Mean Mom Sells Car !!

Old 01-09-2008, 09:20 PM
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Mean Mom Sells Car !!

This was in the newspaper here in Des Moines, IA this morning. SHE is my new hero!

'Meanest mom on the planet' sells son's car -- after finding booze in it

It was early last month when Jane Hambleton of Fort Dodge found the bottle under the front seat of her 19-year-old son's pride and joy.

Her next move was a call to The Des Moines Register's classified advertising department:

OLDS 1999 Intrigue

"Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for 3 weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."
The son soon found himself on foot. And the meanest mom on the planet became the target of accolades from across Iowa and beyond.

Hambleton, 48, a disc jockey, said she has fielded more than 70 telephone calls from emergency room technicians, nurses, school counselors and even a Georgia man, who wanted to congratulate her.

"The ad cost a fortune, but you know what? I'm telling people what happened here. I'm not just going to put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision," Hambleton said. "It's overwhelming, the number of calls I've gotten from people saying, 'Thank you, it's nice to see a responsible parent.' So far, there are no calls from anyone saying, 'You're really strict. You're real overboard, lady.' "
Steven Hambleton, a freshman business major at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, obviously was not one of the callers. And he didn't feel much like talking when contacted Tuesday.

"I don't think you can print" his response to the ad, his mother said. "He's very, very unhappy."

Jane Hambleton described her son as a great kid who does excellently in college and is active in church. But she'll stick to her guns, even though Steven Hambleton said that the bottle of alcohol wasn't his, and that someone else had left it in his (former) car.
For the record, Mom believes him.

But she and her husband set two rules when they bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep the car locked. The car sold within two weeks, but Hambleton said she will continue the ad for another week - just for the feedback.

"A couple in Hubbard bought it for their 19-year-old son," she said. "I told the kid when they were leaving, 'Do not have any booze in that car. And if you do, don't hide it under the front seat.' "
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:29 PM
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I just got through reading this....I thought it was great!
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:33 PM
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Good for always blows my mind that people spend this much money on cars for thier kids in the first place!
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Old 01-09-2008, 09:42 PM
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Talking Sells Son's Car...

This was one of the news articles on my computer this morning. I thought it was good....I had the same rules....only the car was mine and if alcohol or drugs showed up with use of the more car use period.

My kids had to buy their own their own insurance...and buy their own gas. So they had to have a job afterschool or be on good behavior to use my car.

The girls waited to buy cars but all of our kids learned to drive a pickup & it was a they didn't dent them up much.

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Old 01-09-2008, 09:45 PM
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I thought this was a terrific article. Apparently she doesn't have any big problems with enabling or setting boundaries! I bet her son doesn't do THAT again anytime soon...
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:04 PM
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I'm glad that you posted this here, Cats. My hubby emailed it to me today and I was so amazed that she had the strength to do that. She is my hero too !!!! Wow !!!
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:26 PM
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Now that's a perfect example of a mom who refuses to enable her child! She rocks!
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:40 PM
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Now that is my kind of parent. I hope I can be as strong as her if I am even in that same spot.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:29 PM
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That is Great! When we were growing up me and my cousins were allowed to drink (In high school) I know most of you will disagree with this.
My dad let us, my MOM had NOOOO idea (& she flipped a brick when she found out)....
But my Dad and this side of the family who let us kids knew we were going to do it anyway (and yes, lol, we were going to do it anyways), they sat us down, gave us rules... Pretty strict rules, and they explained alcohol, alcoholism, alcohol poisoning, oh gawd, so much stuff to us. OUR GOLDEN RULE was ALWAYS we had to drink at home, and never drink and drive, if we went out and we some how drank, we "would" be in trouble but we had to call them for a ride home.

We did good, but the one time we did lie.... OMG..... I can't explain to you the kind of trouble we got into.... They did not physically beat us, but it may have been better if they had.

For Me, I do believe this worked. I never had a fascination with alcohol, we never were like the other kids in High School, cause we knew we didn't have to sneak it.
I don't know. But we got more than our cars taken away, omg, our horses, our motorcycles, I didn't know a parent could get so mad at a child as they were at us that day.... I still remember the walls vibrating in the room that night, like it was tonight... ughhhh...

lol, that would have never worked w/my little brother, cuz he loves alcohol, but it worked w/us girls for some reason....

Anyways, sorry to go off on a tangent, just reminded me of my own crazy story. My Dad used to be such a good dad.
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:46 PM
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I'm glad that worked for you, Done... but I doubt it would have worked with me. I never drank for anything other than effect, and I never could drink only a few (I was a blackout drinker). Drinking at home would have just been and additional opportunity for me to drink... in addition to the other stuff I did.

As for the mom - excellent!! I know, without a doubt, I am not that mom. Or at least I wasn't when it mattered - back when the kids first drove. I had rules... but between Mr. Big and I, we were stepping all over each other and breaking rules and changing parameters. We did the best we knew how at the time. But holding a HARD line was not one of the things we did well. After all, I bought my dumb AD five cars in one year... after she wrecked or mistreated them all. Not expensive cars... just junkers. But still... I thought I HAD to provide her with realiable transportation to get to school and work (we live in the boonies).... it took a long time for me to realize that she was never going to do either school or work.

I admire that mom who sold the car... really admire her.
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Old 01-10-2008, 12:06 AM
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[QUOTE=BigSis;1632674]I'm glad that worked for you, Done... but I doubt it would have worked with me. I never drank for anything other than effect, and I never could drink only a few (I was a blackout drinker). Drinking at home would have just been and additional opportunity for me to drink... in addition to the other stuff I did.



As for the mom - excellent!!

I admire that mom who sold the car... really admire her.


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Old 01-10-2008, 12:47 AM
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Rock on uncool mom, you probably just saved a life!
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Old 01-10-2008, 01:48 AM
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Add me to the list of people who bow to women like her. That is awesome and I have a feeling she is one terrific mom.

Thanks for my morning smile, Cats.

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Old 01-10-2008, 06:12 AM
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When I heard that on the news I was screaming, " YEAH, YOU GO GIRL".
It started alittle talk in my house between myself, my SS and my husband. I said if I did something like that when Joey was young he'd be sober and finishing college this year.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:13 AM
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What a great story.

Although I was thinking how different my perspective would be if I was still seventeen!

Thanks for sharing Barb,
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:49 AM
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I love it!!!
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:18 PM
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These parents are my heroes.

I know a dad whose daughter got busted for minor in possession of alcohol & he took the car away. She complained about having to walk to and from school activities in the dark and cold (winter in the upper midwest) and what if she slipped on the ice or got frostbite, blah blah blah. . . "cuz no one would even know."

That problem he did solve for her -- he followed her in his car while she walked!
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Old 01-11-2008, 06:50 AM
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I love it!

My cousin didn't sell his son's car - he just took all 4 wheels off and set the car up on concrete blocks for a month. It accomplished much the same thing.

I look back at how I handled things with my boys, and I might have done some things differently. All I can do now is take that hindsight and use it in my present day decisions.

Big hugs and knowing smiles from mom to mom
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:21 AM
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Another story...

A journalist was writing about that story on his blog here and he had another story too. It's on ebay, I can not post the link (not enough posts), but here is the story.

BRAND NEW Guitar Hero III Legends of Rock for the Nintendo Wii Game System

In Box Never Opened, just bought it a few days ago I will give you the receipt (shown in picture)!

Here’s the deal:

So I spent who knows how many hours of my life trying to get “Guitar Hero 3” for the Nintendo Wii for my 15 year old son who has been begging for it since he was born (well not really but he’s wanted it for awhile). So after waiting in lines and going into every game store in the city over the last 2 weeks (practically being laughed at when I asked for guitar hero 3) I finally got lucky and got one at EB Games (they just got a shipment of them 25 minutes before I walked in!).

So I was so relieved in that I had finally got the Holy Grail of Xmas presents pretty much just in the nick of time. I couldn’t wait to spread the jubilance to my son.

Then, yesterday, I came home from work early and what to I find? My innocent little boy smoking pot in the backyard with 2 of his delinquent friends.

Now I know santa applies the “naughty or nice” paradigm to determine who gets what on Christmas. My son (Isaac) hasn’t exactly been Mother Teresa this year (he got suspended for fighting in the spring, among other things) but I thought I could still justify getting him this present. Maybe it would make him stay home more and “rock out” on this fake guitar thing. He pretty much spends all his free time at his friend’s house playing it anyways (while high on marijuana, I would imagine).

Anyways, I am now finding it hard to justify rewarding him with this gift after he so greatly disappointed me. I know smoking a joint isn’t the end of the world, but if you can convince me that he deserves the gift, then I will end the auction. You will have to be very convincing. I am an elementary school teacher and I know that rewarding bad behavior is just asking for more of the same…

After I caught him getting high on my patio I did the typical yelling, screaming, kicking out the friends, etc… but I had not decided on a suitable way to punish him. As of the time of me writing this, he does not know I got him Guitar Hero 3. I will show him the auction once it is posted and we can watch it finish together. Sort of a “Father-Son bonding experience”. While I doubt this will keep him from ever smoking pot again, I think it will make him think twice before doing illegal (well I think pot is still illegal in Canada) drugs on my property.

I am still considering getting him a game for his Nintendo. Maybe something like Barbie as the Island Princess or Dancing With the Stars. These games are in stock everywhere I go, and I know he will just love them.

Merry Xmas Isaac. I hope you’ve learned your lesson. –Father.

This is a BRAND NEW GUITAR HERO 3 for NINTENDO WII they are very hard to find in stores right now and I have the original receipt (see picture). I will be happy if I can just get back what I paid for it… most of them seem to be selling for about $125 which seems about right.

I will charge you the ACTUAL cost of shipping, maybe plus a few bucks for bubble wrap etc.

Express Canada Post Shipping (3 bus. days) should be maximum $40 anywhere in Canada. Regular shipping (7 bus. Days) will be around $15 bucks. This will save you a lot of money and should still get it under the tree in time. Both rates include insurance.

I will ship anywhere, but for outside of Canada contact me for a rate. Since you might get hit with customs fees/taxes if you are outside Canada, it might be worth bidding on another one of the million-or-so guitar hero’s on ebay.

Please pay me ASAP after the auction ends! If you decide not to pay, I still want to have time to sell it in time for XMas so please pay with a couple of days. I can only accept paypal due to the time constraints of Xmas!

Thanks for looking!

On 05-Dec-07 at 22:16:02 EST, seller added the following information:

UPDATE: I showed him the listing... at first he didn't believe what he was reading, but once the truth hit him, he was not amused!

On 06-Dec-07 at 20:30:10 EST, seller added the following information:

Hi Everyone,

I am getting a much greater response to this auction then I ever anticipated and the questions/comments are now flooding in at about 20/hr. I am afraid I cannot respond to them all... I have already taken a lot of time out of my day to respond to questions.

I will however still answer questions pertaining to shipping, item information, or other stuff relevant to the actual purchase.

The auction is already at a higher price than I had hoped I would get for it. Because of this I am now offering FREE SHIPPING WITHIN NORTH AMERICA ON THIS ITEM! I think this is only fair considering what the item cost me. Thanks again everyone. Most of you have supported my decision on this disciplinary action. Some of you think I should just shrug off the pot-smoking incident, but I think most of those people do not have children of their own.

Cheer, and happy XMas!

On 07-Dec-07 at 00:41:28 EST, seller added the following information:



On 09-Dec-07 at 14:49:27 EST, seller added the following information:


Thank you everyone for taking the time to comment on this situation, no matter what your opinion is. The response has been unbelievable. I feel that providing this update on my thoughts and intentions is the least I could do.

Concerning my relationship with my son…

I would like to clarify some things: I am not: “sadistic”, “publicly humiliating my son”, “power-hungry”, “an a--hole”, “a douchebag”, or any similarly bad things - especially when it comes to my son. Many of you may feel this way based on the very limited scope which has been provided concerning the background of this situation. I understand this, but I would like to clarify these for those of you who are honesty deeply concerned for the welfare of my son and his psychological well being (which I appreciate).

I am not kicking my son when he is down, so to speak. He and I are very close and are more like best friends than father and son (right buddy?), especially over the last couple of years. I will not get into the details of my family life, but rest assured that I knew when posting this that he would not be driven to run away from home, or do any other of the un-thinkable. If this was a possibility, of course I would not have gone through with it. Think of the auction as me “joshing him”, as friends often do, in addition to letting him know that he seriously disappointed me. Yes, I thought it would be funny to an extent, and tried to keep it light which should be obvious from the description. Calling his friends “delinquents” and threatening to buy him a Barbie game just out of spite are really just jokes. Lighten up people. The good-hearted nature of the auction description was intended to counter-balance the more serious nature of the situation. He and I have shared many laughs about it since, as well as a few thoughtful discussions. To everyone out there who thinks I am a terrible parent, rest assured I am not. Every parent-child relationship is unique and generalizations should not be made. So while I sincerely appreciate your comments, I have no real intentions of them letting them govern my parenting decisions concerning my son.

Concerning the “public humiliation” of my son…

The auction has been getting somewhat out of hand, to say the least. Many of you have insisted that I end the auction and give him the present as this “public humiliation” has been enough. As I mentioned above, I am not publicly humiliating my son. The auction has received some 60 000 hits as of now. This is probably the best indicator of how many people know about this situation in the highest level of detail possible (i.e. have personally read the item description). Anyone who can appreciate the number of people on the world wide web should realize that this is practically insignificant. The odds that someone in my town has read the auction personally (or even heard of it though the very light media coverage it received) are quite slim. Furthermore, the odds that someone who knows my family and can make the connection is even more exceedingly remote. Adding to this, my son does not even go by the name Isaac. It is his middle name and I intentionally used it when creating the auction out of respect for his privacy. Needless to say, this paid off. I haven’t even received a call from a sibling or in-law asking if this was me who posted the auction, although I certainly have been expecting one.

Concerning the fate of the auction…

Well, with that being said, I intended to cancel the auction anyways. Even with the above probabilities running through my head, I was/am concerned for my family’s privacy. My son has obviously learned his lesson. This auction has been lots of fun for us. For the last couple of days, as soon as he comes in the house, the first thing he says to me is “what’s new with the auction?”. We have read many of the comments together (please keep this in mind when writing them) and I think he is enjoying this more than you might expect. As I said, my son and I are more like best friends than “Pa’ and Junior”, and this has become just one more thing we have come to enjoy sharing.

So I decided to let him make the decision concerning the fate of the auction. He thinks it would be “stupid” to cancel the auction right now. While I may not completely agree with this, he undeniably has more at stake her than I do. We talked about it over the last couple of days, especially yesterday evening, and came to a conclusion. We figure one of two things will happen.

1. The auction will finish at an absurdly high price due to uncontrolled bidding, and the high bidder will be a newly registered user who with no intention of paying.. Several bidders seem to have registered just to bid on this auction. I am fully expecting the bidding to skyrocket near the end of the auction. There are nearly 400 people watching the auction. Instead of canceling bids, we have decided on something else. If the seemingly LIKELY situation of a non-paying bidder winning the auction is realized, that will be the end of it. I will not beg or plea someone to pay, nor will I give out second chance offers. My son will get the guitar hero game. Just my assertion of this is almost guaranteeing that this will be the outcome. I can just see all of the “Isaac-apologists” rushing out to get an ebay account right now and putting in a bid of $10 000. Well, go for it if you want. As I mentioned in several comments, my son is a smart cookie.
2. Less likely. The auction will finish much higher than I had initially anticipated, and the high bidder will actually pay. We have talked about this, and my son (always one to seize an opportunity) has negotiated a plan of what to do with the money. We have struck a deal. It seems that guitar hero 3 is not the only thing he has ever wanted. The money will go to good, fair use, and depending on how much it actually is, I may use some of it in a more philanthropistic context. I made him understand that the money is NOT HIS and it is not a situation of “higher bids = better present for Isaac”.


Concerning my disapproval of my son smoking pot…

Many of you seem to think I am an archaic, ultra-conservative who puts marijuana use up there with heroin and cocaine. This is absolutely not the case. I am not ignorant, or anything of the sort. Yes, I realize that pot is undeniably very safe relative to any other controlled substance, and yes, I would rather my son be smoking the occasional joint than going on bender-drinking binges with fratboys or being addicted to cigarettes (he assures me he doesn’t smoke and I believe him).

This is beyond the point. I don’t want my son smoking pot. It’s that simple. It’s my decision as his parent. He knows this, and the topic has come up in discussions prior to this incident. Many of you think it could potentially benefit him in terms of stress and/or school performance. Well, he doesn’t need it. Not to brag, but my son is highly intelligent. He was designated a gifted student in grade 4 by the school board and has stood out from the crowd ever since he stepped into a classroom. Schoolwork comes very easy to him. It is my strong opinion that he smokes pot because he is bored. He is not challenged in school and he lives in the suburbs. Yes, it’s a sad fact: we live in the suburbs and kids get bored here. We have spoken about this and are trying to find ways to circumvent his boredom. Peer pressure is of course another contributing factor.

This also has nothing to do with the legality of pot use. Just because it is legal doesn’t make it right. For all of you out there who have provided me with this fact as part of your argument, I would like to see you give your offspring a cigarette and a beer when s/he turns 19 (actually no, I would not, but you get the point). It is, however, my strong opinion that outlawing marijuana use is a gross hypocrisy while alcohol and tobacco use are permitted. This is just one reason why I am fortunate to live Canada, where the laws concerning pot use are significantly more civilized than in many other developed countries. Not to say they are perfect however.

And to those of you who feel that his body could find some physiological benefit from marijuana use, I am not convinced. I know there are proven benefits for the terminally ill in terms of pain relief and appetite-induction, but none of this applies to my son. Other than this, I think we are a long way to telling our kids “Jimmy, take your Flintstone vitamins, eat your asparagus, and don’t forget to take your bong-hit”.

Concerning the internet discussions this auction has sparked…

I think these discussions are fascinating and highly productive. I am glad to see both veteran parents and young adults getting involved in the discussion, as it is an important one and it is likely one that you or someone you know has had to deal with, or will have to deal with in the future. How you choose to deal with it is up to you. All I know is every situation is unique and cannot be approached in a straight line. Discussion is good to reveal new ideas and perspectives, but ultimately it is the parent who will have to make the final decision as to how to proceed. This decision should be precisely tailored to be as empathetic, pragmatic, and - most importantly - as loving as possible.

Concerning the authenticity of the auction…

A few people think the auction is fake. I guess this does not surprise me, as it almost seems unreal to me at this point. All I can do is assure you that yes, the auction is real, and if you don’t want to bid on it or have anything to do with it, I am fine with that. Please don’t slander me as an alternative.

Concerning the age of some people who are sending me questions through ebay…

I am getting lots of questions from people claiming to be high school students, or of the same age as Isaac etc. who wish to express their thoughtful (and valuable) opinions on the situation. To the best of my knowledge, you have to be 18 to have an ebay account. Please keep this in mind. There are several other forums of discussion on the internet which should not be difficult to find, and many of them are significantly more robust and interactive than this somewhat unidirectional approach of me posting your comments on the auction.

Concerning my son bidding on the item and not paying….

We have discussed this and I am sure he is not. He hadn’t even thought of the idea until I brought it up, as it was put forth in a comment on the auction. Furthermore, as mentioned above, he is too young to have an ebay account. Most importantly, I am confident he will not meddle with the auction because he is simply too interested in seeing the outcome of the auction to meddle with it. Remember, I gave him the choice to end the auction yesterday. And I warned him: if you do set up and ebay account just to be the high bidder on this item, I will report you as a non-paying bidder and give you negative feedback! I’ve done it before buddy, and I will do it again!

Concerning which questions I am posting…

I am trying to give a fair representation of the questions/comments I am getting. I quickly screen the question to get an idea of what it is about. If is not productive in any way, I will not post it – unless it makes me laugh. If it contains foul language, I will not post it. Sometimes I will give a quick response, but not anymore, since I feel that this “essay” says more than a brief response ever could. Actually, I just realized the questions I thought I have been posting for some time are not even appearing on the page… sorry apparently I have saturated ebay’s capabilities and wasted lots of my time.

Concerning the limits of ebay…

I found this interesting, and thought I would share it with you. Ebay allows a maximum of 101 questions to be posted on the auction and 333 messages to be received in your mailbox.

Concerning the date in the picture…

The camera resets the date whenever I take out the batteries. I rarely use it and therefore rarely keep on top of the date stamp. Sorry if this has caused any confusion. The picture was take the day the auction was posted.


k_lid and son.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:25 AM
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LOL I had heard about this too, and I thought I read that he got $9000 for it! A good dad and a powerful lesson for his son.
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