Imagine yourself rolling down the street with a friend. You are the passenger, and you’re cruising through a residential area. You begin to perceive a slight uncertainty within the vehicle. Your friend’s mannerisms transform into moderate anxiety. You can feel it coming; the car is approaching someone or something. Then it happens. The driver points out the passenger window and instructs you to look at something.

What is your first reaction? Do you look left or right? Do you follow the instructions? Is your friend trying to show you something to your right or attempting to disguise something to your left?

As they said in The Matrix: Do you look at the woman in the red dress?

I realize most of us would not expect an associate to do such a thing as try and deceive us into not seeing something. Would you use smoke and mirrors under the right circumstances? Can you see through a magician’s stage act? I haven’t experienced this situation for years, but I have seen it done.



Sleight-of-hand prevails within our world. Most do not see what’s directly before their eyes, especially when it’s there, day after day. The eyes lie to the brain and so forth. I’ll give you an example.

Twenty years ago, I knew a bounty hunter. He was a competent man and did not place limits upon his creativity. The man he was searching for had alluded him for weeks, so my buddy hatched a plan. He put a large box into the bed of a pickup truck and parked it outside of the criminal’s house each night. Days later, he cut a few peek holes into the box and crawled inside. Another man parked the truck outside the man’s house once more. The bounty hunter apprehended the wanted man that day. I can only imagine the look on that man’s face when my buddy jumped out of the box and yelled, “Freeze!”

Joseph Shanklin

May 31, 2021

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