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Some people just really annoy me.

I was in Anchorage, Alaska just relaxing after spending time metal detecting at Ganes Creek.  My wife was due to arrive the next day and I had some time to spend awaiting her arrival. The day was beautiful, with the sky clear and the sun shining brightly. Of course, when you are in Anchorage in June, the sun shines for over 20 hours a day.

I was staying at a hotel near Cook Inlet, so I decided to explore some of the local parks around the area. I thought perhaps I could find a walking path and maybe get a little exercise. Before heading out, I stopped at a convenience store and purchased a cappuccino to substitute for my morning coffee. Driving toward my destination, I noticed a large empty gravel parking lot. At the edge of it, near the shore was a large sign I knew would provide some of the history of Cooks Inlet, so I drove across the gravel and parked about 20 feet to the left of the sign. I got out, with cappuccino in hand, and ambled up to the sign. It was huge with four large displays containing information, pictures and maps. I stood back about six feet and started to read. It was peaceful, I was all alone, and there were no other cars or people in sight.

About halfway through my reading, I heard what I thought was a truck crunching the gravel as it entered the parking lot. As I turned to look, I discovered it was not a truck but a very large RV. I estimated the value to be at least a half a million bucks.  It was big, shiny and new—complete with temporary tags.

I watched in awe as the shiny beast pulled to a stop in the RV parking area. Always wanted one of those but could never justify spending that much money on something I would only use a few times a year. Sort of like the boat I owned a few years back.  Of course, owning an RV was also described by my wife in a common sense manner. Each time I mentioned buying an RV and described in detail all the wonderful amenities, she would simply say, “The last thing I want to do when I take a vacation is to drag my house with me. I want to be waited on and let someone else do the housework.” Good point.

As the dust settled, an older couple emerged from the RV. Their expensive clothes and fancy jewelry didn’t interest me so I turned back to my sign reading. I was enjoying the solitude, and didn’t particularly want any company. The next thing I heard was footsteps.

Then it happened.

Mrs. RV walked up and planted herself right in front of me blocking my view of the sign. She started reading loudly, adding comments to her husband in a voice that only a mother could love.  She’d clearly read a few brochures and apparently fancied herself an expert about everything. My peace and quiet and morning cappuccino were officially interrupted by the worst kind of tourist possible: the know-it-all with a rude streak.

Numerous thoughts went through my mind. Should I say, “Are you so blind you have to stand on top of the sign to read it?” Or maybe, “Hey you inconsiderate idiot, move aside.” I was beginning to pull my left hand out of my jeans pocket to grab her hair and yank her out of the way, when I saw a vision of my father. He was standing there with police belt in hand, shaking his head no and saying “Remember the flaming oil can incident?

My hand slowly sank back into my pocket. Calming myself, I thought “Okay, Mike, give it a break. Drink your cappuccino and just let it go.” I gave up trying to read the signs and walked over to my SUV, brushing off the momentary urge to use my buck knife on their shiny RV tires. With my back towards the SUV, I leaned against the hood. I was just mentally cooling down, or as my son would say, “chillin out.”

As I was fidgeting around, still really annoyed from the shattering of my peace and quiet, I bumped my man bag. Well, in all fairness, it’s not really a man bag, but a small canvas bag that I attach to my belt when I am metal detecting. It has two zippered pouches, each about big enough to hold a pop can. One pocket I use for storing the junk I find, and the other for storing gold or other treasures. I had long ago emptied the junk, but one pocket still contained some gold nuggets.  Sometimes your best ideas seem to just pop into your head at the right time. I don’t know why but a brilliant one just showed up.

I knew from one glance that Mrs. and Mr. RV were not the hiking types. As soon as they finished reading the sign and snapping a few pictures, they would be on their way. I glanced at their RV, and slowly sauntered toward a spot I knew they’d have to pass to get back to the RV. Strolling along, I reached in my man bag and pulled out a small solid gold nugget. It was small, only about a quarter of an ounce, but shiny and bright. Then I positioned myself along their path. While they weren’t looking, I tossed the gold nugget on top of the ground.

I choked down a smile as they walked towards me. When Mrs. RV got about ten feet from my trap, I dropped my cappuccino on the ground and let it splatter. I shouted “Stop!” as I reached down and picked up the nugget and said “Look, a gold nugget!”

Under the circumstances, I mustered all the excitement of finding a gold nugget that I could and there was the usual admiration as Mrs. RV rolled the nugget in her hand. I tried my best to not laugh and casually mentioned that it was not uncommon to find nuggets anywhere in Alaska. I even reached in my man bag and pulled out several more nuggets to show her the proof. With that final move, all of the pieces of my revenge were in place.

Mrs. and Mr. RV began combing the parking lot, searching for gold nuggets. I casually picked up my discarded cappuccino cup and headed for my SUV. Minutes later as I drove out of the parking lot the know-it-all-tourists were still bent over looking for nuggets. I have no idea how long they searched. I sure would like to hear the stories they told to their friends. I also hope I don’t run into them on my next trip to Alaska.

Oh, revenge can be so sweet.

Lesson Learned: There are better ways to get revenge than by verbally lashing out, pulling hair, or slashing tires.