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Tuesday, 30 August 2011

"Hey honey, where's Junior?" Parents "forget" son at a roadside rest area

"Home alone" might only have been a 1990 film dreamt up by scriptwriters as a comedy in which Macaulay Culkin played the part of an eight-year-old boy mistakenly left behind when his parents fly off to Paris for their Christmas hols.

But let's face it, fact can be - and often is - stranger than fiction as the parents of an eight-year-old French boy can attest to after their weekend "lapse of memory".

They reportedly "forgot" their son on the side of the road, leaving him at a rest area and only realising he was missing half an hour later.

Lourdes Basilica (Wikipedia, author Milorad Pavlek)

The couple from the suburbs of Paris were on their way to the market town of Lourdes at the foot of the Pyrénées in southwestern France.

It is of course famous as a destination for Catholic pilgrimage and alleged miraculous healings.

They had set off on their holidays early on Saturday morning; mum, dad and three children in a camping car.

The roads were pretty busy with holidaymakers, just as they are every Saturday in August in France.

As Agence France Presse reports, at around nine o'clock in the evening, after having completed just over 700 of their 800 kilometre journey, the couple decided to take a break, and they stopped at a rest area on the nationale 21 in the département of Gers.

A few minutes later, refreshed and ready for the final stretch, they set off again, and it was only when they arrived in Lourdes that they realised one of their children was missing.

They immediately rang the emergency services, to be told that their son was with the police who had been alerted by other motorists who had seen the child alone at the rest area.

About turn - they were reunited with him a couple of hours later.

So, how could parents apparently "forget" one of their children?

It sounds even weirder than the recent case of the man who left his wife at the side of the road in the dead of night without realising she was missing.

That also happened in the southwest of France - is there something in the water perhaps?

Well there's a simple and innocent enough explanation according to the national daily France Soir.

When the family stopped, all three children were apparently asleep in the back of the camping car.

But while the parents stretched their legs, the eight-year-old slipped out without them noticing.

So they didn't really "forget" him. They just didn't realise he wasn't there.

In their infinite wisdom, the police have decided not to pursue the case, putting it all down to fatigue and a momentary lack of attention at the end of a long journey.

Maybe though, as the regional daily Midi Libre comments, the couple will light up a candle or two in thanks at their final destination.

One thing is for certain - it's a holiday neither the boy nor his parents will forget in a hurry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Who can say, but perhaps it was the parents' secret wish to get rid of their son. And they almost had their wish come true...

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