What happens when you don't call your mom (or dad)

Klaus Lauterbach is already 20 years old but, like a small child done wrong, he may deserve a spanking – at least figuratively.

This German fellow is in the midst of a trek across North America and had spoken to his dad, back in Germany we presume, on Aug. 8.

Dad was left with the impression his boy would be visiting the Grand Canyon on Aug. 9, according to a press release from the National Park Service.

The Grand Canyon/Ryn Gargulinski

The Grand Canyon/Ryn Gargulinski

Then young Lauterbach disappeared. His dad had heard nothing since Aug. 8, and finally took action on Aug. 14.

Dad contacted the police to report his son missing, prompting a search by Grand Canyon National Park rangers and the Flagstaff Police Department.

Investigators learned Lauterbach was last seen getting off a shuttle bus near the Maswik Lodge on Aug. 9, but then his trail went cold.

Maswick Lodge is one-quarter mile from the canyon’s edge, the lodge’s website said.

Recent tragedies may have fueled the worries. A body believed to be missing Grand Canyon hiker Bryce Gillies, 20, was found July 25. Ghoerghe Chiriac, 57, was found dead near a car he drove over the edge of the Grand Canyon on July 13.

These are not positive signs.

Nine days after the Aug. 8 phone call, however, Lauterbach decided to call his dad, telling him he was merrily on his way to British Columbia, Canada.

Shame on you, Klaus.

You got your family and many others in a tizzy.

“The National Park Service would like to thank local and national media, as well as local communities, for their assistance in reaching out to the public for information about Mr. Lauterbach’s whereabouts,” the most recent National Park Service press release said.

Even I know to check in with my folks at least once a week to tell them I’m not dead (and I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t!).


Worries/Ryn Gargulinski

Worries/Ryn Gargulinski

What do you think?

Was Klaus being irresponsible? Was his dad over-reacting?

Do you check in with your parents or expect your kids to check in with your regularly?

What would you do if your parents or children were visiting a foreign country and the same thing happened?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in danger, death, environment, life, Stupidity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to What happens when you don't call your mom (or dad)

  1. azmouse says:

    Two of my kids are over twenty and I’d say from experience, Dad overreacted a little. Kids that age are trying to find their own way and   independence. Although I migh’ve been a little nervous, I wouldn’t have called out the troops for at leadt an additional week. They needed a better phone plan.
    My oldest son is one of those kids that calls me daily, sometimes more than once. My daughter might call a few days in a row, then I won’t hear anything for a month or two, then she’ll call again. That’s just her, but I raised her right, so I don’t worry to much at this point.

    My Mom wants to hear from me every day! She wants to know what I’m doing and what my kids are up to. If we don’t talk for two or three days, she’s calling.

    Oh…Happy Tuesday, Ryn!

  2. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! What the …was this guy thinking? The distress he caused his family is bad enough, but a search cost money and manpower. Is he ponying up the dough? I don’t call or see my mom as often as I should, but I let her know if I’m going to Yugoslavia or something!

  3. Rynski says:

    Mornin’ AZMouse and RadMax –
    Yes, happy Tuesday – which is ALWAYS better than Monday but not as cool as Friday.
    Thanks, both, for your take on this topic. I know I was jerk about calling my parents when I was in my late teens but now I realize the distress it caused and am truly sorry. I also make up for it now by calling them at weird hours of the night since they are three hours behind AZ time (haha).

  4. azmouse says:

    I was a terrible teen myself. No better lesson than becoming a Mother yourself. Then you REALLY realize how much torment you caused the folks.
    (my parents have put an 8:30pm curfew on phone calls.)

    • Rynski says:

      hahah!  my mom ALWAYS used that line: “I hope you have kids one day and you’ll know how it feels!”
      phone curfew time is a good idea…then i won’t wake them up just to say hi.

      • azmouse says:

        My Mom always said, “Just wait until you have a daughter of your own. I hope she puts you through the same hell you’ve put me through”.
        I remember telling her it won’t be a problem because if I have a little girl, I’ll always let her do whatever she wants!
        HA!!! That didn’t happen! lol

      • azmouse says:

        Mom’s are all alike!

  5. Rochelle says:

    This kid was totally irresponsible.  I think he shoul’ve kept in contact.  His father did the right thing.  I have three kids, 24,22, and 18 and I always ask that they check in for safety reasons only.  I’m not trying to invade thier space.  My husband and I make regular calls to our parents as well.  It’s just the smart thing to do n my opinion.

  6. MarcyMom says:

    I’m lucky that I can always check the Citizen to find out if my kid is alive and stirring up trouble. I’ve also learned to be a light sleeper after having kids. You notice I always answer the phone.

    • Rynski says:

      Hi Mom – i was JUST going to call you! (haha).
      Yes, i thought of you when i wrote up this Klaus thing. yes, you do answer the phone – unless you’re out eating, seeing plays or hitting the art festivals – but then you have your cell. And I promise not to tell you I’m going to the Grand Canyon then end up in British Columbia…no – do NOT bring up the Chicago story….

  7. A.Farley says:

    I have four of the lovely children and there’s nothing like the phone call at 3:20 am to get your heart pumping and a thousand things run thru your mind, car accident, jumping off the G.C. or caught doing something stupid and it’s usually the last thing.

  8. MarcyMom says:

    My well-founded imagination would rival the rantings of Steven King. My leading lady has inspired me well. Speaking of Chicago . . .

  9. Karen Nelson says:

    Oh my gosh!  Hi Marcy Mom! Like mother, like daughter, yes?!  Now we see where Ryn gets it! Awesome!
    On the calls to parents, thing. I have lived so far away for so many years. With time differences and busy lives, etc, I wasn’t always the best call home girl! I was always very independent and didn’t feel the need for advice or to vent or anything, so it would have been more like an obligation, or just to keep tabs on what they were up to.  I realize now that I was very lax. But they were not so great about calling me either! I lost my Mom about a year and a half ago, and now I call my Dad a lot more often. But it is still only about once a week or so.
    I have two sons in their 20’s and we try to talk at least once a week, but it doesn’t always happen! That’s ok. I have no qualms about calling them if they are not calling me. and vice versa. I try to make dinner for them once a week if they are in town. I understand how it was for me at that age, so I have low expectations on the calling!
    It IS good, though, to have someone who knows where you are and to keep in contact with them while hiking/camping etc. That’s just the smart thing to do. It depends on whether the son told his Dad he would call and then didn’t. Or if the Dad is used to getting daily calls or something. I would worry as well in that case. Otherwise, I think he over-reacted.

    • MarcyMom says:

      Hi, Karen. The saddest calls are the ones we no longer can make. Both my kids live long distances away. I’m ok with a brief once a week or twice a month call. It’s so easy to lose touch with the day to day lives of our loved ones when all we have in common is the weather. Glad your boys and dad keep in touch. Moms do understand.

  10. MarcyMom says:

    You don’t see the resemblance? Maybe some day I’ll reveal my inner beauty. It all depends on how often my daughter calls.

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