Have you ever actually found a needle in a haystack? Was it all it’s hyped up to be?
Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
During a couple summers while in undergrad, I worked as a cabana boy for a local beach service where I grew up. This meant renting out reclining loungers, chairs, and umbrellas to the guests of the condos using the beaches. It also meant scorching heat (Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast in summer) and backbreaking work.
So it goes.
Anyway, one particular day I’m sitting under my umbrella dripping sweat and questioning my life choices when a lady frantically runs up to me. In between sobs, she tells me she lost her diamond ring in the sand by her lounge. After asking on the radio if anyone had a metal detector, and finding out the answer was no, I had an idea.
I moved the heavy wooden lounge chair and marked out about a 10 foot by 10 foot search area.
Then I started in one corner and slowly drug my fingers through the top layers of sand. I felt stupid and silly as the minutes ticked by. Slowly the other beach onlookers went back to what they were doing as it seemed to them it was just some futile search for what amounted to a literal needle in a haystack.
Hell, I thought it was stupid too. Until my fingers brushed up against something metallic about halfway through the search grid.
I remember thinking to myself, “No fucking way” as I pulled a massive diamond ring out of the sand.
Holding it up to the sun, I was confused by the fact that my plan had worked when the lady saw I’d found her priceless treasure and let out a bloodcurdling squeal of mirth, ran over, snatched the ring out of my hands and ran off to the hotel.
Shrugging my shoulders and feeling good about helping her out, I got up and moved her lounger back into the spot it was in, repositioned her umbrella in case she came back out, and turned to go back to my post.
After all, it was summertime and the living is easy.