Column: Be careful while on the Hunt

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 22, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal advertising staff has created quite a stir with its Treasure Hunt, now in its third week.

Folks across Dallas County are learning more than they ever wanted to about the rural landscapes and quirky history of our area.

The instructions are simple: You get the clues in the Sunday, Wednesday and Friday issues of The Times-Journal. The clues lead you on a search for the elusive treasure, which is hidden somewhere in the county. (The clues are also placed at the sponsor locations and are announced on radio stations, WDXX 1490 and Dixie 100).

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Hopefully, the clues will eventually lead some lucky person to the booty, which will net them $1,000.

However, some are not following the rules.

Rule No. 1: The treasure is hidden on public property. There is no need to get your pick and shovel and head out to someone’s private property to dig up the treasure chest.

It will not be there, and you may get arrested for trespassing, or worst case scenario, you could get shot.

Rule No. 2: The treasure chest is hidden in plain sight. Or, at least it’s not buried. Which means you can leave the pick and shovel in the car.

Rule No. 3: – and this is not a rule so much as just good manners – there’s no reason to fight over positioning while searching for the treasure. Leave the slug-fest for the state senate.

Let’s keep this treasure hunt friendly and assault-free. (This is not to indicate anyone has been injured thus far in the making of this treasure hunt, just good advice for the future.)

And, a reminder that no Fear Factor stunts are required, so don’t be doing anything crazy like walking the railroad tracks, or balancing on the railing of a bridge, or diving into the river, or any such antics.

It’s also important to note that only one person in the entire city knows the location. If you know who that person is, you can pester them to death with questions about where it’s hidden.

But, no one else knows. Which means your phone calls asking “Where’s the treasure?” will only be met with one, honest answer: “I don’t know.”

As for the benefits in the community – admit it. It’s fun, right?

There are all kinds of folks from all walks of life out all over the county the mornings that the clues are given. They are visiting places they might not have even known existed.

Some are also out in the middle of the night, which is another reason to follow rule No. 1.

Of course, before they start the excursion, they first have to figure out the clue. Which means a lot of people are going to the Internet, googling words like “Orion” and “onion dome.”

And that means a lot of hits on Web sites that have Selma or Dallas County, Ala., connections.

So, it’s good for the community as a whole. And I can’t tell you how much fun it is for us to hear about the exploits of the treasure hunters.

Good luck, mateys!

Tammy Leytham is editor of The Selma Times-Journal.