Phakes and Spoilers……

JULY 2015

There are people out there who are keen on spoiling everyone else’s fun. You might know the type….

Back in Michigan I lived in a thickly populated, urban neighborhood near Detroit. Still,  there was a coveted empty lot down the street where neighborhood kids hid in the tall grass, chased butterflies and collected bouquets of dandelions for their moms. But the most important thing that happened in that lot, as far as I was concerned, was ball. We played softball, baseball, whiffleball and any other game that took a bat and a ball of some sort. The type of ball played depended on who brought the ball. I had a hardball, but Steve Drojibecky had a softball and Billy Wojakowski had a whiffle ball. Everybody had a bat. No shortage of bats. But balls got lost and so at any one time there might be a wide selection or a narrow choice. We played whatever game we could and just adjusted the distance between the paper plates we used for bases to coordinate with the distance we could hit the ball. If we were using my Costa Rican, hand stitched, major league special, that cost an entire dollar at Grasekey’s Sports Chalet downtown the bases were so far apart we lost track of where they were off in the tall weeds and sometimes had to run around looking for second while some outfielder chased after you with the ball, yelling and screaming that you were OUT! Not being able to find a base didn’t matter. If you were tagged, you were out.

There was a guy that lived on the next block over. His name was Stewart. And Stewart liked to sneak up on our ball field from the direction least likely to be noticed and hide in the tall grass until someone hit a ball in his direction.  Then he would leap up like a jack in the box on cocaine, whoop a rebel war cry, grab the ball in the air, sometimes making spectacular catches, and take off running back to his house faster than a jack-a-lope. We’d all take off in pursuit but it was always a lost cause. Stewart must have had a pretty good collection of balls by the time he turned 12.

It always seemed to us that Stewart just wanted to ruin the game and spoil our fun…

We called him the Stewart the spoiler…


What made me think of old Stewart was this photo sent to Forrest the other day, that he wanted to share with us:


I think this photo originally appeared on Mike’s blog before he shut it down. But it still surfaces from time to time.

In my mind, and Forrest’s it is clearly a faked photo of the chest, in situ. Someone spent a lot of time (maybe not enough time) making a “sorta” convincing image of the chest buried in dirt. Why? Well, again, in my mind the purpose is to spoil everyone’s fun. It’s not evident to all that this image is a fake. To some, this will appear as real as the hair on Stephen Colbert’s head. To others this will appear as real as the hair on…well on Donald Trump’s head.

In fact, it is just a photoshopped version of the below photo from Forrest’s website:

Fenn001 2

As Forrest pointed out to the concerned sender of this photo:
“He (the originator of the faked photo) turned the chest 90 degrees and photoshopped the dirt and rocks on top. Note the 3 glare spots on the lock.”

My point is that there are a lot of “spoilers” out there who don’t want to get in the game but also don’t want you to have fun in the game. So they will do what they can to interrupt the hunt and take away the “thrill of the chase”.

Forrest says the chest is still where he hid it.

I already have my next search planned…
Now, if I can just find the time to get out and smell the good air…