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Nationwide Scavenger Hunt to Provide Barren Couples Life Mission

Thousands of couples whose inability to bear children together has left a gaping void in their lives set out across the country today on a nationwide scavenger hunt organized by the federal government.

Announced to great fanfare last February, its creators within the Department of Health and Human Services say the elaborate contest will likely take years to complete - giving its participants plenty to do for some time as they vie for the first place prize of $8,000 and a 4 day all-expenses paid trip for two to Laughlin, Nevada.

"This should keep them busy for awhile," remarked HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt.

Featuring such rare D.C. novelties as Pat Nixon's wig, Henry Kissinger's collection of Chilean gold fillings, and a pair of J. Edgar Hoover's high heeled shoes, the items comprising the scavenger hunt's list have been scattered across the mainland United States to make the endeavor of attempting to locate them as challenging, time consuming, expensive and aggravating as the task of raising children.

"Designed to resemble the experience of bringing up a child, the contest will likely spark an initial thrill in its participants before inevitably giving way to feelings of frustration, indifference, and ultimately a sense of resignation to complete what they've already committed so much time and money into," said Leavitt, "I can't see it as amounting to anything more than a huge waste of time."

Confirming Leavitt's assertion that, analogous to the institution of child rearing, nothing he or anyone could say would discourage people from taking part, thousands of eager couples have already registered to participate in the hunt.

Exalted one enthusiastic scavenger: "After my doctor told me that polyps on my uterus would prevent me from ever being able to carry a baby to term, my husband and I thought it was the end of the world, but now we have a new reason to live… together."

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