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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Jane Hambleton has dubbed herself the “meanest mom on the planet.”

After finding alcohol in her son’s car, she decided to sell the car and share her 19-year-old’s misdeed with everyone — by placing an ad in the local newspaper.

The ad reads: “OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don’t love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet.”

Hambleton has heard from people besides interested buyers since recently placing the ad in The Des Moines Register.

The 48-year-old from Fort Dodge says 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,” Hambleton says. “I’m not just gonna put the car for resale when there’s nothing wrong with it, except the driver made a dumb decision.

“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.”‘

The only critic is her son, who Hambleton says is “very, very unhappy” with the ad and claims the alcohol was left by a passenger.

Hambleton believes her son but has decided mercy isn’t the best policy in this case. She says she set two rules when she bought the car at Thanksgiving: No booze, and always keep it locked.

The car has been sold, but Hambleton says she will continue the ad for another week — just for the feedback.

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I got this from RedMolly who got it: From the NYT Lede blog:

The president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet, is trying to encourage more of her citizenry to read books by giving boxes of as many as nine books to 400,000 poor families, according to The Economist. The big question, of course, is which nine books, exactly? The London-based weekly newsmagazine said Chile’s selected titles, like “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger and “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, were “unexceptionable fare.”

How about you? If you had to fill a box with nine books that everyone ought to have, what would they be? What if you had to pick just one work of literature?

Wow. Nine and only nine. What a concept! Should one go for the lofty and cerebral? The literary and timeless? The uproariously funny?

Here’s my list, which I’m sure I’ll revise mentally many times over: 

  1. A Collegiate Dictionary. I can not even tell you how often I use this resource. (Less since I have spell-check on my computer.)

  2. A Collegiate Thesaurus. For the same reason as above.

  3. A Cookbook! If you choose to cook – – a cookbook is an invaluable resource, when you begin. It is also a spectacular resource when needing specific ‘food’ questions answered.

  4. A Fix-It Manual. My husband has used this resources MANY, MANY times!!

  5. A Short History of Nearly Everything. Self Explanatory.

  6. To Kill A Mockingbird. Just ’cause I liked it.

  7. Simple Abundance. Learning gratitude is so important – – and this is a super fun way to do it.

  8. Life 101. I love how much GOOD info is in here – – AND – – I LOVE the quotes on every other page.

  9. Christmas Carol. ‘Cause it is my husbands fav. And you? I’m so tempted to tag here, despite my fear of calling anyone out by name, but rest assured that this is one in upon which I most heartily encourage y’all to weigh.

 And you?

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