The Christmas Miracle of 2008: The Return of Cartman

“Cartman” was an invaluable addition to our family when we lived in a condo back in 2008. We received Cartman from the previous owners of the condo. The story goes that they purchased him from a “Masters Choice” grocery store fire sale when it was being renovated, but we suspect a more nefarious origin. During our time in the condo, he bore the weight of many a grocery bag, IKEA box–any load that cannot be lifted by one person. He did this without complaint and with only the slightest of rattles and squeaks. He lived happily by our parking spot #48, next to the ventilation fan, always happy to greet us and our loads to bear.

Then, in November 2008, Cartman was taken from us by an unknown assailant. We frantically scoured both levels of the parking lot, the storage locker, the hallways, looking for him, to no avail.

T quickly made up a “missing child” poster,  pleading for any information about his whereabouts.

Missing Cart Poster
I can’t decide which is the better detail on this poster, the photo-aging of Cartman by 10 years, or the description of what he was wearing when last seen.



No response was received. For two months, we struggled to get by without him, having to lift our own grocery bags and daughter E1 in her baby car seat on the long treks back to the condo.

But then one day, we were walking back to the car when T looked ahead and stopped dead in his tracks. He pointed his finger and just started saying “Hey! Hey! Hey!” over and over again, so excited that he momentarily lost the capacity for words. There, sitting back in his home by the ventilation fan, was Cartman!

The only clues we had to where he had been the last two months were the specks of white paint on him. But no matter, we were thrilled to have him back. The date? December 24th, 2008, Christmas Eve. It was our own Christmas miracle.