An Open Letter to the Man in the Park

Dear Mr. Metal Detector Man,

When I arrived at the park yesterday to run a few miles, I saw you already there. At first, I was curious about your behavior. You were stooped over, searching the ground then I saw you holding your metal detector. How many people own a metal detector? It’s not a common gadget. And how many people use it at their leisure as a hobby?

As I proceeded with my run, I could hear the small beeps from your machine. You went to the sandbox, the swings and the merry go round. What you were hoping to find? Did your wife lose a ring? Where you looking for coins? I know times are tough sir, I know the high price of things these days. I feel your pain. But really, are things so tough that you are searching for loose change children may have lost? What are you hoping to find, a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter at most?

You went to the large plastic gym set kids of 2-10 year-olds could play on, when your metal detector gave a weak reading. You dug among the wood chips on the ground but came up empty-handed. Your detector probably found a bolt grounding the gym set.

From what I could gather, your quest proved fruitless. Might I recommend using your machine at a beach, where adults frequent? You have a better chance of finding something valuable there, like lost jewelry or perhaps a buried treasure chest by long-forgotten pirates. This would make your time worth the effort. Your hunt at the playground made you appear that you are shooting rather low in life and it made you appear very desperate.

As I completed my run, you had vanished. I couldn’t help shaking my head when I saw aluminum soda cans lying on the ground near my car. You were too occupied using your machine you didn’t see the metal cans you could receive money for recycling.

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