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The Ron Swanson Mystery That Parks And Recreation Fans Still Want Solved

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) is a bit of an oxymoron. He's very blunt, and what you see is what you get when he appears on Parks and Recreation. However, the reluctant government official and paragon of manliness is also intensely protective of his private life and personal information. His pointed tone doesn't mean he's not harboring any secrets: We know that he has a "certain amount" of gold hidden in various spots around Indiana, he has a romantic past that reads like a thriller, and he's actually got a big heart.

In addition to his "work proximity associates" (friends), crazy exes, and family, Ron has also made his share of enemies. His detached but bullheaded demeanor has earned equal parts respect and resentment. Plus, he's pretty physically intimidating, having once punched Councilman Jamm in the face.

Apparently, he's been dealing with enemies for a long time — enemies that might be more sinister than a sleazy elected official. In the season 6 episode "Gin it Up!" Ben helps Ron draw up a "real will." Previously, all Ron had was a small note, specifying that his belongings would transfer to the man or animal who kills him. The note contains a bunch of cryptic symbols ("The man who kills me will know" what they mean, Ron says). While some fans think they have decoded these symbols, there's another part of Ron that still remains a mystery.

Duke Silver's pot of gold

Ron is eight years old when he writes that will. What shrewd fans really want to know is how that Ron Swanson becomes the filthy rich Ron who quietly oversees the Pawnee Parks Department (which certainly doesn't pay enough to explain how he purchased an entire Lagavulin distillery).

One Redditor suggests that before his time in the government, Ron may have been a criminal overlord in Pawnee. The theory considers not only Ron's fortune, but his protectiveness of his private life and how much he loathes the government (and following anyone's rules but his). He has a unique set of skills, including wilderness survival and weaponry, and is well-versed in living a double life due to his secret identity as swoon-worthy saxophonist Duke Silver.

It's unlikely that Ron came into his money through traditional means. We know he invests in gold and silver, not stocks. We've met his mother and know that it isn't family money. He's refused to do his woodworking for profit. Although he's been working nonstop from a young age, and could have amassed significant savings, none of his positions have been very lucrative. He doesn't trust banks, so he wouldn't have accrued interest.

Unless the ladies in Eagleton are paying Duke Silver incredibly handsomely, we have to assume there's another explanation for Ron Swanson's stash — and fans are getting pretty creative with their answers to this mystery. We'll just have to keep speculating about Ron's wealth.