A few months back, I read an article about items left unclaimed in the LOST AND FOUND departments of well-known amusement parks. The article cited a few statistics that indicated the smaller an object is, the more likely it would become ‘lost.’ This became evident when you looked at the photos of large plastic tubs filled to the brim with sunglasses, cell phones, keys, wallets and other similar sized trinkets. Hundreds of them, lost on a daily basis – many never to find their way back to their owner.
But some items on the article’s accompanying list begged the question of how they even became lost… Wouldn’t you immediately realize you didn’t have your dentures in or toupee on? Doesn’t the mere size of a trombone or suitcase make it impossible to forget? And why would you even bring a satellite dish into an amusement park (or why the hell would Security even let it in)?
I lightheartedly skimmed the long list of odd possessions resigned to these L&F departments until my eyes stopped at this unbelievable item: a prosthetic leg.
A LEG? Are you fucking kidding me? How does that even happen?
Do you go home and later stare into space over your dinner plate while mumbling to yourself, ‘I don’t know what it is, but I feel like I’m missing something…’
I can see leaving behind car keys or sunglasses… But. A. Whole. Freaking. Leg???
If that’s not enough, here’s the humdinger: the leg went unclaimed. No one ever came for it.
So there it remained, on a shelf in the back room of a major amusement park, collecting dust for the mandatory 60 days. Then it got donated to a local VA hospital.
I wondered for the longest time about that leg, the enticing mystery of it, and how someone could possibly leave behind something so personally necessary. I even wondered if it wasn’t lost, but rather intentionally placed in the park. Perhaps by a scorned wife, who had discovered that her one-legged husband was cheating on her during their vacation (maybe with that sassy chamber maid or flirty lifeguard) and decided to take her revenge by getting up early one morning to hide his leg in the park. Women can sometimes be like that. Or so I’m told…
Then I realized that Park Security would surely be wary of anyone carrying a prosthetic leg into an amusement park. But maybe she took the leg apart and tucked the pieces into her bag, with a plan to reassemble it once inside… until it occurred to me that Security would have looked through her bag before entry, immediately becoming suspicious of a bag filled with mechanical parts (not to mention a large plastic foot). Besides, if she were going to the trouble of taking apart the leg, she’d have more likely ditched the parts somewhere more convenient and not bothered with reassembly. Cool backstory, but not reasonable…
I was forced to abandon that idea and search for another. I became obsessed, asking everyone for their thoughts… I felt driven to solve this bizarre riddle. But no other plausible idea surfaced.
Until weeks later, when I finally had it. THE answer.
That leg was neither left behind nor placed in that amusement park: rather, it fell there. From the sky. The result of having been accidentally dislodged from a skydiver during his descent. Who was, at the time this ghastly incident occurred, at such a high altitude that he was unable to determine the precise location of his leg’s landing.
I envision this skydiver being initially stunned from this macabre experience but quickly recovering, having executed a perfect one-legged tuck-and-roll after spending the remainder of his fall resigning himself to the loss, phoning in a replacement order and consulting with the jump teacher on precisely how to compensate during the landing.
Poor man. A good jump ruined. Perhaps it was the birthday present of a lifetime… his dream adventure. Presented to him by his loving, adoring wife.
Who had just discovered he’d been cheating on her during their vacation (maybe with that sassy chamber maid or flirty lifeguard)…
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