Mom sells son's car over booze bottle inside
By ABBY SIMONS • REGISTER STAFF WRITER • January 8, 2008
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 has been showered with 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 gonna put the car for resale when there's nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision," Hambleton, 48, 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?' 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."
Hambleton describe her son as a great kid who gets great grades and is active in church. But she'll stick to her guns, even though Steven said the booze 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 it 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, hide it under the front seat.'"