Grandparents Paul and Belinda Berloni were arrested Sunday by Sarasota County Florida sheriff's deputies for driving their SUV down a public access road while drunk ... and towing their 7-year-old granddaughter in her toy plastic car.
A good time was being had by all, reports NBCMiami.com, with drunken Paul driving the SUV, drunken Belinda in the SUV's cargo area shouting encouragement through the open hatch and the presumably sober little girl wheeling along in the toy car.
Did I mention that they were using two dog leashes tied together as a tow rope and the girl was wearing a bathing suit as protection against road rash in the event of a driving fail? Yeah, there was that, too
Belinda also admitted to having a few drinks, but added that she "understood that it was dangerous to drag a child behind the vehicle but stated they were just having fun and had been doing it all day," the affidavit said.
In the interest of full disclosure, I admit this story kind of reminds me of my childhood, well, except for the drunken driving part.
My dad used to tow us kids behind our Suburban on inner tubes along snow-covered mountain back roads during the winter. It was awesome.
I have to admit that I thought it sounded like brilliant fun for a kid to be towed in a tiny car. My dad probably would've done it, except, y'know, sober, with an actual tow rope and not on a city street next to a four lane roadway.
Still, he would've said, "Kids, get your driving clothes on, we're gonna make us a convoy!"
We owned lawn darts, too. Played with them unsupervised.
So part of me wants to tell Belinda to cut yourself some slack, honey. It's not like you were scraping the child down the pavement like wedding cans on a string.
But the other part of me totally knows it's fair that Paul faces charges that include a fourth DUI offense, driving with a suspended license and cruelty toward a child, and Belinda, out of jail Monday on supervised released, faces a child cruelty charge.
Still, the real gem of the day came from Belinda's son, the little girl's dad. NBC Miami reported the affidavit reads: "he believed his mom and stepdad had a drinking problem that may have affected their decision making."
Errrr, right. No word yet on any charges against the dad for leaving his child with people he voted most-likely to be influenced by alcohol.
At least he had the presence of mind not to say: "Dangit, Mom! I told you last time you took my little girl out to play 'Drunk Barbie: Princess Driver Gone Wild' that you need to put sunscreen on her!"
(Best life lesson to take away from this day? It's so tedious to be the only sober person surrounded by drunks at http://viewnorth40.wordpress.com.)