When I was eight years old, my parents told me and my brothers we’d be going to the Great Salt Plains State Park. They assured us, quite emphatically, that it would be fun. By that age I’d figured out that their enthusiasm for something had an inverse relationship with how fun something really was.

Thus, I did not have high hopes for the Salt Plains.

To my delight though, it proved an unforgettable experience specifically because I was a naive kid.

The highlight of the trip was digging up crystals from the ground, and holding them up to the light as they glittered and sparkled. In direct sunlight, they became translucent, and the shadows they cast were speckled with colors beyond imagination.

I thought, for sure, that I was rich. Surely these crystals are worth millions.

I’m going to fill that whole fucking car up with goddamned crystals.

My parents had literally never seen me work so hard, or so quickly.

I dug, and I dug, and I dug. I filled up bucket after bucket with crystals, and dumped them out on a beach towel in the back of the trunk. When they started to overflow, my parents realized how seriously I was taking things.

I was going to retire at eight years old, I thought.

Then, they told me.

The crystals are worthless.

Also: I needed to clean out the trunk when I got home, because it stank of mud and lake water.

I felt so cheated.


But, the memory sticks with me: that heady sensation of pulling priceless treasures from the ground.

Speaking of treasures, I added another dozen entries to the meme dump.