Every now and then, I have moments in which I question the basic
idea that as Americans, there is more that unites us than divides
These moments usually involve reality television marathons.
But the Post-Tribune of northwest Indiana obliged on Tuesday
with this news item about a South Dakota man who
left his three young children alone in a Hammond, Ind. motel room
while he visited a nearby strip club.
Motel security found three children, ages 7, 4 and 2, alone in
their room while Patrick Joseph Renk apparently spent a few hours
over at the Déja Vu. (On an unrelated note, is there a national
organization in charge of naming strip clubs? Phenomenal...)
"I was only gone like an hour. They were sleeping!" Renk is quoted
in court records as saying. "Why the hell were they awake? What
happened? What's the problem?"
Not leaving your kids alone in a hotel room should go without
saying, but it clearly doesn't. These stories happen with alarming
frequency: A couple in Florida leaves their 2- and
4-year-old kids alone to go swimming. A Louisville mother leaves her kids alone for 12 hours
during a power outage. And here in Chicago last August, a
4-month-old boy died alone in a filthy apartment in the Austin
neighborhood. His parents are now facing charges.
Gives a whole new meaning to "where were the parents?"
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