Whose nephew is little Gabriel Blake, the four-year-old who is the focus of an inexplicable top-of-page article in the Saturday Globe? There must be some reason so many words are dedicated to the story of a little boy who went missing for a total of — count ’em — two hours. Not to ruin the suspense, but the subhead shares the exciting outcome of the 120-minute ordeal: “Child Home Safely.”

I’ve no doubt these were two worrying hours for this child’s parents. But let’s take a look at what actually happened:

– the boy boarded a bus that came by his house to take his older brother to school.
– the four-year-old said his parents weren’t home.
– the driver called the house and got no answer. (The boy’s parents were asleep.)
– the driver took the younger son to his brother’s school, which called his parents.

So, with some minor variances, the system worked. Rather than leave the small boy at an apparently empty, parent-free house where the phone rang without being answered, the driver, who was new to the route, took the kid directly to his brother’s school. The reward? The driver has been suspended for a violation of protocol.

I have some questions: if the bus stopped at the house every morning, why didn’t it occur to the parents that their little boy might have got on it? Where was their other son — the one who takes the bus every day — that morning? Why does every article about a missing (or temporarily AWOL child) think it’s important we know he/she is “blond haired, blue eyed”? (And — now that I think about it– why can’t I recall ever reading a story like this about a brown-haired, brown-eyed tot?) Why the constant amazement at children having misadventures that result in no harm?

And the most important question of all: what the fuck is this doing in a newspaper?