CacheCrazy.Com: The Mad Geocaching Pensioner - Muggle Distraction

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Mad Geocaching Pensioner - Muggle Distraction

By: Heather at The Ramblings of a Mad Pensioner 
Before I start I better explain to non-geocachers what a Muggle is. Whilst out geocaching if you come across a member of the general public that doesn't know about the sport, then they are known as a Muggle or Muggles for a group of them. You don't want them to know what your doing in case they steal or damage the cache. Hence the phrase when you can't find the cache, I think it's been muggled.

In the early days of geocaching you soon learn that you have to avoid "Muggles", or an unwanted  humanoid  as I see them. These are crafty creatures that sneak up without you realising that they are there, some are so devious that I'm sure that they fit silencers to their footwear.

For that reason I prefer to do countryside caches rather than those in towns and city where the herds of muggles congregate near watering holes. Saying that I was once muggled by a muntjac deer who appear just feet away from me as I came out behind a tree with the spoils in my hands. Not sure who was more surprised, but by the time I had got my camera out the deer had scarpered , nobody believes me as I point to the photograph of trees, "It was there I declared", in the same way as the fisherman's tells the story of the big one that got away.

I'm sure the deer was there a second ago.

So lets look at the successful and foolhardy methods that I have used to distract muggles in my pursuit of that elusive cache.

1. The Little White Lie or Fib.  This situation arose when I decided to check out one of my own caches (GC2XHC7) and do some maintenance. I set off on the half mile walk along an old farm track to where there is a bridge straddling  the main railway line that runs south to Bristol, there is also a main line going off to towards London. Just as I was tidying up the container I suddenly heard the sound of a tractor coming along the track, so I stayed calm and sneakily push the box under a bush with my foot as the tractor approached.

Just act all nonchalant I thought and just smile at the farmer whilst giving him a cheery wave as he passed. Horror of horrors the farmer stopped and leaning out of his cab and enquired, "What's yews doing up yer then luv", yes OK he was a typical Gloucestershire yokel and between translating and panicking I just blurted out "Trains-spotting!!!". My brain went into overdrive and I stupidly followed this up with, "Not so good these days as it was with the old steam trains is it", where did I get that from!! His face was a picture as he must have thought I was the local nerd or I had just escaped from a local institution. He just restarted his tractor, which was pulling a muck-spreading machine, and turned into a field nearby. I think my little fib smelt just as bad as the muck he was throwing all over the field.

2. The Actor or The Oscar Award. Only to be attempted in certain situations, for me this happened when a new cache appear in my nearby town. Nobody had yet found it but I was sure I could do better and claim the FTF. When I arrived at GZ it was right in the middle of the main street, right opposite a charity shop (hospice shop) where many people search for those second hand bargains. I didn't want to look conspicuous so started walking up and down with my mobile glued to me ear and at this point my acting really started. I pretended to be in a deep conversation whilst occasional throwing my arms up in despair and glancing at my watch. During this time I was actually searching the ground for a clue to the cache but nothing was found.

I was certain, by now the shop window would be full of people starring at this mad pensioner who had been walking up and down for 15 minutes, and was obviously clever enough to use a mobile phone. I decided it was time to give up and confront the enemy across the road in the shop, well I had to explain what I was doing and how terrible it was that a poor pensioner had been let down with my lift home. (Are you believable me yet).

Crossing the road I burst into the shop like a cowboy entering a saloon, stopping to see all the customers from the doorway. Would you believe it, the shop was completely empty except for the little old lady who was busy dusting a shelf at the back of the shop. My 15 minute Oscar performance was all for no reason and I ended up buying an old set of kitchen scales and a hip flask just to save face with the old lady and not look that stupid at bursting into her shop. By the way, the cache never excited in the first place, it had just been a prank from a school kid with nothing better to do in his holidays. Well at least the hip flask made me a profit on Ebay and the scales is a replacement for the Oscar statuette, a reminder of my acting performance.

3A. The Photographer (Positive). My usual method of fooling muggles and a great record of the caches I've found. On this occasion I had just nabbed a cache at the back of a churchyard (GC1RNP6) on a footbridge over a stream in the country and was making my way back to my car. Coming around the side of the church I was confronted with a wedding party all milling around for the photo shoot and somehow I had to get through this cheerful crowd.

The Happy Couple - Does he not know his troubles have just started !!

Taking out my trusty camera I started shooting the happy couple, side walking like a crab through all these muggles until I was stopped in my tracks as someone took my arm and said, "Oh doesn't Jenny and Tom look beautiful", who the hell was Jenny and Tom I thought but replied, "Love Jenny's dress, I never look like that good in white", well not geocaching in the countryside I said under my breath . I was trapped in conversation with the lady as she asked if she could have a copy of the couple and that she would give me her address at the reception dinner. Think I got away with that one, and I was wearing a hat for the wedding, Lady-Magpies famous geocaching hat.

3B. The Photographer (Negative). What a simple instrument my camera is to get me away from those pesky muggles, easy to use and a good reason to be out alone in the country.  Another small hillside village in the Cotswold was my destination where a cache (GC1Z6WD) had been set up. A footpath went through the churchyard to a gate at the back, the path continued across the village primary school playground before returning to the lane on the far side. Now I knew the rules don't permit caches being placed in churchyards so it had to be in the wall between the play area and the church.

Suddenly the place was full of little muggles and Mummy muggles coming out at the end of the school day, so not to give the game away I decided to take photos of the hillside view. All was going well but I kept getting strange looks from the passing families, was my clothes undone, did I have something stuck on my face where I had been searching in the bushes? Suddenly I realised the problem, a stranger in the village stood in the school playground brandishing a camera. What these Mums were actually reading were the words Danger Pervert tattooed across my forehead. The speed I put my camera away was impressive and I spent the next 15 minutes listening out for police sirens, just goes to show the camera ploy doesn't always work but I did get some beautiful shots across the valley, and I found the cache hidden behind the kissing gate before heading home to my village where at least I'm known.


BigAl said...

Heather, this was another great post. We all laughed until we almost had tears running down our faces. I just love your adventures. It even means more to me since I lived over there for two years. Thanks for the laughs. Please keep them coming.


Great job Heather! I am so happy to see your acceptance of Honorary Author here at CacheCrazy.Com. You are a great addition to an already talented team! Looking forward to more of your work, thanks!

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