The sign at the baseball game said “Mike’s Lemonade $7.00.” So, when Christopher Ratt asked his 7 year old son what drink he’d like, and the boy said Lemonade, Ratt ponied up the money. It was only later in the game that a security guard noticed the bottle in the boy’s hand and asked the father if he knew that it was an alcoholic beverage. The father did not (as I would not, although I would have probably already have checked the ingredients for artificial sugars, which I hate). From there, things got really, really ugly:
The 47-year-old academic says he wasn’t even aware alcoholic lemonade existed when he and Leo stopped at a concession stand on the way to their seats in Section 114.
“I’d never drunk it, never purchased it, never heard of it,” Ratte of Ann Arbor told me sheepishly last week. “And it’s certainly not what I expected when I ordered a lemonade for my 7-year-old.”
But it wasn’t until the top of the ninth inning that a Comerica Park security guard noticed the bottle in young Leo’s hand.
“You know this is an alcoholic beverage?” the guard asked the professor.
“You’ve got to be kidding,” Ratte replied. He asked for the bottle, but the security guard snatched it before Ratte could examine the label.
An hour later, Ratte was being interviewed by a Detroit police officer at Children’s Hospital, where a physician at the Comerica Park clinic had dispatched Leo — by ambulance! — after a cursory exam.
Leo betrayed no symptoms of inebriation. But the physician and a police officer from the Comerica substation suggested the ER visit after the boy admitted he was feeling a little nauseated.
The Comerica cop estimated that Leo had drunk about 12 ounces of the hard lemonade, which is 5% alcohol. But an ER resident who drew Leo’s blood less than 90 minutes after he and his father were escorted from their seats detected no trace of alcohol.
“Completely normal appearing,” the resident wrote in his report, “… he is cleared to go home.”
But it would be two days before the state of Michigan allowed Ratte’s wife, U-M architecture professor Claire Zimmerman, to take their son home, and nearly a week before Ratte was permitted to move back into his own house.
And if you think nothing so ludicrous could happen to your family, maybe you should pay a little less attention to who’s getting booted from “Dancing with the Stars” and a little more to how the state agency responsible for protecting Michigan’s children is going about its work.
You can read the rest here and I can guarantee you that, by the time you’ve finished the article, little Leo won’t be the only one nauseated.
Hat tip: Earl