.
Officers were soon on the scene to take statements, none of which help alleviate my feeling that everyone involved in this story is off their rocker. In his report to the authorities, the man protested that he simply hadn’t seen that the person he was throwing a pastry at was a small child. The mother, meanwhile, acknowledged that she had seen the Pop Tart get ejected from her car, but didn’t have a lot to say about why her first response was to start throwing punches. (The officers were also able to report the salient detail that there were Pop Tart crumbs in the child’s hair.) No charges have been pressed so far by either party, but if there were a charge for “failing to act like grown-ass adults in public” I think it’s safe to say both of these people would be seeing their day in court.
For the man, I really want to know: you claim that you didn’t know the person you were flinging a pastry at was a child. Did you know that, besides allowing the passage of food and garbage, car windows are also able to be looked through (especially if they are open)? And if you’re looking through a car window and can’t see the person you know is on the other side of it, could it be that the person is of the very, very small variety? And for the mom, I understand wanting to protect your child from all threats (including those of the breakfast variety). But if you were in the position to see your kid throw the Pop Tart as you described to the officers on scene, you would have been able to see the man throw the Pop Tart back. I think we can all agree that he is (ironically) a walking garbage can of human being, but punching him in the face is more likely to get you an injured hand and an assault charge than to get those Pop Tart crumbs out of your kid’s hair.
This is truly a saga of overreaction on all sides. Come on, won’t someone please think of the children? And the Pop Tarts?