The generals, I guess, would call if the fog of war. Others might suggest it was just the nature of the 2008 news beast; that stories get spun… and spun… and spun.
Until you're never quite sure where the truth of the matter actually lies.
Which is where we're roughly at with the whole Cullum-Delia saga. Apparently – and it remains very much an 'apparently' given that one side has been saying an awful lot and the other saying next to nothing at all – the two parties have agreed to meet. To discuss the 'parameters' of a potential takeover deal, in the words of the 'King Of Deals'.
To his credit, Andrew Turner might be of a mind to broker some kind of movement.
And yet you wander the streets of London this evening, pick up a copy of the London Evening Standard and you'd be forgiven for thinking that the deal is done. Delia is ?20 million the richer, thank you very much, Britain's 40th richest man was ?55 million the lighter and Glenn Roeder's transfer kitty had just been boosted to the tune of ?20 million. Hadn't it?
That's 'official' media; the kind of 'proper' journalism you expect from the the London Evening Standard. So it's all true, right?
Well, who knows? In their own rich and varied publishing career Delia and her husband, Michael Wynn Jones, have amassed more than enough serious contacts in London to be able to make one of them privvy to any impending 'deal'. Maybe the Standard have 'scooped' all of us; they 'got' the story first.
But it would be an extraordinary piece of business by the club's current owners to pull off a deal of Standard-esque proportions.
Reach for your nearest fag packet and do your own sums, but if Delia is indeed about to walk away ?20 million the richer – that will, quote “will give her the ?20m that she and husband Michael Wynn-Jones have ploughed into the club since they took over in 1996” – then the implication is that she is about to sell her 61.2% shareholding in the Norfolk club for, er, ?30 per share gave her the ?9 million plus everyone previously thought she'd put in… so to get a ?20 million return, she's cashed in at ?60 per share.
What a result that is.
And for all of you with your little, 100-strong pockets of shares Christmas has, indeed, come early. You're in the money to the tune of ?6,000 – and all thanks to the man with ?1.7 billion to spend.
And, look, from having said he's only going to pump ?20 million into the club – that he was 'no English Roman Abramovich' – the 'deal junkie's deal junkie' has had a complete change of heart and is now about to cough to the tune of ?55 mill, ?20 mill of which goes to Deals, and another ?20 million on top goes straight into Glenn's back pocket.
And what's more Ms Smith, that 'icon' of English provincial football, has even agreed to stay on the board. To meet and greet at the Brasserie every Saturday night.
The Freedom of the Fine City of Norwich is yours, for ever and a day, Mr Cullum… Happy days are here again.
If, of course, it's all true.
For those two of you who are more media junkies than deal junkies, it is worth digging around to find out what a lad called Sir Tim Berners-Lee is up to right now; he might – just – have a little tool up his sleeve that might shine a light into such a fog of war.
But that report does more than anything to demonstrate (a) just why the world and his wife now assume that the Canaries have got Cullum's millions stuffed underneath the mattress already and why they will be asked Cullum-esque prices from now on and (b) why silence might be golden.
You throw out all these numbers in public – be it the ?20 million for players from one side and the ?56 million cost on the other – and in the great media, mixing bowl out there on the world-wide web, you end up with the sort of numbers and the kind of impression that all those London commuters will be digesting on their way home this evening.
Not to mention the chairman of Queen's Park Rangers, the chief executive of Charlton and Mr Gow's 'Mr Ten Per Cent'.
What is really fascinating is what Cullum and his bank of PR people will make of it all. Because if last October's corporate raid – for all his undoubted love of the Canaries – was, if only in part, seeing if he could bag a ?20 million steal with Norfolk's finest five points adrift at the foot of the Championship, suddenly courtesy of his many new friends in the Norfolk media Mr Cullum has all sorts of big new numbers coming back his way.
He's only ever mentioned three – ?5 million last October; ?15 million in the summer. But only if that ?5 million had secured Norwich's place in the Championship again. Only then would he dip into his pockets again for the extra ?15 million. Together you get that third and final number – ?20 million. For which he's now also assumed complete control of the club via ownership of two-thirds of the shares.
For a man of Cullum's extraordinary means, finding the extra ?55 million that The Standard is now suggesting is clearly not a problem. He cashed in ?60 million-odd worth of shares to an American hedge fund as recently as this April. Money's not the problem.
Having the appetite to do a deal at those sorts of levels is. The more this spins out the way that the Evening Standard thinks it is, the more the men from Towergate are going to be thinking: 'Whoa… Whoa… Whoa… We never said ?55 million and ?20 million for Glenn… Where did you get those numbers from?'
Er, you… I mean you did say ?20 million was for Glenn; it was there in those very first headlines… that's what you promised; that's what we expect.
But this is what happens when you toy with people's emotions with big, front page headlines; you end up appearing to make promises that – in their eyes – you are then beholden to keep.
Like putting a supporter on the board. That, too, is now deemed a given; part of the Cullum 'deal'. That will be fascinating to watch happen.
There's a second hostage to fortune that the last ten days have delivered.
In reality, whack a load of cash Roeder's way, get the Canaries up among the big boys again and Cullum can invite the ghost of Billy Bluelight on the board and no-one will give a monkeys. He did what he said he'd do on the side of the tin – he kissed good-bye to staid old Ms Prudence and welcomed big, brassy Miss Ambition into the ring.
But until such a point arrives, the Canaries are sailing into some pretty choppy waters – with some big, sharp rocks ahead and the fog of war all around.
As for The Standard's report tonight 'utter garbage' was one verdict. Trouble is, some of that garbage sticks.