October 2005 (v8 i2)
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Waldo copes with finding himself
Camping equipment, Wizard Whitebeard still elusive
by Stephen Short, Staff Writer

Where's Waldo's new goiter? Oh,
NEW YORK — After 18 years of hiding in crowds everywhere from amusement parks to train stations, Waldo, the adventurous striped-shirt clad character, has finally found himself.

Employed as a background extra, Waldo reluctantly agreed to play the seemingly bit part of the lost globetrotter to pay off mounting gambling debts. His popularity soared after the release of Where's Waldo? in 1987.

"Finding places to hide from those brats can be exhausting and time consuming," explained Waldo, sipping a tall mocha latte. "I can't believe it's taken 18 years to find myself. A six-year-old could do that in five minutes."

Waldo added: "How could I constantly put up that cheery, aloof façade when I couldn't even find myself? I was such a fraud."

Waldo's discovery of himself began when he hid in a circus during the production of Where's Waldo Now?

"This kid almost caught me behind an elephant, so I ducked into Harry's House of Mirrors," recalled Waldo as he searched for an apartment in the classifieds. "I was chuckling at my goofy reflections, when something remarkable caught my eye: Me! I had finally found myself."

Despite his self-realization, publishers pressured Waldo to expand the series. Three more books and a weekly television series were planned, and additional characters such as his girlfriend, Wenda, were introduced. Soon, he was even tasked with finding his own lost objects.

"I was looking for my camera in an Eleventh Century agrarian market when I told Wenda I didn't need anyone to find me anymore, and I could finally move on with my life," said Waldo, rummaging through a lost-and-found for his jacket. "That barren whore told me she wouldn't date an unemployed loser searching for his purpose in life."

Taking a break from future projects, Waldo transformed his appearance, shedding his trademark striped shirt and black spectacles.

"I felt like a prisoner in my own body wearing those cold peppermint stripes for two decades," explained Waldo, sporting a new taupe sweater from L.L. Bean. "I finally feel like I have some 'me' time to find hobbies. Maybe I'll take up bird watching or participate in Civil War reenactments."

Searching for his car keys, Waldo added, "Like last week I ate waffles for the first time. Wow. Goodbye pancakes!"

In addition to reenrolling in school for an associate's degree in radiological sciences, Waldo has formed a close relationship with classmate and girlfriend, Wilma.

"I feel like I've known him his whole life," said Wilma, searching for Waldo in a rustic scene of cowboys and Indians. "We're inseparable. He even asked me to read a draft of his upcoming autobiography, Where's Waldo? Here's Waldo!"

Added Wilma: "Now that he's found himself, he should be able to find my G-spot."
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