Family Recovers Lost Vehicle
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SANDUSKY, OH For the last three months, Linda Birch had been planning a trip to Sandusky, to treat her three children to a day of roller coasters and cotton candy and unambitious college students dressed in large, sweaty costumes at Cedar Point. The kids couldn’t wait. They even consented to being very, very good and eating all of their lima beans for three whole months just to be able to go on their trip. And when the day finally arrived, they could hardly contain themselves.

The family made the two-hour trip in their beige Toyota Camry, full of energy and excitement. When they finally reached the Cedar Point parking lot, they eventually found a parking place approximately three miles from the main gate and prepared to hike in. Before they left the car, though, Birch told her children, “Remember where we parked.”

Once they finally made it into the park, the Birch family enjoyed an afternoon of fun and games. They rode the rides and ate junk food until they couldn’t stuff any more in. Then they rode more rides until they all threw up. What fun!

But, finally, it was getting late, and it was time to go home. Their day of excitement had come to an end. So the Birch family walked out of the gate and directly into an endless sea of approximately 45 million vehicles, many of which were tan Toyota Camrys. In their excitement, they forgot where they’d left the car. They hiked and hiked, searching an approximately 22 square mile area, until Birch lost one of her children. Then they all had to search the same 22 square mile area, searching for the child.

Finally, Birch gave up. The decided that it was just best to wait. Sometime, in the next day or two, the car would show up. Until then, they’d simply have to survive on buttered popcorn and sno cones, and they’d sleep inside any car that had been left unlocked.

So there they sat, the pathetic little family. They watched other families happily leaving the park and walking straight to their cars, as though they had some kind of global positioning unit in their back pocket. And, finally, about three hours after the park had closed for the evening, little six-year-old Katie spotted the car. “Look, Mommy!” she said. “There’s only one car left. See it? It’s way over there!”

The rest of them squinted in the direction that she was pointing. And, sure enough, there it was. They ambled toward it cautiously, as though it were a mirage. But it was really their car. And when they finally made it through the parking lot to their car—90 minutes later—they loaded themselves in and headed back home.

The next day, upon returning home, Birch had a remote-controlled spotlight installed on the top of her car, so they’ll never have to deal with this problem again.

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