Weird coincidences. Have we ever done this?

Over the past week I’ve experienced a couple of startling coincidences–or possibly I only perceive them as such. I certainly don’t believe in any mysterious invisible forces that make these things happen, but these were definitely on the strange side. I’ve talked about them in a Facebook comment today, so if you know me there you might have already read the gist of what I’m about to say here

The first one was about a week ago when I was at the doctor’s office, sitting in an exam room. Passing the time with a crossword while waiting for the nurse practitioner, I had just answered the clue “Latin word for ‘goddess’”, which is “Dea”. At that moment the NP entered and introduced herself, and guess what her given name is? I’ll give you one guess. And it’s not like it’s a very common name. If the clue had been “______, Queen of Scots” and the NP’s name turned out to be Mary, one might have said “so what”.

Today’s coincidence was equally odd. A FB friend posted a request for slogans or quotes from advertisements that don’t necessarily mention the product name. For some reason I thought of the line “really rings the bell [ding! ding!]” from the old animated Good & Plenty candy commercials. I probably haven’t eaten or thought about Good & Plenty since I was about ten. I’m not an avid eater of candy by any stretch. But whatever, such was my response to my fiend’s post. To bring this shaggy dog story to its payoff, it so happened my wife walked in a few minutes later, returning from the store with a box of G&P in her hand. In 22 years of marriage I have NEVER seen her eat that kind of candy (or much of any candy really, she’s like me in that respect). She has NEVER seen me eat it, and I can’t remember a single time when we ever even mentioned it to each other.

So those are my two big coincidences. As I said, I don’t think there’s some mysterious unseen force, like “eddies in the space time continuum” that makes these things happen; coincidences are exactly that and nothing more. But they can certainly be unusual.

What are your recent experiences with coincidences?

When my older 2 children were in Elementary school a friend of mine announced she was pregnant with her 3rd child. We were astounded, she was at best a non-aware Mom. Her kids were rarely prepared for school, sometimes dirty and she forgot to pick them up some days. I said out loud for all to hear I would just die if I became pregnant at this time in my life. Well you can guess what happened, I was pregnant, of course. Our babies were born on the same day at the same hospital by the same obgyn. Several hours apart. Without consulting each other we named them similar names. The lil’wrekker was a game changer for me, in a good way and her baby made a different Mom out of her.

I recently met a guy named Eddie. Guess where?..

Eddie’s in the space/time continuum! Yuk yuk yuk.

But I really did just meet him.

I do a lot of reading with the TV on in the background. Every so often, somebody on the TV says the same word that I’m reading at the moment that I read it. I don’t mean minor words like “and” or “the”, more improbable word collisions, like (grabbing two random possibilities) “establish” or “realize.” I’ve contemplated making a running list of the collisions in case all strung together they reveal a message, but have never bothered and quickly forget the words as I continue to read.

Did you chase him down and sit on him?

A few years ago a man in his late 30s was shot and killed in a city of over 600k people. When I saw his name and the location of the murder in the newspaper, I thought him to be the uncle of a young lady I used to be friends with and drifted apart from.

Four years earlier than this I had once given her a ride to a residence on the same block of that location where some of her family members lived. His last name is common enough to be almost in the top 10, his first name and middle initial are somewhat common. These all checked out and so did his age when I looked up the name on some public records, verifying he had lived at that address.

Just to give an idea: The area this happened is somewhat desolate, nowhere near as bad as it gets. I checked homicide records by location for the past decade and found one other case within 2 blocks of there. On that particular block, there are several homes on one side of the street and a fenced off parking lot of a commercial business on the other.

I mourned this tragedy, thankfully to no one I know. I only told an online friend of mine. I began noticing how with my former friend on facebook I could see no evidence anything had gone horribly wrong and in fact her uncle was there and seemed to have an active account running. I went through a stage of cognitive dissonance until I again delved into public records and saw all along there was someone else with the same name, middle initial, and age who had had a couple prior drug dealing convictions. This is who the murder victim must have been. No evidence of him being of any relation to the family or having lived there, merely a coincidence. Or someone else, which would be even more coincidental.

Here is the really weird part. The man didn’t die right away. Over a week passed from the time of the shooting to the time he succumbed. And in that time my friend’s uncle had a birthday. If the victim had died within hours or a day or two, the ages would not have matched up which would have been noticeable or at least given me pause.

I always do my laundry Saturday morning and I always walk the same route to the laudromat. One Saturday I walked a different route and found a hundred dollar bill.

How weird is that?

Just last week, I was watching trailers for upcoming horror movies. Most of them were rather routine but then there was one that was much more creepy and unsettling. At that very moment, the lights started flickering then went off completely for a second. If that was somehow also part of the trailer, congratulations, great job. I’m still going to pass on this one, however :D.

I wanted to put some large stickers on my car and needed a “vinyl squeegee” (I used to be in the sign business and knew what was needed to iron out bubbles). This is the tool:

Anyway, I went to order one online and didn’t have the right credit card with me. On the way out to my car there was a little box in the parking lot; I tapped it with my foot and . . . well, you can guess the rest: FIVE squeegees were in it! The campus had some signage re-done in previous weeks, a contractor must have forgotten these little suckers.

I was overjoyed and a bit weirded out.

Please PM me, I think that might be the $100 I lost one Saturday in your town.

There is a missing woman with the same exact name as my Daughter. Of course ages are different. And they live in different states. And I knew my child was here with me and not missing. But it was very disturbing to see her name on TV. And on the news crawl on CNN.

I was sitting on the deck with a friend one summer day, messing around with my iPod playing bits of random songs to see if she could recognize them. At one point, she referenced the song I was playing and mentioned that she heard it a lot back in the day, along with that other one, you know, that fast one…

I immediately knew she meant ‘The Devil Went Down To Georgia’ and played it without a word. She was shocked, said ‘that’s it!’, but I thought you might play that other one, can’t think of the name of it, they used to play it all the time…

So I cued up ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’, which was, of course, exactly what she was trying to pull out of her, umm, hat.


Out to lunch with work colleagues, I got into an argument about Elvis Presley. It was with a colleague I only knew slightly, who simply insisted that Elvis was crap. Unfair, I pointed out, you just think that because you’re the same age as me - when we were growing up he certainly was crap, but the earlier stuff he did was wonderful. Just listen to … and so on.

Nothing I said would persuade her that Elvis had any merit, and that she just disliked him because her views were distorted by his output when we were both young. Exasperated, I finally demanded, OK, so when were you born?

Turns out we were born on the same day.

Not an amazing coincidence. But a hell of a way to win an argument.


I’ve told these stories before on the Dope…
Once I was at work and was speaking to a co-worker I didn’t know well and accidentally called her by another co-worker’s name. I was so embarrassed, and wished the ground would open up.

Right then, an earthquake hit.

Another time, back in college I was passing through a room where a bunch of frat brothers were gloomily watching a baseball game their team was losing. I said, “Maybe the next guy will hit a home run.” Needless to say…

Weirder if it was on Xmas! :smiley:

In 1987, the wife and I moved to Aptos(Santa Cruz area). Just before, I bought my dream bike, a 1983 Yamaha Vision still new at a dealer in San Jose(one of only two new ones in California) Several years later, I’m training a new driver at work. The conversation turns to motorcycles and he told me that he had almost bought a Yamaha Vision.
He had found one new at a dealer, borrowed the money from his grandma but had to wait for the check to be mailed. Got the check, deposited, cashiers’ check and rushed to the dealer only to find the bike had been sold that morning.

Is this what we’re supposed to do when Eddie’s in the space time continuum?

After working for a scuba shop in the Caribbean for a year I took my first vacation back to the States to Miami. After a few days of my visit it was time to head back to the airport to drop off my rental car. I topped off the gas in the car and went in to the convenience store to pay. The clerk was wearing a t-shirt from my exact scuba shop.

Here’s the most amazing coincidence I’ve ever experienced, although it happened 27 years ago. I was visiting my older son in Seattle accompanied by my younger son, who was about to go off to college. We went to the Japanese garden inside the Seattle botanical gardens. My younger son happened to be wearing a McGill sweatshirt, although that isn’t where he was going to college. But that is one of the things that makes the story so remarkable. A man went up to him and asked if he was a McGill Student. No, but my father is a professor there. Man asked to talk to me. So son told me that someone wanted to talk to me. He started by telling me that his son is a student there. One of maybe 25,000. Uh huh. What is he studying? He is a grad student in mathematics. Hey that’s my department. What’s his name? He told me and it turned out that his son was my PhD student. My only one at the time. The man didn’t even live in Seattle, although he had a daughter who did, whom he was visiting. Still an outstanding coincidence.

Years ago I had just moved to Boston & was introducing myself to a new co-worker, and we talked about the usual things, past jobs, where we’d lived, families, etc. When he mentioned where he’d lived during high school and met his wife, I said “hey, my wife also went to high school there!” After some back and forth, and eventual phone calls to our wives, it turned out they’d been cheerleaders together at a military base high school.

In Germany.

I once worked the night shift. We would eat dinner, then go into work. Another tradition was calling home about 9pm, to say goodnight to the various children. So, I was lounging around the lab one evening with two coworkers. The wife of one called in. It turned out that she was pregnant with their third child. She hadn’t told him at dinner. So, he was feeling a little angry, but happy, but overwhelmed, and so forth. It was then that the second coworker got a phone call. His wife was pregnant with their third child. She hadn’t told him at dinner. They were both absolutely serious; it wasn’t a prank.

Then, I called home … because I had a few things to check on…