It's petty to indulge in other people's tragedies and yet HERE I GO:
The other night we were leaving Disneyland at closing time and had a seat outside the park to let the crush of people exiting a chance to get away from us (trust me, it's better to ride the bench for 10 minutes than to stand in the tram line and get jostled all to heck by 10,000 people trying to push their way to the front of the line). While we were there, we saw 2 ladies (Dumb Lady and Other Lady) come back from the restroom outside the park to a pair of empty strollers being attended by a young girl (Dumb Lady's daughter). Dumb Lady asked the girl where her brother was and the girl said "he's not here" and DL yelled SHUT UP at the top of her voice and repeated the question. The girl said again that the brother wasn't with her. At this point, Other Lady and her young son walked up to retrieve the stroller and inquired about the other child. DL yelled at OL "He's not with you?!" and then started running back and forth, screaming the child's name* and whipping herself into a panic.
At this point, I felt concern. I was looking all around for a small child, trying to think of where he could have/would have gone. I considered volunteering to help her find the kid and was keeping an eye open for anyone under 5 feet walking alone.
After about 5 minutes, DL ran back to the exit gates and literally shoved her way back through the crowds (while the Disneyland staff was trying to stop her and explain that the park was closed and she couldn't come in). DL had a BIG voice, so we could hear her berating the staff about her lost child and why they shouldn't try and stop her. The Disney staff alerted security who had to run to catch DL to ask for a description and explain the procedures, etc. all the while she's yelling at the top of her lungs at them about how could they have lost her child like this. Then she started yelling through the exit gates at OL "why are you just standing there? GO LOOK FOR HIM!" and indicated that OL should go to the security exit (near the tram stop) to see if the boy was there.
In just a few minutes, she had found her son still in Disneyland, by himself standing and looking at toys at a souvenir cart. The boy was undisturbed at all and didn't understand what the big deal was. DL came back out the exit gates yelling at everyone else. The Disney staff who were somehow implicated in "letting this happen" and the son for "wandering off" and the daughter who "should have been watching him."
This is where I truly lost my patience. This is a woman who walked OUT OF DISNEYLAND without her toddler and didn't realize her mistake for at least 10 minutes. She went to the restroom and stood around for a while before she even thought 'hm. Wonder who's watching the baby?' How does this happen?! I understand that kids run off, I do. But this kid didn't run. He was still in the last place that the family visited before they left -- which means that DL paid for her souvenirs and walked away. Also, this kid was maybe 2-3 years old, so why wasn't she holding his hand? In a crushing crowd of thousands of people, you just don't let go. It's enough of a challenge for 3 adults to stay together in a crowd like that.
By pure luck (or bad timing), we walked through the security exit just after DL did and she was yelling at the security lady there too. Security Lady was trying to calm her down and explain that Disneyland has procedures in place and her job is to never let a child leave unescorted, so if in the future the boy ever 'ran off' again, to immediately alert a staff member and they'd tighten security everywhere to look for him and that they usually return children to their families in just a few minutes. Well, this didn't sit right with DL who got right up in the (elderly) Security Lady's face and said (in the most condescending and LOUD way possible) "well, I'm sure you think you know what you're doing but when my kid is missing, don't tell me to stand around and be calm! I have a loud mouth and I'm going to use it**! I'm like a mama bear and I'll kill anyone who tries to touch my kid! And you guys didn't do anything to help! I lost my kid! You can't understand that!"
At which point, I was on my way to give this lady a what-for. The security guard had NO ROLE in HER walking out of Disneyland without her child. There was no kidnapping, no gun heist, no terrorist plot. SHE was the dumb ass who left and didn't realize her mistake for 10 minutes. There was no call whatsoever to be rude to the people who were trying to help. But Ryan stopped me from saying anything because this lady was kinda trashy and he was legitimately afraid that this lady would punch me. So I yelled from the background "don't yell at her" which was a small consolation, but seriously, why should the little old security lady go home upset that some crazy lady was screaming at her? That's not fair.
Now: I understand that kids run off. My brother was a prime example. He'd see a big crowd and go tearing into it and when you'd get close to catching him he'd yell "she hits me!" or "stop pinching me!" or "child abuse" because he was a little turd. So I get it that some kids do run off. But this one didn't. SHE was the one who ran off. And everyone else was punished for it. It chaps my hide.
My regret is that I didn't go slap Dumb Lady across her dumb face. Accidents happen, families get separated, whatever. But don't go berating the people who are trying to help you and rudeness is never ok.
*which, incidentally, was something totally stupid
**of course, she didn't see the irony in saying this