Baboons in the News

Left-leaning cynics might assume from the title of this post that I am writing today about the prospective presidency of Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but what is on my mind is a far more likely possibility – that one of us will some day inadvertently (and ironically) encounter a wild baboon while innocently walking down a trail.

As some of you know, the name of this blog is nothing more than a play on words, coined because my original choice for a title, “Trial Balloon,” was already spoken for.

I don’t actually know much about baboons, or their trail behavior. Frankly, I didn’t know that a trail was anyplace where one might encounter a baboon, but apparently it is not unusual to meet them on trails around Capetown, South Africa.

And I was surprised to learn from the above-linked article that baboons live in groups of about 50, which is approximately the number of people who regularly read this blog.

Coincidence? I think not.

Here are the two most fascinating baboon-encounter tidbits I’ve taken away from this document:

  • When encountering a baboon on a trail, don’t smile or show your teeth, as this could be interpreted as an act of aggression.
  • By all means remain calm, and stand up straight to display a strong and confident yet non-threatening behavior.

As a habitual smiling sloucher, I’m afraid I am ill-equipped to handle baboons properly during an accidental trail encounter – just another reason to keep all my baboon interactions virtual.

How should a person meeting you for the first time behave if they aim to keep you from becoming riled up?

40 thoughts on “Baboons in the News”

  1. Good morning. There are days when you should just avoid me. Most of the time that wouldn’t be necessary. Just on bad days. On good days you don’t need to approach me in any special way. I would appreciate a nice greeting. No hugging, please.


  2. If a persons initial aim upon first meeting me is prevent harm to themselves, I would have to wonder about my reputation. Is there a need to correct some public misinformation about me? I really don’t want to spend money on a website such as Most of those are about credit repair not rileability [sic] repair. Fear not, Trail Baboons. It is very difficult to rile me upon greeting. Unless you wish to go through a whole ritual of celebratory fist bumping, hand slapping and physical gyrations. That might make me PO’d. A simple handshake will do.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a t-shirt I saw recently said, “No talkee before coffee”; this is the golden rule for dealing with me. Being effusive, enthusiastic, cheerful and bubbly (especially in the morning and/or in a meeting) is unforgivable and should in any civilized society be punishable with death. If I’m prepared beforehand, I can deal with a handshake, but any other physical contact is off limits. I’ve decided recently that the Norwegian bachelor farmers had the right idea–a nod and maybe a “How’s it going” is usually as much communication as is ever necessary. Of course, I’ve only had half a cup of coffee so far today, so I may be a tiny bit crankier than normal.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Like other early morning Baboons, cuppa joe will go a long way towards a good beginning with me.

    About the hugging- you know who you are, if you are Sister Rosalind, I would be a happy for a hug from you, most of the rest of you, a simple handshake (if you must do something), will suffice.

    I also would not say no to a warm chocolate chip cookie.

    any dogs reading this? a waggy tail and the look as if you expect a treat might be forthcoming will find me making all sorts of excuses for otherwise not idea behavior–especially if I am holding said treat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My closest friend (oddly my former daughter in law) bought a Bernese Mountain dog a few months ago. At 7 months, he already weighs in at 100 pounds only half grown! Each time I visit Sue, “Buddy” greets me by sitting on me on her off-white couch. Puppy training is futile because she’s extremely soft-spoken and can barely manage a gentle “No, Buddy” which is almost inaudible.


  5. Morning —
    Back in MN. drove in just before the snow got bad.

    Let’s just be nice to each other and smile first and if you don’t start off telling me how ‘smart’ and / or ‘good’ you are at your job or what I’m doing wrong then I won’t get snotty and we’ll probably get along just fine.
    And I don’t drink coffee, but I do have a cup of tea in the morning and it would be best to give me time to read the blog and do some emails…

    See? All better.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. add to your list, “and don’t try to ‘pitch’ me”.

      I know how to shop, I know how to google, I don’t need somebody else to tell me I need to buy something.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I am delightful company in the morning, albeit a bit foggy and stupid. You will find me friendly and not demanding–smiling, bleary and quiet. I like it when others don’t lash out at me in the morning for dumb stuff I did the day before. Tabula rasa! Let us toast the dawn with coffee and high hopes. God has given us another morning, bless her heart. Let’s get on with enjoying it.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Unless you’re truly obnoxious, chances are that no matter what time of day you first meet me, I’ll be friendly and congenial. I’m much more likely to walk away than get riled up unless you’re really aggressive. Common courtesy goes a long way with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m a morning person, so coffee/tea/pastry not needed, but never unwelcome. Like Ben, I respond best if not lambasted in any form.

    However, now I’m thinking I should carry a thermos of coffee around w/ me in the mornings, to make sure I’m approaching others correctly!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. As an early morning persob, I still treasure that first cuppa. I love getting up early for the sheer joy of the fact that no one else is up (felines excepted)

      Have not had the first cup yet. Be advised.


      1. I’m almost an all-nighter. I go to bed at 3AM and arise at 10AM. I’m suspecting that Dale’s on my schedule be,too,because his story arrives around 2AM. I tend to refrain from responding to it until the next day so I can get a sense of where other baboons are taking it. Being the first commenter has been embarrassing when I discover that I didn’t get the meaning at all.

        When our clocks sprung forward, l was on my computer. One minute it was 1:59 and the next it was 3AM. My body said, “We know it’s really only really 2AM, so keep your hour and go to bed at 4AM, knowing I’d still get the regular 7 hours of sleep anyway.

        The part I didn’t take into account, however, was that the sun came up before my allotted 7 hours!


        1. Truth be told, CB, I’m sound asleep when the blog posts most days. WordPress allows me to schedule these things, so I set it to self-distribute in the darkest depths of the night, when only you are looking directly at it.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. That’s what I suspected, Dale, seeing as you have had early morning responsibilities all these many years.


  9. I am pretty friendly most of the time, even in the mornings. Just don’t be too friendly,or too standoffish. (or loud, or morose, or complaining)


  10. OT – Blevins Book Club Location Change for April. Baboons will now congregate at tim’s. Also noted on the BBC page.


  11. Please don’t be too loud and obnoxious any time of the day. But in the early morning, I will welcome good food offered with as few words as possible (and as quietly as possible), subdued lighting or natural lighting, and no questions that require much thought or decision-making.

    Steve, I made it on the train that will take me to Portland, so I should see you Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If you wish to exchange words with me, it is best to do the following to avoid getting me riled up, or you being totally ignored as you may be interrupting the neverending stream of fascinating thoughts in my brain. 🙂

    1. Address me by name or sweetly gain my attention.
    2. An offering of chocolate.
    3. Keep exchange to 5 minutes or less — be direct and concise.
    4. Only exchanges of information, motivation or inspiration are allowed.
    5. Beyond 5 minutes, you better be damn interesting, intruguing, handsome and/or rich.
    6. Offer more tasty morsels as I probably need protein by now.
    7. When you are dismissed, back away carefully and quietly.

    Unlike Dale, I do not habitually smile or slouch so I might do well with baboons. Have a great day!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes to the chocolate here, too. Good chocolate, that is; offering me Hershey’s or some such stuff would rile me. (Apologies to anyone who likes Hershey’s.)

      Interesting wrinkle on my train travels: we are currently stopped for an undetermined amount of time as there’s a gas leak near the tracks somewhere up ahead.


      1. Now you are experiencing Amtrak as I have, Edith. One of my trips seemed like a comedy of errors, and I found myself wondering if the guys running the train had ever done it before. Everything had a feeling of improvisation, like when they announced to the passengers that “a wheel has fallen off” one of the cars. You don’t want to think that is possible.

        My tip for when you go by the gas leak: don’t smoke. And good luck!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Luckily I don’t smoke. Although I’m getting impatient enough that pretty soon , there may be smoke coming out of my head.


    1. I never had any idea of the lyrics to that song except for “Dream On”.

      I’m quite easygoing so have no need for the chocolate, coffee, lack-of-hugs, quiet speaking, etc. that are other Baboons’ requirements. Singing along with me is always good, though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t know that wa snames willin
      I knew it by the other 3 w’s
      I didn’t drink a lot of wine back in my linda ronstead days. I remember lambrusco and boonesfarm . maybe that’s why. I was a beer scotch brandy or vodka guy but weed whites and scotch brandy or vodka isn’t too catchy even with linda singin it. we were all such young baboons back then.


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