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Tip of the Day 12/8:Muggle Distractions —The Real Truth

Occasionally you’ll run into the awkward situation of noticing bystanders staring at you while you’re geocaching with expressions that range from puzzled to hostile You really can’t blame them:Why would an otherwise grown-up man or woman spend 10 minutes poking around under rocks in an urban park in the middle of the day or wriggling around on the sidewalk under a newspaper box?

Muggles will stop and look at you while you’re peering into dark places and rustling in the bushes,but few will bother to ask for an explanation. However,some will ask. It’s nice to answer. When they’re wearing blue uniforms,it’s downright essential.

In general,the best approach is to tell people what you’re actually doing —“We are engaged in a treasure hunt using global positioning systems”—or the terser option —“We are participating in an Internet treasure hunt.”Most Muggles will be sufficiently baffled by this response and will move on. For the few that express interest in learning more,show them your GPSr and explain to them how you’re trying to pinpoint the treasure. You can even invite them to join in the hunt.

If you don’t want to explain, however,we’ve learned of some clever ways to distract Muggles. We’d like to share some with you in the next few weeks.

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TreyB carries a geocaching brochure with him to hand out to inquisitive bystanders. This satisfies most people and a few get interested enough to want to join in the game.

Granpa Alex uses the opportunity to recruit new players. “I share the game with them and invite them to help me hunt as I sell them on the fun it brings,”he says. “I have never had an experience that didn’t turn out well.”

People generally don’t want all the details;they just want to know “that you’re not a complete whackjob,”says dgreno. His closing line to Muggles is usually:“I’m crazy,but not dangerous.”Some people get so interested they make him wish he could open his coat and sell them a GPSr,but most people just want to feel like they’ve ensured their own safety.

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Got your own tip for distracting Muggles? Comment on this post to share!

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