While normally I am just the kind of BLANK-hole who would casually throw around Latin and expect others to understand it, I have been informed by several parties (my children, my proofreader/copyeditor, my former-Latin-teacher friend) that most people don’t. The title means “In Shadow Obscured,” and in this case, I chose it both for its salience to the subject and for ironic intent.
So, a few days ago, a new cache dropped pretty close to home. I was out of town on non-caching business and in no rush to grab it once I returned home, so I let it go, assuming one of the usual FTF hounds would grab it the next morning while I was at work. Imagine my surprise to see it hadn’t been touched. I hadn’t planned on getting an FTF, and I certainly didn’t need one (I’ve managed to get at least one per month since the beginning of the Time of Cholera), but there it was, so close to home, and I hadn’t gotten my cache for the day, so why not? I headed over to take a look.
The cache was magnetically attached about four feet above my head to the interior of this art installation in a park. What you can’t see in the photo are the picnickers sitting on the benches to the left, the lady doing a photoshoot of her children to the right, or any of the myriad runners, joggers, and walkers (with and without dogs) buzzing around in multiple directions. Stealth would be required, but how does one employ stealth in the middle of a well-populated park in the middle of a sunny day?
I’ll tell you how. You look like you belong. That’s how. Once the children vacated the area (kids being around is a big no-no because people get especially protective, and therefore inquisitive, around their children [I certainly did when mine were younger]), I grabbed two of my most useful TOTTs, my ladder and my clipboard. I began by “inspecting” the ground bolts, “photographing” them, and “taking notes” on their condition. Continuing on, I “photographed” the exterior and interior of the structure. This also gave me a chance to spot the cache (I knew from the Terrain rating that I would need a ladder or pole). Then I extended the ladder and began climbing. I knew the ruse was flimsy. I wasn’t wearing anything to identify the company I supposedly worked for, and, more importantly, who works outside in white slacks? On the other hand, I am constantly amazed by how self-absorbed people can be in public. I personally feel like I’m always casing the joint wherever I happen to be, so I assume that everyone else is also looking around for things that are out of place. Projection, however, is a thing, and I am as guilty of it as anyone else is. Everyone else just kept on keeping on with their lives while I did my work and grabbed the cache. Too bad that the cache had no log! Poopy! But that was easily fixed. I left the ladder where it was (because who’s going to steal a ladder in the middle of a park with witnesses?) and popped back over to my car. I grabbed a spare log with a baggie and signed it. Another climb up the ladder to return the cache, and my work was done. I collapsed the ladder and went on my way. Another cache found, another FTF claimed. My point here (and I do have one) is to be careful around the muggles, but don’t let them stop you!