Not All that Beeps is Gold

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Not All that Beeps is Gold

Carl was quiet pleased.  The warm sun felt delightful under his bare feet and he was rather elated with his newest purchase.  Sure, he enjoyed the gritty granules massaging his toes and the warm sun the beat down and warmed that spot on his neck “just so” was all quite delightful.  Even the gulls seemed a little extra-friendly; but not in the circling obnoxiously overhead way.  Yes, the weather was all well and good, but it was his new metal detector that really had Carl grinning from ear to ear.

He couldn’t believe the bargain he had gotten.   At only one thousand, five hundred and forty-nine dollars, he had really gotten the best of the deal.  It had retailed for almost nineteen hundred, so clearly Carl had expert negotiating skills.  He had made out like a bandit.  Granted, there were other metal detectors that sold for cheaper.  Some were even under a hundred dollars.  But those were for ninnies, and Carl was no ninny.  The other metal detectors didn’t let him choose the sound of the beep when the machine passed over metal.  The other machine didn’t have a USB input so that he could hook up to his computer and save his favorite setting.  Never mind the fact that Carl hadn’t actually learned how to use any of those settings.  The time for book-learning and following directions would come later.  Carl was smart enough to figure this out without instructions.  He had gold to find.

Now, Carl knew that he wasn’t going to get rich overnight.  He previously had dabbled in metal detectors.  He still wondered whatever happened to the last one he bought.  With the way Lydia teased and made fun of him, he wouldn’t put it past her to hide his favorite tool.  He assumed that when he started discussing replacing it with a new one she would fess up and produce his old detector.  However she maintained that she didn’t know where it was.  Feeling the need to continue his hobby, Carl had gone ahead and purchased the one that he felt was best-suited to him.  He saw no reason to mention the price to Lydia; he’d make back the purchase cost soon enough.

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Metal Detecting by Vince Mig

Carl fancied himself an up-and-coming expert.  He had found his life needing some excitement after retirement.  He thought about taking a trip somewhere, but the spare tire around his belly had caused him to have a string of back problems.  Even now, he had to stop and pick things out of the sand slowly whenever the detector made that wondrous sound.  His head had gone bald long ago, so any thought of jazzing up his life with a toupee was long gone.  At least, that’s what Lydia had decreed.  When he brought up the idea of an RV (complete with the comfiest driver’s seat money could buy to ease the long hours of sitting), Lydia had suggested he shoot for something more affordable.  And so the first metal detector had entered into Carl’s life.  He had spent two years strolling along the same coast line, convinced that his big find was just waiting for him.  Two years later, Carl hadn’t found anything more valuable than car keys or nickels.  At least Lydia had acquired some new buttons and sunglasses from his efforts.

This time would be different.  Carl could feel it in his bones.  Also in the light-weight, poly-carbon, ergonomically-designed piece of art in his hands.  If he had gone for the deluxe model it would have included a cup-holder.  Carl had resisted such frivolities.  He wanted to be practical about his hobby.  He didn’t need a cup of coffee to keep him alert at four a.m.; the thrill of the hunt was more than enough.  Lydia had asked why he needed to be up at such an unseemly hour.  Carl had replied the old adage about early birds and worms.  Lydia had responded with a face one as if she had eaten a worm.  She mumbled a good-bye and tried to go back to sleep.

The beach was all his.  It wasn’t even seven o’clock and Carl felt he was getting the high-definition, color screen figured out.  Already this morning he had found two cellular phones and a locker key.  He wished that the phones hadn’t been broken and that the key was to something like a sports car; but he decided that experience counted for something.

Then his metal detector started going crazy.  Beeps echoed and an image flashed onto his screen.  Carl fidgeted with the controls, but the display only got fuzzier.  The one thing he knew was that this was the biggest object he had ever found.  The beeping in his headphones was getting louder and louder.  He reached for what he thought was the volume only to have the pitch slowed down.  Carl gave up on the device, set it aside, and slowly knelt down on the sand.  He moved as quickly as his back would let him and dug into the sand.

Three or four inches of sand revealed nothing.  As Carl dug down to seven, and then nine inches, the hole started to fill in on itself.  Determined, Carl got into the hole and used his calves and rear to keep the cascading terrain at bay.  Still nothing was visible.  Carl had gotten this far, he wasn’t about to stop now.  He passed the one foot mark and kept digging.  Then he felt it.  Something hard and metal was visible.  It almost seemed like a handle.  Struggling to pull the object free while digging away with his free hand, Carl fell on his bottom.  Now using the entirety of his lower torso to keep from being swallowed into the pit, Carl furiously dug around the object.  He felt his back starting to spasm but he pushed through the pain.  He closed his eyes and pulled with all his might.  With a jerk, the object pulled free.

Carl opened his eyes.  He looked with disbelief at the buried item that was now his own personal treasure.  In a way, it had been his already.  For before Carl sat his odd metal detector.  At the sight of it, the memory of last summer came rushing to him.  He had felt a little sunburnt on top of his head and so he had rushed inside to put some lotion on it before continuing.  When his wife had asked him to go shopping with him, he had forgotten all about his exciting endeavor into excavating.  The storm that had occurred that night had helped to bury the metal detector.  Until today.

Carl looked at the old metal detector that had undergone some severe damage from beaten attacked by the elements.  Carl looked back at his new metal detector.  He thought to himself that the first device might possibly be salvaged.  Perhaps Lydia would want to join him early tomorrow morning?

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About anecdotaltales
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

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