Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bursting the Balloon Boy Hoax Conspiracy

By now there is no point in recapping the story behind the balloon boy hoax, except to note that since the boy was never in the balloon, it should perhaps be called the vomit boy hoax instead.

Still, there are a few lessons on how not to concoct a successful conspiracy:

(1) Don't fake a publicity stunt using a helium balloon that no one would build to look exactly like a flying saucer, except to get publicity.

(2) Don't ever conspire with a 6 year old, they'll either blow your cover or rat you out. Have you ever played hide and seek with a 6 year old? Or asked a 6 year old to keep a secret?

(3) When your son starts throwing up, the TV interview is over, don't do a second interview with another TV program. That's when the county sends someone to take your kids.

(4) Don't conspire with your wife. In theory she can't be forced to testify against you. Reality is a different story, especially if she has been making hang up calls to 911. She'll hang you up to.

(5) You can't appear on Wife Swap twice and expect to have any credibility, especially if you met your wife in acting class.

(6) Don't conspire with an aspiring reality show producer. If they are looking for a reality show to sell, your conspiracy can be their sale.

(7) Don't conspire via email. Those pesky emails have a habit of staying around to prove your guilt.

(8) Don't conspire to make the police look stupid. They have the power to get search warrants and make arrests.

(9) Don't conspire to make the media look stupid. The media was willing to play along as long as the balloon was in the air. And even afterwards, I'll bet every local news station in America perpetuated the hoax a bit to get viewers to watch their late news even after the boy had been verified safe for hours. If it's a hoax, they make money and don't have to pay you.

(10) Don't conspire to make the public look stupid. They'll turn on you faster than the police or the media.

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