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Monday, April 14, 2003
 
Enthusiast Adopts Child to Improve Credit Count

Joe Lekowski, a Pennsylvania-area enthusiast with more than 150 coasters to his credit, was looking for that extra edge to get to the next level. International travel was out of the question, as his employment in the stock room at Wal-Mart precluded any travel not depended on his 1992 Honda Accord (and because he feared that he'd find himself in a terrifying foreign land without a Chick-Fil-A), and he'd already visted a high percentage of the parks within domestic driving distance.

In the off season, he spent hours, if not days, contemplating how he could reach 250 or perhaps even 300 coasters and surpass his nemesis, known only as DejaVroomin at ThrillNetwork's forums.

Then he had what he describes as a "eureka!" moment. There were dozens and dozens of children's coasters that he'd never ridden due to his single childless status; if he had a child, he could increase his count enormously in just days. But how to obtain a child? Traditional means were out of the question, due to his utter lack of prospects for a partner and certain other medical hurdles. And his acquaintances with children tended to obtain restraining orders when he asked to "borrow" their children.

But then, while watching a late-night repeat broadcast of Las Vegas's Badasssss Thrill Rides on the Travel Channel, he saw an advertisement seeking funds to feed hungry African children. That was the breakthrough Lekowski was looking for. He wouldn't just pay for rice and beans, he would actually adopt a child and provide the child with all the funnel cakes imaginable.

So now, Lekowski is the proud father of Idowu Babatunde "Stan" Lekowski, a fourteen-year-old boy from Nigeria. Lekowski initially sought an Asian child due to the extended period during which the child might be short enough to get Joe onto kids' coasters, but Idowu had the good fortune of being born with a genetic abnormality, leading doctors to predict that he will never stand taller than 34 inches. "It's perfect!" exclaimed the senior Lekowski. "So long as we keep him shaved, this kid can get me into Jeepers! until he's thirty!"

"Stan" lives in a separate corner of Joe's parents' basement and is learning English exclusively through his father's extensive collection of self-created on-ride video footage. In an exclusive ARN&R interview on the subject of the emotional impact of his adoption and integration into U.S. culture, he said, "Whoooo-hoo!! Check out that airtime! I've got a woodie, I mean, I love this woodie! Whooooo! The lats!"

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