Conspiracy Theory

I have been wondering recently about how we end up with so many conspiracy theories in the world. Who starts them all?

There was a time when I would happily dismiss them out of hand but I have felt the need to suddenly develop one of my own. It concerns the growing problem of my missing loose change.

Not so long ago I wouldn’t have even considered copper-coloured coins as real money. As always I would have ended the day with my usual rituals which included emptying the contents of my trouser pockets into a container next to my bed; usually dropping several one-pence pieces and annoying my wife.

This shrapnel would sit there day after day and serve as testament to the fact that, even though we have four daughters, we can never truly say that we have NO money.

Recently, however, the coinage has shown signs of reduction to the point that I often have to refill the tin each night with a new offering. Thus begins my conspiracy theory. These ideas usually follow a similar patter of strange logic that I will attempt to stick with.

Firstly, they try to get general agreement that something is wrong with a given subject. In this regard I have spoken to other dads and they all concur that loose change is an issue in their houses too. Ah ha!

Secondly, the theorists ridicule any other rational reason given for whatever it is that troubles them. To meet with this requirement I have openly mocked my wife’s suggestions that the problem lies with either inflation or that my lack of sharpness on the memory front is to blame. She actually had the nerve to suggest that I might have mislaid my money. Honestly!

Thirdly, the conspiracy mongers blame something that most people have limited knowledge of. This brings me to the main focus of my conspiracy theory. I happened through the entrance of our local supermarket last week and noticed a machine that I hadn’t seen before. It had a screen on which a large £ sign was displayed with numbers counting upward. Stood near to the hole at the front of the equipment, two teenagers were emptying coins from a plastic carrier bag. As it nosily digested the money it stopped counting at £12.33 and the youngsters walked away with a slip of paper.

Intrigued I went in for a closer look and saw that this was a machine dedicated to counting loose change and converting it into a voucher that could be spent in the store.

And so here, ladies and gentlemen, is my conspiracy theory: Inflation, Pa! Memory Loss; Not a chance! Our kids are taking our hard earned copper coins and turning them into something they can actually spend at a supermarket without the cashier being annoyed with them.

Let us proceed further; the next stage in the theorist’s method is to get others on board with the idea. I have so far managed to get three other dads to agree to be present at our inaugural meeting. True, I had to promise two of them that we would meet in a pub whilst the other one thinks he is joining a darts team. Other than that they are all fully committed to the cause.

The final stage of the process is to link your theory to all other suggested conspiracies by raising issues that can’t be fully answered and therefore I have a few questions: Was any loose change found on the grassy knoll in Dallas in 1963? Were any teenagers spotted carrying plastic bags full of coins in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947? Has any research been done on the correlation between UFO sightings and missing two pence pieces? The mystery is out there.

I mentioned all of this to my wife and she gave me one of her ‘Why did I marry him’ looks before trying to re-focus on my suggested memory loss.

Before I invest too much time into this whole area I do have one more thought; What if all the conspiracy theories are made up by the same people and thereby in themselves a conspiracy. It’s just a theory.