I've told this story to a few people over the years but I don't believe ever in public and definitely not online. Prepare to be chilled to the bone as I reveal to you a real life example of how impulsive actions could have dire consequences.
I kept a day journal while growing up in Southeast Texas so I'm positive that this happened on Sunday January 27, 1991. My pal, Daniel, and I were sitting at a McDonald's window seat on one of the main streets in our hometown... this would be right where the 'M' logo is in the photo above. It was sometime around 12:30 pm or so and I was probably telling him about the middle-aged stripper that crashed my gig the night before. Gross.
The local churches usually finished around 11:30 am and now it was about the time where those post-amen lunches would be coming to an end. Across the street, a large party of nicely-dressed families came out of the Texas-based chain, Pizza Inn. They're all standing in the parking lot chatting it up not realizing what was about to happen to the youngest one among them.
A small boy, maybe 3-4 years old, broke away from their group and starting walking in our direction. By the time I realized what was happening, he was close to walking into four lanes of vehicles blazing back and forth. Daniel is talking to me but my focus is on the little boy and I'm waiting for one of his family members to come to his rescue but they were too engaged in conversation. The Pizza Inn picture above is almost exactly my point of view from our table across the street.
So I bolted from the table, crashed through the double doors, and ran towards the boy as he got closer and closer to the main street. I zig-zagged through a few passing cars and reached him as he was taking his first step on the asphalt. I quickly scooped him up and triumphantly walked towards his family who was still engaged in their parking lot conversation. That's when the mother turned and saw a complete stranger holding their kid... not a 'selfless hero who risked personal injury for the safety of her offspring'. She hurries over and grabs him away while giving me the scowling of my life!
I took a breath to explain what had happened so they wouldn't think I was the 'World's Worst Child Abductor' but... they all left in a hurry. I'd like to think they left not from the implied 'creepo factor' but from embarrassment that their kid had wandered off without them realizing it. I slowly walked back to McDonald's where Daniel asked, "What the heck was that all about?!?" and he laughed at their disgusted reaction. He also said I was lucky they didn't rough me up for holding their kid. We talked about it for a few more minutes and then moved on.
Sometimes I wonder would what would've happened had I not got up from my seat 29 years ago. Turns out, that same little boy dramatically changed the lives of a lot of people because he grew up to be The Coronavirus <cue dramatic music>. So the next time you see a kid in danger, give pause before leaping to the rescue as they could be a ticking global pathogen bomb.
😁Ok... so everything is true except the coronavirus part and this was purposely written in a clickbait style cause it's such a dumb little story that is best told in person... so forgive the ACTION EXTREMENESS that was laid on pretty thick.