Idaho and Utah, Kaput!…

saltflats

 

Posted in June 2013

What on Gaia’s green earth does Forrest have against Idaho and Utah?

When I first heard that he had completely eliminated these two fine examples of mountain states from the list of probable places where one might find the treasure, I was absolutely dumbfounded. I mean, think about it. As if these states are not already in the doldrums from an economic slowdown since 2008. This has got to be the Coup de Grace.

The citizens of Idaho and Utah were surely counting on the Thrill of the Chase Treasure Hunt to move along the end of this recession/depression. Just as Idaho politicians were licking their lips in anticipation of the tourism dollars headed their way; Just as Utahans from Salt Lake City to Kanab were bracing for the rush of searchers; Forrest has snatched the prize out from under their noses. As the snow melts in the Rockies so goes the fortunes of two pleasant little innocent kingdoms.

“The treasure is not hidden in Utah or Idaho.”

Nine little words and two states now face economic doom.  (nine words-nine clues…coincidence?)

In the previous Today Show clue Forrest simply said that the treasure was not associated with any structure. A pleasant little clue that hurts no one. But this most recent clue is bound to send Wall Street to the dugout, hat in hand, looking for a new republic savior.

You might think that I have crossed the line with my accusations. But this is certainly no exaggeration. There is more to this loss than airfare, gas, water bottles and national disgrace…much more! Let me explain:

Shovels!

Do you have any idea how much a shovel costs? Do you know what the mark-up on a shovel is?

Let’s start with America’s most popular long handled, forward turned, step, tempered, round shovel…the Acme, tall wood. Made right here in the US of A and sold in ACE Hardware stores all across the country and certainly in Idaho and Utah.

Retail Price $26.99

Wholesale Price $12.50

Manufacturing Cost $2.14

Generates about $2.00 in sales tax

Now the thing about a shovel is you need one to dig for buried treasure. And if you are traveling by air to your destination you don’t want to take a shovel. It doesn’t fit under your seat and there is never room in the overhead because that’s where everyone who got a seat before you put their extra heavy duty foldable luggage dollies. So, you have to buy a shovel when you get off the plane at a local ACE Hardware store.

But Dal…come on..how many searchers are there anyway?

Thousands and thousands is my answer. In May, over spring break, Santa Fe had an additional 6,000 searchers fly, drive and bus in. And as anyone who knows anything knows, the treasure isn’t even in Santa Fe. So imagine the kind of searcher tourism some place like Salt Lake City (where warm waters halt) could have gotten.

Someone like Stephanie who has flown out to Colorado umteen times, buys a shovel every single time she gets off the plane. The Ace Hardware folks love her. She has her own reserved parking spot at Ace Hardware stores all across the country. “Non-Employee of the Month” they call her. That’s 4,017 stores with a parking space just for Stephanie.

But that’s not all. Searchers need other things too; arch supports, Gatorade, band-aids, inhalers, beer, dry socks, liniment, aspirin, maps, bear spray, ammo, beer, mask and snorkel, poisonous plant ID books, portable espresso machines, compass, beer…the list is endless.

In my humble opinion the states of Idaho and Utah have generous cause to sue Fenn for “breach of hospitality and denying suitable income”. In the words of my friend Mort, “You mean he knew all along that it wasn’t in Idaho?”.

And that’s not all. What about the hundreds…perhaps thousands of searchers who have already looked needlessly in Utah and Idaho. Perhaps a class action lawsuit against Fenn for not telling us sooner is in order.

The whole thing is willfully unfair. Fenn has now unilaterally denied Idaho and Utah untold income from treasure seekers not only from Americans but also from Canadians, French, English, Mexican and Lithuanian searchers. And he has knowingly hoaxed thousands of us into traveling needlessly to these near-do-well states to look for Fenn’s treasure. This is no meaningless, small breach of the constitution.

Gird your loins Mr. Fenn…

dal…