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'Meanest mom on planet' sells son's car


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#1 of 67 Paul Padilla

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Posted January 09 2008 - 05:43 AM

'Meanest mom on planet' sells son's car - CNN.com

Thumbs up for not tolerating the behavior and taking decisive action. There aren't nearly enough consequences for kids by and large.

Thumbs waaaay down for the newspaper ad. Shaming and humiliation are horrible teaching tools. I guess she thought that a pillory might be overdoing it a bit.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the "meanest mom on the planet."
After finding alcohol in her son's car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old's misdeed with everyone -- by placing an ad in the local newspaper.
The ad reads: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."
Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in The Des Moines Register.
The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge says she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man who wanted to congratulate her.
"The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I'm telling people what happened here," Hambleton says. "I'm not just gonna put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision.
"It's overwhelming the number of calls I've gotten from people saying 'Thank you, it's nice to see a responsible parent.' So far there are no calls from anyone saying, 'You're really strict. You're real overboard, lady."'
The only critic is her son, who Hambleton says is "very, very unhappy" with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger.
Hambleton believes her son but has decided mercy isn't the best policy in this case. She says she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep it locked.
The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week -- just for the feedback.


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#2 of 67 Todd H

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Posted January 09 2008 - 05:50 AM

Nice. Good to see holding a child accountable for his actions making a comeback.

#3 of 67 Zack Gibbs

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Posted January 09 2008 - 05:56 AM

If he was drinking and driving, and there's nothing to indicate he was, that would be one thing. But he's 19 years old for god's sake, what a bitch.
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#4 of 67 Dheiner

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Posted January 09 2008 - 06:11 AM

Quote:
If he was drinking and driving, and there's nothing to indicate he was
What, exactly, do you call a bottle of booze under the front seat?

That's circumstantial evidence, at the very least.
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#5 of 67 TravisR

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Posted January 09 2008 - 06:14 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack Gibbs
If he was drinking and driving, and there's nothing to indicate he was...
What about the cans in the car? It could have been someone else's but if he was sober and too dumb to pull the empty cans out of his car, he deserves to get busted by his mom for stupidity. In the end, he's getting off light because if he had been pulled over AND sober, he'd still lose his driver's license for having liquor under age. And if he was drunk, he would have gotten a DUI under age. Either way, it's alot better to have your mommy sell your car then get nailed by the cops in either situation.

However, I gotta go with Paul, it's good that she nailed him but it's also way overboard to take out an ad in the newspaper.

#6 of 67 Zack Gibbs

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Posted January 09 2008 - 06:23 AM

It doesn't say anything about "cans in the car". It just says there was alcohol under the seat. As long as its not an open container, again nothing indicates it was, then its both perfectly legal and understandable considering he has a mom who'd just as soon sell his car if she found out.

Obviously we don't know everything, if theres actual evidence that says he was using alcohol irresponsibly then that's one thing, if there isn't then she's a total bitch.
"Because he's the hero that Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now... and so we'll hunt him... because he can take it... because he's not a hero... he's a silent guardian, a watchful protector... a DARK KNIGHT."

#7 of 67 TravisR

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Posted January 09 2008 - 06:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack Gibbs
It doesn't say anything about "cans in the car". It just says there was alcohol under the seat. As long as its not an open container, again nothing indicates it was, then its both perfectly legal and understandable considering he has a mom who'd just as soon sell his car if she found out.
OK, he had alcohol under the seat. To me, it seems safe to assume that he had been drinking but, in all fairness, it doesn't say that. Whether it was open or not, he's not legal drinking age and should have no alcohol whether it's open or not. And like I said, he got off lucky compared to the legal problems if the police caught him.

EDIT: I will agree with you that she's a total bitch for taking out the newspaper ad though. Posted Image

#8 of 67 KevinGress

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Posted January 09 2008 - 06:55 AM

I'd say she's totally justified in both selling the car, and the newspaper ad.

Don't forget- there was an agreement between the 2- no alcohol, and to keep it locked. He obviously fell down on the first one, and perhaps even the second from the fact that she found it.

If the alcohol wasn't his he should be responsible enough to do a sweep after getting home. (oh, and lock the car)

As far as her being a bitch because of the ad, two things: 1) if he isn't responsible enough to earn the money to buy his own car (he's obviously living at home, so expenses must be low) he needs to live with the terms, and the consequences. 2) The little bit of humiliation he has to suffer because of this is much less than the humiliation (hopefully) and cost involved if caught with alcohol by authorities.

She's done her son a big service, overall, and should be applauded for it.

#9 of 67 andrew markworthy

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Posted January 09 2008 - 07:20 AM

I think we need both sides of the story in order to make an accurate judgement:

(1) if son had been drinking, then I entirely concur with the mother's actions. First, because he'd been told the rules, and second, because I have yet to hear any sane argument in favour of DUI.

(2) But before taking such a drastic step, I'd want to be certain that the son really had been DUI. Having booze in the car is not really sufficient proof. Yes, it's circumstantial, but it isn't unequivocal. And if the son is drinking and (separately) driving when sober, then that is another matter entirely. That needs a mature discussion, not punishment. Banning alcohol under all circumstances (unless for religious reasons) is simply making it forbidden fruit and all the more tempting.

(3) And before punishing the son so harshly, I think the mother should ask herself how she's managed to raise a son who did something that dumb.

#10 of 67 Rod_Rigo

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Posted January 09 2008 - 07:35 AM

I think 10 years from now he'll appreciate what his mom did for him.

#11 of 67 Adam Lenhardt

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Posted January 09 2008 - 07:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew markworthy
(2) But before taking such a drastic step, I'd want to be certain that the son really had been DUI. Having booze in the car is not really sufficient proof. Yes, it's circumstantial, but it isn't unequivocal. And if the son is drinking and (separately) driving when sober, then that is another matter entirely. That needs a mature discussion, not punishment. Banning alcohol under all circumstances (unless for religious reasons) is simply making it forbidden fruit and all the more tempting.
The drinking age in the United States is 21. The boy is 19. It was already banned by society.

#12 of 67 Craig S

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Posted January 09 2008 - 07:48 AM

Quote:
Thumbs waaaay down for the newspaper ad. Shaming and humiliation are horrible teaching tools.
Quote:
However, I gotta go with Paul, it's good that she nailed him but it's also way overboard to take out an ad in the newspaper.
Quote:
I will agree with you that she's a total bitch for taking out the newspaper ad though.
Uhh, all of you who are criticizing her for this ad, please re-read it.
Quote:
The ad reads: "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."
The ad isn't denigrating the son at all!! All of the insults are self-deprication by the Mom.

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#13 of 67 MarkMel

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Posted January 09 2008 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
I think 10 years from now he'll appreciate what his mom did for him.

So will everybody else on the road within his driving area.
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#14 of 67 KurtEP

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Posted January 09 2008 - 07:52 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew markworthy
I think the mother should ask herself how she's managed to raise a son who did something that dumb.

Probably the most important point.
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#15 of 67 Nathan*W

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Posted January 09 2008 - 08:10 AM

Point 1: It's her car, not his - she can do what she wants with it.

Point 2: He broke the verbal contract, his alcohol or not. (And I'm inclined to think it was his. I mean, how many of us have friends that buy things just to leave them in our car? "Yeah, I just spent good money on this liqueur, so I'm just gonna shove it under your seat, mm'kay?" The kid's defense that it's a friend's booze ranks up there with the "these aren't my pants" quote from that famous COPS episode.

Point 3: The ad only talks about her finding of the alcohol, and doesn't even state who she thought it belonged to in a witty way. Clever IMO.

Living in her house means living by her rules. If he doesn't like it, he's old enough to move out, and then he can do whatever he likes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew markworthy
I think the mother should ask herself how she's managed to raise a son who did something that dumb.
Oh, I don't know about that. I suspect we've all done something at one time or another that directly contradicts what we were taught by our parents. I know I've done things that would make my parents die of shame if they ever found out, things that they never, never taught me. There comes a point when your children are their own people, making their own decisions (and mistakes) for themselves.
 

#16 of 67 Paul Padilla

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Posted January 09 2008 - 08:12 AM

Quote:
The ad isn't denigrating the son at all!!
It isn't self deprecating...it's sarcasm in the implied demeanor of the son. It specifically cites the alcohol being discovered as the reason and broadcasts it to the entire world.

I wasn't entirely joking when I referenced a pillory. Pillories were used to bind a person forcing them to endure public ridicule. She chose to broadcast her sons error in judgement (regardless if he actually drank or if the alcohol was really his) to the world and use humiliation as a form of punishment. He should forfeit the car, not his dignity.
I'm a ****ing idiot 'cause I can't make a lamp?
No, you're a genius 'cause you can't make a lamp.
What do you know about trigonometry?
I could care less about trigonometry.
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#17 of 67 Nathan*W

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Posted January 09 2008 - 08:25 AM

Would you make the same claim about any other newspaper article that had derogatory content toward an individual? Does that fact that it's an ad, not an article, diminish the mom's 1st Amendment rights? Isn't stating facts as they know them to be, what media outlets do on an ongoing and regular basis?

It's not a punishment, it's life. The message for the son is: Don't do anything that you wouldn't want printed on the front page.
 

#18 of 67 Malcolm R

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Posted January 09 2008 - 08:30 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Webel
Point 1: It's her car, not his - she can do what she wants with it.

Living in her house means living by her rules. If he doesn't like it, he's old enough to move out, and then he can do whatever he likes.
Exactly right. Kid needs to grow up.
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#19 of 67 troy evans

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Posted January 09 2008 - 08:32 AM

With alcohol related accidents resulting in hundreds if not thousands of deaths every year, I think the mother should be praised. She not only wants her son to live a long life, she wants to share what she's done with others. Perhaps in the hope they will do the same. I have four highschools in my area and every once in awhile they put a totalled car in which a student or students have died due to DUI in front of the school as an example. So he's humiliated, big damn deal. At least he's alive and not in jail. Not to mention the other lives that could have been potentially saved here. If she's a bitch, it's in the best possible way.
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#20 of 67 Cameron Yee

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Posted January 09 2008 - 09:52 AM

Quote:
The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week -- just for the feedback.
This part bothers me more than anything, not so much because it's "mean" but that it's petty. She made her point already - why rub it in (or make it seem you're just into the attention it's stirred up)?
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