This year's International GeoCache competition was headed toward the most successful ever until the US government shutdown took out the GPS satellites, leaving a 91-year-old WWII veteran as the winner.
Geocaching is a growing sport where participants use a GPS to guide them to a location of a container or cache. Inside the container is a logbook to enter the participant's name and date of discovery. "Usually anybody can do it. Just turn on your GPS and follow the directions," explains Fred Brain. "That's one of the joys of the sport -- it's really easy."
The largest international competition started this weekend but was immediately sent into chaos when organizers realized that the US government shutdown also stopped all GPS satellite transmissions. Some participants tried using Google maps but as they zoomed in, they received the "no data" message. Apple map users became lost. With government park rangers furloughed and unable to perform search and rescue missions, many Apple users are still missing. Several German shepherds and Fly from the movie "Babe" have been contacted to assist with their rescue.
Harvey Larkin, a veteran of WWII, won by finding the cache first. "I pulled out a map and a compass. Then I found the cache," Larkin modestly explains. "Several kids asked me what I was carrying. One boy thought I had the world's small GameBoy. I still don't understand why he thinks there are boys so small you can carry them in your hand." Many competitors were also upset that Larkin was allowed to use his Rascal Scooter with off-road tires.
Organizers debated for over an hour about the use of a paper map. Eventually they made copies of the map and provided it to all participants. Even with the map, no other participant was able to find the cache, leaving Larkin as the winner.
Some participants have threatened to protest the use of the compass and have asked for it to be inspected.
In related news, Dungeons and Dragons enthusiasts are gearing up for a massive membership drive, as are several terrorist cells.