Lady at Starbucks Loudly Accuses Mom of Child Abuse! Just Now!

I’m sitting inside a dinky Starbucks. About eight people are standing in line for fancy joes. It’s a baking 95 degrees outside.

A woman—30ish, cut-off jeans, sleeveless tee—just burst into the store and called out, “Hey! Does anyone in here have a car out there with four kids in it?” No one replied; everyone just did the “Nothing Scary or In Any Way Weird is Happening Here” freeze. I’m tucked into a corner, so no one can see me anyway.

“Okay!” cried the woman. “If that’s your car out there with the four kids in it, you need to know I’m about to call the police!” I got significantly less interested than I had been in checking my blog stats.

There’s this long pause, and then this fairly yuppiesh-looking woman standing in line for coffee says in an offended voice, “Excuse me, but that’s my car.” Once they knew they wouldn’t be directly involved everyone felt free to openly follow the drama unfolding before them. I know I was staring like a lemur.

“What is the matter with you?” said my new hero. “You can’t leave your kids out in the car in this kind of heat! Are you insane?”

The outed terrible mother looked over the shoulder of the person in front of her to access how close she is to the front of the line. “I’ll be there soon, okay?” she said to her accuser.

“What kind of [bad word] is this ?” said a guy with dreadlocks waiting behind her.

“You [bad verb] [bad noun]!” said the first woman. She popped open her cellphone and went back outside for better reception. “Unbelievable.”

The bad mom, remaining where she was, rolled her eyes and shook her head, as if to say “Can you believe the nerve of some people?”

“We’re not serving you,” said the girl behind the counter.

And that’s what it took for the World’s Worst Mom to finally go outside and … well, rescue her kids and stay out jail, I guess.

Man. Some people sure do like Starbucks.

No, but … there it is. One minute you’re just sitting there wondering if you feel like writing a blog post, and the next you’re ready to commit suicide. Or murder.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Anita

    Loved your article. Just sitting here reading blogs about "I hate starbucks" with my daughter (who happens to be a Starbucks barista and hater) and with my sister who teaches writing. We all laughed our (bad word) off. Personally, I am not a Starbucks fan and only go there when I am literally dying of thirst (and then sometimes order only water). However, your article highlights the fact that sometimes the best things in life do happen at Starbucks and you got to be there for one of those moments! Lucky you.

  • MM

    Was hoping the mom would have said something like "Geez, I was planning on buying them a bottle of water?"

  • Greta Sheppard

    In my mind . . .the real hero in this story, (besides the lady with the cell phone who spotted the kids in the car)….was the girl behind the counter…. who refused to take the order, which would have delayed the thoughtless mom even more….. causing the children extra suffering! Bravo for the quick thinking!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    MM: A bottle of water wouldn't have done it. It had to have been 115-120 degrees in that car.

    Anita: Thanks very much. You can't possibly care, but if here on my blog you punch in a search for "Starbucks," you'll get more posts than you could possibly want to read.

  • Sammy L.

    How long was she in Starbucks? Was the car running? Was the air conditioning on? Did she have line of sight to her vehicle?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yes, Greta: The Starbucks girl was the definite second hero of this little saga. It was enough to almost make me feel bad for having earlier lifted a dollar out of her tip jar when no one was looking. (Kidding! And it was very nice to hear everyone applauding her after the crazy mom left.)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    (Check this out: Yesterday a reader sent me $4 [via my paypal button here] to tip the heroic Starbucks worker. How sweet is that?)

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Sammy: I’d say the mom was in the store for about three minutes before the other lady came in. I don’t know if the car was running or if its A.C. was on. I know she couldn’t see the car.

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  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    Yeah the mom dropped the ball on that one in a major way. Bravo to the Starbucks girl.

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  • Archie Mck

    John, I think you live around some of the most interesting coffee shops… and major props to the Barista.

  • http://www.steppingintothelight.net Diane L. Harris

    On this subject, John, I live by the rule that (whatever the weather, and even if they want to to stay in the car) no one gets left in the car while I go in the store unless they are old enough to go shop in the store while I wait in the car.

    Thank God for the bright barista's stand for sanity.