One easy way to explain the incongruities of a complicated and often disappointing world is that nefarious “others” are furiously working behind the scenes to conceal what is truly going on.

But I’ve always had a problem accepting conspiracy theories that describe a vast fraud perpetrated on millions of people by a secret cadre of powerful deceivers. It’s not that I have more faith in people than your typical climate change denier – rather quite the opposite.

More than the faked Moon landing, the shooter on the grassy knoll, or the recovery of alien remains at Roswell, I completely believe in the inability of humans to keep their mouths shut, especially when they’ve got a really juicy story to tell.

Elaborate conspiracies must eventually come to light whenever people are involved, which is always.

And now a physicist has produced a paper that uses mathematics to show how unlikely it is that conspiracies can remain hidden.

According to David Robert Grimes, it would take about five years for the bitter truth to come seeping out of mixed bag of plotters.

If you’re skeptical, take a look at this small section of the paper that explains the research.

Screenshot 2016-01-28 at 8.18.48 PM

I have no idea what any of that says, but those are some convincing looking equations. How can I NOT believe something so clearly mathematical? Get a load of those numbers and symbols! Because I find them baffling, I know they must be true.

When I mentioned all this to Trail Baboon’s Singsong Poet Laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler, he quietly informed me that a major pharmaceutical company had already printed his poem about this very subject in secret code embedded in the side effect warning that accompanies a major anti-flatulence drug.

I like to think I’m pretty smart, and my friend Ted is stupider.
I say this ’cause he’s quite convinced the president’s from Jupiter.

He claims it’s all a massive hoax cooked up by some Hawaiian
who encountered aliens one night when they’d just dropped their guy in

to destabilize the country that would make the biggest fuss
over plans they had to subjugate the populace – that’s us!

So this guy from outer space – he needed many, many cronies
to become the president. He built a phalanx full of phonies

to support a story good enough to make him seem for real.
There are many, many people implicated. It’s surreal

how no one has spoken up about it yet, except for Ted.
Who has made me swear to secrecy – or else I’ll wind up …

Can you keep a secret?

42 thoughts on “Hoodwinked!”

      1. Yes. Here’s an example. Jim and Tuula and Hans and I went for a weekend stay at Hotel Pattee in Perry, Iowa.We had each bought a Groupon. Our mutual friend, Ann, didn’t want to buy a Groupon, didn’t want to commit in advance, but said that when we got ready to go to let her know, perhaps she’d join us. We weren’t crazy about taking her along as she tends to monopolize conversation. We realized too late that it would be a very long drive to Perry with her expounding on something or another in the back seat. Also, we’d be a lot more comfortable with just four people in the car.

        We decided to not tell Ann when we left, didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Well, in the year that followed, references to that trip has somehow been made by one of the four of us in Ann’s presence, but fortunately she seems to have not caught on.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I have to keep loads of secrets, given the rules for confidentiality in my profession. I sometimes worry what will happen when I am terribly old and I end up in a nursing home . What if I start spilling the beans and reminiscing about the people I’ve treated?

    “Oh, I knew your mother” I’ll say to some activity director or CNA. “She fooled all of you when she had that affair!” Another reason to retire in another state–no one will know who I am taking about!

    Liked by 9 people

      1. In my experience, PJ, that is not how it works. Those old names will come rolling right out. With Alzheimer’s, it’s things like remembering your room number and the names of your caregivers that go right out the window. Unless of course your caregiver resembles her grandmother that you have the dirt on, at which point you will always suspect her…..


  2. I think it is important to not share information about people that should be kept confidential. Yesterday I asked a medical technician about what had been said by another patient about a treatment that was similar to mine. She informed me that she couldn’t tell me about that because it was private information and I realize that I shouldn’t have asked her about that. Unfortunately, I have found that many people do share information about people that they shouldn’t share.


    1. This is my answer as well – I am almost the last person to know anything. However, if you need me to keep a secret, I’ve been known to be trustworthy.

      And back to the piece – this has always been my theory as well that the bigger the supposed conspiracy, the less likely because humans blab too much! My sister and her husband tend toward the conspiracy side of the scale so I’ve had to think about this more than the average joe!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I identify myself as a “storyteller.” Storytellers are normal people in most regards, but normal people afflicted with an almost irresistible urge to entertain others. If you tell me a secret that is difficult to believe and/or boring, I can keep it forever. If you tell me a secret that is funny or astonishing, every moment I guard that secret is an unlikely triumph of will power over natural character. At this moment I can think of only one highly entertaining secret I’ve been able to keep.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Depends. I can’t keep a secret from Kelly.

    But something like christmas presents that are only secrets for a while, that’s not a problem. But a real secret? I can only keep it till I forget about it, then it will come out later sort of like reneeinnd ‘Oh, is that the lady you had the affair with’?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Usually. When I was six I was aware that we were going to move to a different house in Storm Lake (IA). I don’t remember anyone saying it was a secret, so I must have told some kid at the weekly “coffee club” we went to with Mom. I recall her telling Dad that suddenly a lot of people seemed to already know we were moving…

    If I know a really good gossip secret, I hardly ever even tell Husband – where’s the fun? – he doesn’t “react” in a way that makes it worth telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Some secrets are easier to keep then others – keeping a secret long enough to plan a surprise party, you bet. Retaining a bit of gossip that would be harmful to someone, yep. A secret about something good that’s going to happen for a friend…well…that gets harder not to at least hint at (especially if they are down in the dumps and need the boost).

    Interesting that there is mathematical probability involved in conspiracies and secret-keeping. Humans are a quirky bunch, somehow it’s fitting that there would be probability involved in secret-keeping.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rise and drive Home Baboons!

    I am sitting in Holbrook AZ in a restaurant on Rte 66 listening to people speak Navajo! We are on our way home–yipee! Is the Navajo language a conspiracy code ala WWII? Maybe they are plotting against us.

    Yes I can keep a secret just like Renee. I had not ever thought of spilling the beans in my dotage, though.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The first signs of my friend, Ken’s, FTD was loss of words. He doesn’t remember what words mean. It’s virtually impossible to have a meaningful conversation with him because he doesn’t remember what words mean. ” Are you hungry, Ken?” I’ll say, and he’ll respond: “I don’t know.” He doesn’t remember what “hungry” means. At the restaurant, if I ask him what he wants to eat, he’s clever enough to respond: “What are you having?” But increasingly it’s getting difficult to take him to a quiet place to eat because he burps loudly. Also his impulse control doesn’t kick in when he suddenly reaches over to a neighboring table and snatches a French fry from their plate. No more fine dining in restaurant with Ken. Fortunately there are enough crowded and noisy places that serve food.

        Interestingly, Renee, he seems keenly aware and recognizes places. Whenever I drive by the University of St. Thomas, he’ll point and tell me he used to work there, and he did. He says he doesn’t remember what he did there, but I don’t know if he has simply forgotten the word “teach.”
        Its fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Apparently, my kids don’t believe I can keep a secret. The most glaring example of this is when my younger son planned out an elaborate way to propose to his wife and my other kids knew all about it before the event unfolded. Unfortunately, for me, looking forward to someone else’s big surprise is half of the fun.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. i can keep secrets real well usually because i dont remember the secret. i watch the same movie over and over and remember i like it but not how it goes. i guess my mind wanders enough even during a movie or book that i miss a bit. i used to go crazy reading a book and realizing my eyes had been moving and the pages had been turned but my daydreaming had taken me off to la la land instead of registering what was supposed to be going in for input.
    i do have experience in keeping it under wraps for all time on stuff that matters. its not like you forget its not ok to lie or cheat or kill. whats right is right whats not is not . if its a secret its not to be told, if its open for decision making its not a secret

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I sure can. The particular circumstances don’t allow me to say much about it now. What I remember most clearly was a spurt of anger when I learned my confidence had been betrayed in spite of my being careful to request secrecy. I’ve never felt quite the same about the person who violated my trust. And you can bet I would never again tell that person something I didn’t want repeated.

    Having said that, I want to take some ownership of the incident. It is often unwise to say things to others that we don’t want circulated. People are complex, subject to many different kinds of temptations. If I really don’t want some observation passed along, I probably shouldn’t tell it to someone who then is supposed to keep the secret.


  11. Hey, BiR and Steve – and any other baboon who hasn’t discovered it – there’s a new blog today. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see it. Some technical glitch makes it not appear at the top with the new blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

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