Wednesday, August 26, 2009


George and Lynne are out for a hike. They come across a man who is using a metal detector. Interested, George asks if he's detected anything of any importance. The man replies that he hasn't but his wife has. Intrigued, Lynne asks what she detected. The man replies that she detected his affair with the woman next door.

Back in the 70s and 80s, you might actually see someone wantonly waving a metal detector around in the vague hope of finding a roman coin or sword. These days this sight is not common at all, mainly because all the roman coins have now been found. George knows the plight of a metal detector all too well when he asks his question. To ask if anything at all had been detected, he may get the solemn story of only finding a rusted tent peg. He wants to know about the juicy stuff - a bullet casing, a WWII helmet, a discarded Grammy Award.

Notice that George uses the word 'detect'. If he had used the word 'found', would it have given the man licence to tell the story of his affair? In fact it may have given him licence to tell more of the story. Imagine if you will:
"Found much of any importance yet?"
"No but my wife has."
"What did she find?"
"A pair of knickers belonging to the next door neighbour in the glove compartment of my car. I've been having an affair with her you see."

I'm sure the irony of the man finding a horseshoe is not lost on him. You see a horseshoe is lucky and he certainly hasn't been lucky. Well, he was bound to get found out sooner or later, it was his next door neighbour for heaven's sake. Is the last scene the the thoughts of the man or the collective thoughts of George and Lynne trying to imagine the situation? If it is the thoughts of the man then he has done very well because the woman in the foreground, who must be the next door neighbour, is very attractive and certainly younger than him. If it is the thoughts of George and Lynne then they have very high opinions of the man to imagine that he would be having an affair with such an attractive woman. Then again, any man with a metal detector is bound to have women swarming round him.


  1. The discovery of an affair is extremely recent as his wife is still in the process of throwing his stuff out whilst the second woman looks on. I would suggest that the metal detector and horse shoe are simply his belongings that he is in the process of collecting from his lawn, in order to move in properly with the young lady. It would seem an odd moment to do some actual metal detecting.

  2. If he is collecting his belongings off the front lawn, why are George and Lynne backpacking in the gentleman's garden? If it is his garden, it looks very over grown as well. Maybe he was spent so much time next door he hasn't been trimming the trees. This being the 70's Lynne has never trimmed a bush in her life.

  3. The part of the woman next door is played by Rula Lenska. Being the 70s you could still get away with a glamorous neighbour. Later in the 90s, Equity rules meant that neighbours had to be played by non glamorous actresses e.g. Lesley Joseph in the hit comedy series 'Birds of a Feather'.