A solid week of rainy weather had me in a dark mood. Instead of planning the next cache hike (I HATE MUD) or even an urban cache run (too cold & wet) I ended up thinking back on my most negative muggle encounters.
If you think that caching is all positive, fun and full of smiley faces, skip the rest of this posting. I don’t want to upset you.
I firmly believe that a huge majority of muggles are oblivious to our caching activities. Of those who do notice us, many are mildly suspicious but they’re busy with what they’re doing and soon lose interest. Most of the remainder who see us don’t care. The rest are split between those who know about geocaching and those who start confrontations and/or call the authorities. I divide these last into paranoids and haters.
Encounters with paranoids:
Lemonwood Park Cache (GC1EGJR).
While caching near the main sign at a nearly vacant public park, a group of small kids ran up, surrounded me and asked what I was doing. Within 10 seconds 2 parents rushed over and told me to leave the, “children’s playground,” or they’d call the police. Anxious aunts & uncles were striding forcefully in our direction and the situation could easily have turned ugly, maybe even violent. So I left.
A Bug’s Life (GCNBA2).
While signing the log a muggle yelled from the nearest house, well over 100’ away. “What’re you doing? You’re trespassing!” I asked & he ok’d for me to approach. I briefly explained geocaching and that the cache was on COSCA property. He claimed that COSCA had deeded the property over to him and that he wanted to keep arsonists out. By then a delegation of neighbors had joined us and all wanted the cache removed. Planning to relocate the cache, I asked for the location of the property line. The muggle was vague and couldn’t point to an exact spot. Whatever…
Encounters with haters:
Taylor Yards (across L.A. River from Elysian Park) forgot which cache: I found the cache and was walking to my car in the parking lot. A group of guys was having a tailgate party. One of them yelled to me, “Hey, this ain’t Chinatown.” and all of them glared. I was only a few feet from my car so I left.
Viva Las Vegas (GC1DZX5).
On multiple weekend visits to find a cache the GPSr always zeroed in the middle of the street. Each time the same muggle and 1 to 3 of his friends was standing around nearby. Thirty seconds into first visit the main muggle shouted in mixed Spanish/English. I understood “get outta here!” I finally found the cache when no one was around. Just as I was leaving, the muggle came around the corner eating chips from a bag. He was alone and he walked silently around me to get back to his apartment complex.
Thousand Oaks (somewhere near TO Blvd & Reyes Adobe) – don’t remember cache name:
When searching a telephone pole on a residential street, NOT in front of a house, a local walked around the corner and saw me. He stopped and started complaining about “city people,” and called me an “oriental terrorist.” I told him if that’s what he believed then he should call the sheriff. He said, “don’t worry, I will,” and walked back around the corner. Strangely, the guy was obviously half Asian…It was apparently a case of self-loathing.
A hybrid paranoid / hater (s)?
Kaitlin’s First Cache (GCGV8J).
A kindly looking old muggle man seemed to be genuinely interested in my explanation of caching. The rest of the exchange went like this. “Do you live around here?” “No, in the San Fernando Valley.” “Are there geocaches there?” “Yes.” “Then why don’t you go look for those?” “Are you telling me that I’m not allowed here?” “Noooo, I can’t say that. But this park is for local residents.”
Trekking Tapo #1 (GC1WCG4).
Strangely, I had a nearly identical encounter (it MAY even have been the same guy) 4 years later in Simi. This time he ended by claiming to be a retired Sheriff who wanted to keep foreign gangs out of Simi. What could that POSSIBLY have to do with me?! The entire series of caches seemed to be along people’s backyards so I decided to skip it entirely.
YES – IT IS a rant! After remembering everything above, all at once, my B.P. is sky high. I’ll calm down during the week. In the meantime, if you’ve got a muggle experience to share, please do.