Keeping all the world’s secrets

The world is full of secrets, big ones and little ones. You have some and I have some, but I'm not telling any of mine and you'd probably be happier if you don't tell yours.

The world is full of secrets, big ones and little ones. You have some and I have some, but I’m not telling any of mine and you’d probably be happier if you don’t tell yours.

Take the Minnesota Twins for example. The Twins are playing the Kansas City Royals. The game is tied at 2-2, it’s the top of the ninth inning, the Royals are batting, two outs, a runner on second base and their clean-up hitter, Eric Hosmer, 25, is at the plate. Hosmer is batting .304 and he has 14 homers this season. He stands 6’4” and weighs 225 pounds. Twins pitcher, Kyle Gibson, 27, stands 6’6” and weighs 215 pounds. He has won ten games and lost ten games this season. His earned run average is 3.71 and he has given up 16 home runs. Gibson relies primarily on a two seam sinker pitch at 92 mph, also mixing a change-up at 85 mph, a slider at 86 mph, and a four seam fastball at 94 mph. He only rarely throws a curve at 81 mph. The count is two balls and two strikes. If Hosmer knew what pitch was coming next, he’d probably hit it. But he has to guess because Gibson mixes his pitch selection. Gibson’s catcher, Kurt Suzuki will decide which pitch to call and will send a secret finger signal to his pitcher. They want - and need - to surprise Hosmer. The speed, spin, location, and movement of each pitch are all crucial to surprising the hitter. Baseball is a slow moving game, but people who love it appreciate the drama, strategy, secrets and thinking between pitches.

Wars are won or lost because of secrets kept or leaked. During World War II, Germany had an Enigma code machine by which they secretly coordinated and communicated their war efforts. Eventually, the allies, led by British code-breakers, broke the Enigma code, but kept the breach a secret so that the Nazis would continue to use it. Unlocking Enigma signals definitely shortened World War II. A huge endeavor, the Normandy Invasion, Operation Overlord, was planned in air-tight secrecy so that the D-Day Invasion would not be thwarted. But another secret was also a factor. As the war was winding down, America was busy with the too secret Manhattan Project - the development of the atomic bomb. Secrecy during the time of war is a big, big deal. Loose lips sink ships. This is why adversaries have spies to try to learn the secrets - and why spies are executed when they’re caught.

Those who thought the internet would keep their secrets have been learning, to their humiliation, the net does not forget and that hackers can pick the locks. The most recent example is the Ashley Madison Website, who’s motto is: “Life is short - have an affair.” The website supposedly assisted in arranging affairs outside of marriage for married couples. Many gambled on the theory that older women are better at keeping secrets. The site was hacked and thousands have been exposed, just as others who have sent embarrassing pictures of themselves have also been exposed.

The good fishermen I know never tell where they’ve caught their fish. Their secret ensures that good spots on the good lakes won’t be crowded when they return for the next venture. If you want to learn where the experts are catching their fish, talk to the biggest bragger among them, do some shameless flattering, and you’ll probably learn a secret or two - but only if you promise not to tell anyone else.


The New England Patriots not only cannot be trusted to follow the rules about inflating footballs, they were fined several years ago for improperly spying on opponents while they were practicing. Yes, football teams are allowed to have secret practices and secret strategies. That’s what makes the game exciting.

Secret recipes are just as important as secret football strategies and secret passwords for your credit card and computer. If you have developed a super dish, dessert or entire dinner, you have the right to keep your recipes secret and get credit for what you’ve done. But be careful about mislaying a copy of your formula. If you are in the habit of losing papers, you should change a few ingredients to throw off whoever might find them.

It is said that two things are impossible to keep secret: one, that you are drunk; and the other that you are in love.

Who can keep a secret? Older women? Many interviews have been conducted, and books written as a matter of fact, on what it was like to be with that scoundrel ex-boyfriend, ex-husband, ex-boss so and so. I’m waiting for just one heroic soul who will say, “that’s all in the past and I’m not talking about it.” When love is over, wouldn’t it be wonderful if loyalty would hang on?

Again, the question: Who can keep a secret? As an old philosopher once said, “If you wish another to keep your secret, first keep it yourself.”

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