Bassett: Explanation of what a muggle is

Let me explain.

First of all, you have to belong to that famous, fastest-growing hobby group in the world, geocachers. It is a hoot and a wonderful education for your kids, as well as yourself.

It is where people of all ages go out and find hidden treasures anywhere and everywhere in the world.

If you visit www.geocaching.com and type in your zip code, you will probably find dozens of treasures hidden close at hand.  

Now, a muggles is someone who stands around watching you to see what you’re doing, and who sometimes calls the local cops and reports you as a (shudder) terrorist.

So, I want to tell you how to defend yourself against muggles. It’s pretty easy.

Geocaching isn’t too bad if you live in a rural area and know everyone within a 100-mile circumference. Once in a great while, when you are trying to find one of the hidden treasures in your area, along comes a “muggles.”

It seems like sometimes when I go out “hunting,” I end up looking like the pied piper with people trailing me all over the place asking a jillion questions. I‘m nice to them, because I know all of them.  

Living in a large city, however, can be a problem because lots of treasures are hidden right downtown where there are muggles everywhere!

And curiosity killed the cat, so you are going to be heavily watched.

First of all, you need to decide what you are going to be on the day you decide to hunt.

A simple idea to outwit a muggler is to put on one of those bright orange vests that highway workers wear, don a hard hat and grab a clipboard. Then, as you sneak from pole to pole and fixture to fixture looking, you can stop every so often and write something on the clipboard.

The muggler is going to what?  

Yep!  He/she is going to lose interest in the fact that you are only someone doing your job and how thorough and dedicated you are.

 Being a government inspector is probably one of the easiest ways to fool a muggles.

Don’t be at risk and wear a vest that states FBI or SWAT because you don’t want to be arrested for impersonating an officer, but you could dress up nicely, put on a pair of sunglasses, and again, use the clipboard.

When a muggles asks you what you are doing, you explain to them that you are working undercover and trying to find clues to a crime that occurred in that area recently.

You could tell them it is a cold case. You could tell them that they could be a huge help if they were interested, and that if they discover anything odd or suspicious, call “the number” that you jot down on a torn piece of paper you happen to pull out of your pocket.

The number of course could be to “HOOTERS” in some far away city.

One lady over in Boulder was down on her hands and knees looking under shrubbery (hidden caches can be anywhere) and poking around when she suddenly noticed several muggles standing there staring at her.

She immediately put her face down in the grass and started going “Moooooooo,” and actually bit off some grass and started chewing it.

That is as good as any idea to scare off nosey people.  

The best thing sometimes is to just tell them the truth about what you are doing. That you are using multi-million dollar satellites to hunt for Tupperware.

A great many geocaches are hidden in Tupperware containers, as well as ammo cans, coffee cans, film canisters, etc.  

I’ve read several stories about law enforcement officers and their contacts with geocachers. So, if a policeman stops you, just tell him the truth.

Police are trained to spot suspicious characters doing suspicious things all hours of the day or night and they are only doing their jobs when they start questioning you. Some don’t have time to fool around with silly excuses, and you may get into more trouble than you care to think about, especially if you are caught in a fib, or you’re dressed in camo with a camo backpack and hiding a cache of your own under the skirt of a post.

Chances are he will get excited and want to help you find the hidden goodie container. Many law enforcement officers are already into geocaching and experts with GPS units.  

You just have to go with your instincts.

If your muggler seems trustworthy, tell them the truth. If you think they might go steal or vandalize the hidden cache, then lie, lie, lie, or come back another day or something. And, is it really so wrong for a grown man to go sneaking around in the woods looking for trinkets on any given day?

 Go with your instincts as to what to tell “muggles” Sometimes, if you hold your GPS up to your ear and pretend to be talking on a cell phone, people can be fooled into thinking that is what you are actually doing while wandering around in circles.

Find a pal to go along with you.

You will have a really good time thinking up things to say to muggles. Take a dog along with you. People are more apt to leave you alone if you have a dog.

Most importantly, don’t mention the words “terrorist” or “bomb!”

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