My Adventure in the Twilight Zone Ok, last night was wierd and awful. I'm on my way home from work at around 11:00 p.m. The streets are basically deserted around this time, just a few stragglers like me still out and about. I stop at a four-way intersection, waiting for a red light, and idly look over to my left at the closed gas station. There's a baby carriage sitting next to one of the pumps. No cars, no people, lights are all off in the gas station, and a baby carriage in plain sight. I was mildly curious, but when the light turned green I went through on my way home. Then it struck me that as ludicrous as it sounds, What if there's a baby in that carriage? So I went back. When I pull into the gas station I have my window down, and I can hear a baby crying. It's like 35 degrees F outside, quite cold enough for exposure to set in. My blood runs cold just thinking of all the ramifications of this. Who would have left a baby behind? Was it intentional, or just plain stupid? Is this a deliberate attempt at homicide or something? While I'm thinking of this, I do the one thing that maybe saves my life or my butt, before I get out of the car. I pick up my cell phone and call 911, and talk to the police. They ask for my name, etc., and send a car right out. The woman at the police station told me I should maybe not get out of the car, but I tell her I have to make sure the baby, if there is one, is all right. She tells me to look quickly, get back in car, and wait for the officer to arrive. By this time I'm at the carriage and indeed, there is a screaming baby inside it. Decently wrapped in blankets and stuff, but shivering nonetheless in the way frantic babies do when they cry their hearts out and maybe, because of the cold too. I tell the policewoman I'm picking the baby up and bringing it to my car; she advised me not to. I'm not sure why, whether for legal reasons or whatever or maybe because people these days aren't beyond putting a bomb under a baby just to kill somebody? So I pick up the baby, a little cute dark-haired girl (I think) maybe a couple of months old, and go back to my car. As soon as I do this, two people, a man and a woman, come running from around the corner of the gas station, screaming at me and carrying on like the dickens (whatever that is). I have no clue what's going on, they are shouting things like "You're trying to steal my baby" and "I'll kill you M*****-F*****! and on and on. I locked my doors and got ready to burn out of there, they were pounding on my car windows and etc., the baby was screaming in my arms, I'm fumbling with the phone trying to call the police back, really by now I'm scared to death and muttering my kids' and wife's names under my breath (I think I even said Mommy a couple of times, lol), thinking maybe the next thing is a gun and I'm going to die in this situation from beyond Hell, and I'm bending over this baby in my lap, trying to protect it because any second now I expect my window to shatter and cover us with glass or worse; and now with flashing lights the police car careens into the gas station. This is getting much longer than I thought it would be. Garrgh! Here's these two crazy people shouting at the police (two of them, another car shows up momentarily) that I'm trying to kidnap their baby. Now I'm thinking I'll end up in jail for this before the night is done, just because I wanted and needed to do the right thing. Really, though, there was no problem; once I identified myself to them and they traced my cell phone back to the call I made, they realized I was in the clear. They called my work as well, talked to the security guard, who attested that I'd left barely 20 minutes ago. Time of my cell phone call was recorded, it was pretty clear I hadn't been planning some sort of baby heist for my entertainment. Another car pulls up with a policewoman who takes the baby from me (All this time, I haven't let go of her. She was quiet after a while and sleepy on my shoulder.) They let me go after a bit more checking of my story, and bundled the two still-freaking-out 'parents.' This morning, I called the family lawyer, meaning my cousin. I've been thinking about this all night. I don't know what's going on; how do I know I'm not going to be brought up on some kind of charges? And I want to know how the baby is doing, and what the hell kind of horrible story I stumbled into. Later on, she calls back to tell me the couple is in big trouble. Apparently this is nothing new for them, and they've been unsuccessfully accused before of child abuse. This time, if I'm willing to testify, the baby will be taken away. Also apparently, the deal was that they were going for some kind of fast blackmail; they were going to demand money of me or threaten to turn me in for attempted kidnapping. That sounds kind of lame to me, but maybe it works on some people. How she knows this stuff, my cousin, I'm not sure of yet; but this isn't over. I keep thinking about the poor baby. Everyone is telling me I've done my part (yeah; almost got myself killed or something) and I am sure not going to go after trying to get this baby for myself. But this whole thing bothers me like I can't explain. How can people be like this? To put a baby at risk like this, to rip other people off like this. How did they get around the system so easily so far? And will they end up with the baby back again, regardless of what charges are brought against them? Too often, this is exactly what happens. This whole thing has shaken me to the core, if you can understand that. Ok, I'm done. Whew.