Okay, this is a little strange so bear with me. Back in 1993, two friends of mine (Mark/Harry) buried a time capsule in Mark’s parent’s front lawn. The contents are largely forgotten to them but Lord they have not stopped yapping about it since the put it in the hole. Anyhow, Mark’s parents are moving so we had an “Emergency Time Capsule Removal” scheduled for this weekend.

Mark came from S. Carolina and Harry from Boston, so we met up with our friends the night before and had a few beers.

Harry’s superpower is that he sweats profusely if he even eats one medium-spicy hot wing. It’s amazing.

We took in some bowling, darts, and jokes. It was good to see the guys again – its remarkable that most people largely look the same as they did in high school. We discussed the possible contents of the capsule and talked about planting another one to be opened when we’re 50 and what we’d put inside it. Mostly, we were giddy with anticipation.

Saturday morning, I got the call and arrived on the scene of an already growing trench in the front lawn.

We carefully peeled back the grass and began to dig around in the area where we thought the corrugated metal sealed pod was. The problem being that the two geniuses who planted it had largely forgotten where it was, so we dug around the whole area, cheered on by Mark’s parents (maybe the only parents to encourage their son to ruin their lawn) some guy with a metal detector (which was the most useless piece of equipment we had) and various neighbors.

We dug and dug. Then we speculated about where it could be, better places to dig, better digging methods, etc. The great thing about digging an enormous hole in the ground is that everyone is curious and has some sort of opinion about the right way to go about looking for a time capsule. The guy with the metal detector was actually just someone from the neighborhood who was walking around, became curious, and then hung around waiting for the result for about 3 hours.

Soon our morale began to flag. We hadn’t found anything but a bunch of rocks, some broken glass, and lots of worms. Also, it was raining the entire time, so we became not only completely covered in dirt, but we were wet and cold as well. The Parents brought us subs, tea, and encouraging words. Later on we got goofy and took some zombie pictures:

Sadly, in the end we gave up and realized that it was not where it had been left. There was some speculation of whether the cable company dug it up while laying line in that area. Additionally, we thought about another time to have a go at digging it up. We replaced all of the dirt and rearranged the sod the best we could. It looked terrible. Luckily, The Parents were great about it and even thanked us for entertaining them for the day. Sometimes, parents rule.

After replacing the dirt, we spread grass seed on the top in what was the most bizarrely cathartic moment of all of the dirty labor. We laughed and were glad we were still friends after all these years. If you decide to bury a time capsule, learn from our mistakes:

1) Do not bury it too deep. Remember, you will be older and out of shape when you dig it up

2) Take pictures of the original dig site with geographical markers in the frame.

3) Make some sort of map.

4) Use rocks to point the future you in the right direction.

5) Get lots of people to help and make sure you have a post-digging tool.