Friday, January 12, 2007

Taking The (Metal) Mickey

Of all the creatures found along the shoreline, none, perhaps, is more curious than ferrum deprehensio, better known as the weirdo metal detector. Typically solitary by nature, the metal detector can often be found scrounging for pennies engaged in their foraging behaviour as the sun sets and the last holiday maker has left the beach. They will - in extremis - scavenge along the foreshore, but their preference is to hover incessantly beyond the tideline - in particular over recently vacated spots where Beach Bums, Nippers and holiday makers have made temporary nests.

This particular sub species has, in almost every respect, the colouring and physical characteristics of homo sapiens but is in fact an invertebrate. Their shuffling gait and poor auditory awareness, along with a tendency to wear Pac-A-Macs even in extreme heat are generally accepted as distinguishing features.

Their sensory equipment is their most prized possession along with a trowel and when they gather in groups - an infrequent occurrence - there is much competitive display of this sensory apparatus.

Whilst baiting of any wild animal cannot be encouraged, it is hard to resist the harmless sport of "coin flicking" when one comes across this peculiar beastie. I have found best results are to approach the animal from head on (they are nearly always staring at their feet) and flick a sovereign into the sand just ahead of their sensory equipment. Feign casual surprise, followed by rapturous delight when you bend down to pick up said coin. You will be treated to much clucking and harrumphing by the ferrum deprehensio. Enjoy!

The life span of the creature is usually substantial. Occasionally, one will explode after having dredged up some unexploded ordinance. Ah - cruel nature!

4 comments:

Paula the Surf Mom said...

We have a species of those here too, we call then nerdus bervis per deprehensio

Paula the Surf Mom said...

Hey beach you are the number 1 out click on my site today... your famous

Minx said...

There were five of the species on Gwithian beach the other day. One got run over by a kite - ah well, one less!

Anonymous said...

and some great surfers in aus metal detect .You are not ever the one to judge others .