Your most unusual coincidences

I’m always hesistant to use the word “irony” even if I think I’m correct, so I won’t risk it here.

At any rate, I was thinking about a circumstance I was involved in when I was working as a PI that was about as strange a coincidence as I could imagine. In the four years I worked for that firm, there was only one surveillance case that I was ever involved in. We were investigating a worker’s comp fraud case, and thus, we were tailing a guy trying to get video of him doing things he ought not to be doing based on his claim.

So on Day 2 of the surveillance, I was driving down to the site of the surveillance, so I’m already on the clock for the day, and boom! – I’m rear-ended on the freeway. I suffer some minor back injuries, and my boss informs me that since I was on the job, I’ve got a worker’s comp claim. :smack:

So…anyone else have an unusually coincidental (or ironic) situation like this happen to them?

I needed to travel by bus so i stopped at the machine in the street and bought a ticket. Then i walked round the corner to buy something from a local shop - as i was returning to the bus stop i realised i had somehow lost my bus ticket already (I may have binned it with the receipt from the shop).

At the time i was utterly broke and i really didn’t want to have to shell out for another bus ticket but i knew i had to. I trailed sorrowfully back towards the ticket-machine and what do i find on the way? *Another * bus ticket just lying on the ground. It was a different type from the one i had bought and lost but it was still valid for travel that day. It was a great and very lucky coincidence. :slight_smile:

Once, on a New Year’s Eve day, I’d been invited to a party with friends in the next city. At the time, I was staying with my mom and was flat broke. I couldn’t afford the bus fare to get there, and I had to turn down the invitation. In the early evening, I found myself getting bundled up to go to the store for something, and on the way, I happened to look down. There, lying still on the fresh snow, illuminated by moonlight, was a ten dollar bill. A couple of hours later, I was with my friends. That was a happy coincidence.

One time, I was getting ready to return a rental car–making sure that I hadn’t left anything under the seat, etc. I found a contract that one of the previous drivers had left behind. I looked at the name on the paperwork and got a huge laugh: Mr. P. Townsend.

Being a fan of The Who, I found this to be quite amazing. (yes, I know it’s spelled with an h)

About three years ago, I was at work on lunch playing Yahoo Pool and ended up chatting with this guy I was playing against. He seemed like a decent fellow so we played a couple of games. I mentioned I was in the Chicago suburbs and he said he was in a small town in Oklahoma. Turns out that it’s the town my mother lives in. I said “hey, my mom lives there. she owns an alterations shop there.” He said that his wife had picked up sewing from her earlier that morning. I knew he was telling the truth because he knew her name. That was a weird feeling.

Coincidence 1: I was just about to start this same thread when I saw it already existed.

Coincidence 2: The reason I was going to start the thread stems from a conversation my wife and I had yesterday. We were discussing movies, and I asked her if she ever say No Way Out. She hadn’t, and while I was happy to hear I could introduce her to a very good film, I lamented the fact that since it’s an older movie it’ll be hard to track down at any of the local video stores.

Then I remembered – we have about a half-dozen channels that show movies 24/7 – maybe one of them will show it at some point. I took a look in the guide, and found I was right – in its only showing this month, No Way Out was starting in 10 minutes.

I have two with a similar theme.

I moved from a small town in Northern England to South Florida when I was 11. A few years later in high school I became friendly with a girl of Ukrainian background. Eventually we figured out that her brother and my brother went to the same secondary school in England and knew each other.

During college I embarked on a back backing trip around Europe. I was in a small bar in Prague when I heard a familiar Yorkshire accent. I started talking with the owner of the accent, turns out we were from the same small town and he used to work for my dad.

I’ve posted this before on the SDMB, but here it is again:

Many years ago, while mountain climbing in Colorado, I met a guy named Garon up on top of Mt. Elbert (the highest mountain in the state). We got to talking, and he mentioned that he’d lived in Singapore for a while. I said, “Hey, I know someone who lived there for a while, too…”

After comparing notes, we realized that we had both dated the same girl: I dated her in Houston, he dated her in Singapore.

Small world.

Back in '82; I started dating my future wife. She had the unusual name (at least, in the US) of “Noe.”

Several months later, my grandmother began talking about her family history. She mentioned that her mother’s maiden name was “Noe,” too. It was the first I had heard of it.

My favourite one is this:

I used to rent a big old house by myself. My friend Joe was between places and I let him store most of his stuff in my basement – but then he ended up getting a little studio space and most of his stuff remained in my basement. It wasn’t bothering me, so I didn’t put any pressure on him to find another place to store it. Later, my friend Myriah moved into the house, and she had a bunch of her stuff in storage at her parents’. Over a couple of months, there was some talk of getting Joe to move his stuff elsewhere, but I knew things were tight for him so I still didn’t put too much pressure on him. Things were being moved out by attrition, but it was going sloooooowly.

Meanwhile, my friend started taking some courses at Emily Carr. They randomly assign shared locker spaces because they don’t have enough lockers for their 1,500 students. She quickly became friends with the girl she shared a locker with, and eventually in the course of their conversation she was complaining bitterly that she had stuff she wanted to store and I was dragging my heels about getting my friend’s stuff out of the basement.

Names were mentioned, and eventually the locker girl realized that Myriah was staying at her boyfriend Joe’s friend Larry’s, and that half of the stuff stored there actually belonged to her.

She was much more assertive (and contrite, I guess,) than I was, and within a few days they came by with a truck and picked everything up.

There’s a useful coincidence – randomly griping about a personal situation to a random person who turns out to be intimately involved with it and can set things in motion to fix it. :smiley:

Another neat one: One time I was on the bus home from work, reading a book, which claimedd in a footnote that contemporaries of Plato’s were evidently cheesed at him for making sly references to the Eleusinian mysteries in his Symposium. This intrigued me, so I opened my notepad and wrote in it: Get Plato’s Symposium!

When I got home, a girl that I’d just started seeing and was absolutely nuts about was waiting for me on my porch. Before we even went inside, she opened her bag and said “Hey, I got something for you.” It was a very slim, very yellow little book, printed in the early sixties, which she’d picked up at a second-hand book store on the way over: Plato’s Symposium. She’d figured it would suit because she noted that my bookshelves contained a fair amount of philosophy (although none of it Greek.)

Given the extraordinary coincidence, (and the topic of the Symposium,) that struck me as so Significant at the time that, in hindsight, I can only be embarrassed. :stuck_out_tongue:

My twin sister and I have been known to give each other gifts that are remarkably similar. One year for Christmas, I bought her the book Les Miserables. She bought me the soundtrack to Les Miserables.
Another year I made her a photo album with many photos of the two of us from various places and events over the years. She gave me on of those multi-photo picture frames with pictures of us. Every single picture she had put in the picture frame, I had put into the photo album.
One time at a party, I put on what I declared to be the best Jackson 5 song ever. As “Who’s loving you” came on, my sister came into the room and said “Oh, this is my favorite Jackson 5 song of all time!” I didn’t even know she knew the song.

Quite a few years ago, I served on a jury in a criminal case. I was living in Westchester County, New York. Westchester County has more than 900,000 residents, and thus a large pool of potential jurors. The crime was assault on a police officer. The victim was Officer DistinctiveName, who is with the police force in TownA.

A couple of years after the trial I moved to another city in that same county, CityB, which borders TownA. About 6:00 one morning, I get a phone call.

Me: Hello?
Annoying Strident Voice: Mrs. Alleged Criminal? This is the TownA police.
**Me: ** Sorry, you have the wrong number.
ASV: NO! This is Officer DistinctiveName of the TownA police, Mrs. Criminal. We’ve got your house surrounded.

(I lived in an apartment building, outside of TownA’s jurisdiction, so I knew that he was completely off-base.)

Me: Look, Officer DistinctiveName, there is no Mrs. Criminal here. You have the wrong number.
ASV, now identified as belonging to ODN: Is this (gives my correct phone #)?
Me: Yes, it is.
ODN: Is this 123 Elm Street, TownA?
Me: No, this 456 Pine Avenue, CityB.
ODN (whose voice has become less strident, though not less annoying): 456 Pine Ave. in CityB?
**Me: ** Yes.
ODN: I’m sorry for disturbing you ma’am. (hangs up phone)

Though I was really freaked-out by it at the time, I now realize that it was really more of a coincidence for Officer DistinctiveName than for me. After all, the TownA police department is not particulary large. Getting a call from the one member I knew there was not so surprising. But he, on the other hand, obtained an incorrect phone number for a suspect which instead turns out to be the phone number of one of only 12 people in the entire county who served on the jury in his case.

What’s the difference, if any, between a coincidence and a “six degrees of separation” moment?

When I was on a jury, we went around the table introducing ourselves; when my turn came, the woman next to me turned and stared when she heard my name, and asked, “Do you have a brother?” Yes. “Did he used to work for Conrail?” Yes. “Is his name—?” and she gave my brother’s name. She also worked for Conrail and had known my brother when he worked there.

Back in 2001, my wife and I decided to buy a house. We had to buy something out of the Boston to get something decent that we could afford. I found a listing for a fixer upper true Colonial house that intrigued me and I called the real estate agent. He lived in Maine and selling the house for the owner. I had never been to the house the town was in but the real estate agent agreed to meet us that weekend.

The house needed a lot of work but the real estate agent (Don from Maine) was very friendly and just told us if we were interested to make an offer. We said, Ok the, we will offer $100,000 below the asking price. Don called us back that night to let us know that our offer had been accepted much to our shock. The housing market was hot at the time.

We talked to Don over the next few months and arranged the closing. After the closing we were getting ready to leave and Don said that he couldn’t let us leave without telling us some things. He said he knew who we were as soon as we called and decided that we would have that house (our house now). It seems that my wife’s grandfather was like a father to Don not here but in Florida. My wife never really knew her grandfather because he lived so far away but Don did. Don was also engaged to one of my wife’s aunts on a different side of the family when they were young. In addition, Don’s brother owns the place that my wife ate lunch at every week near her work in Boston. He knew my wife as well.

DOn made sure the owner accepted our offer. I guess we were meant to get this house.

Another house-related coincidence:

Driving around Sioux City, with hubby, his daughter, and daughter’s new husband. Hubby drove us through the neighborhood that his family lived in when he was in grade school.

Hubby: “That’s the house. Didn’t think I’d find it, it’s been 50 years.”

Daughter’s new hubby: “I lived there too!”

Hubby was skeptical, until son-in-law described the interior of the house.

Living in a small town, there are coincidences almost every day, but this one involved people who lived 200 miles away. Cool.

Both of my Grandma’s parent had the same first name, Carol.

My family moved to Florida the summer after I turned 16. I didn’t know anyone when I started my junior year at a semi-rural high school, but I quickly made a few friends in my homeroom.

A few months later, I found out that my aunt and uncle were driving in from Texas for Thanksgiving. I told one of my homeroom buddies about their visit. He said that he had family visiting from Texas, too. We compared notes and found out that my uncle (mom’s sister’s husband) is his cousin.

I spent three months sitting next to a distant relative and didn’t even know it. :slight_smile:

I was born in a quiet backwater in Karnataka, India. No, not Bangalore. Anyway, I have never, never, never met another person from this town.

January. I’m single. Minding my own business eating (okay, glutting) at a Zankou Chicken in Pasadena. Every table is full and a cute Indian boy is looking over. Despite looking freaking hideous (just came from a workout), I smiled and I guess he took that as an invitation, because he comes over to sit with me.

The standard greetings are exchanged. He can tell I’m an ABCD (well, not really since the AB is out) by my accent but asks me where I’m from in India (you can tell my ethnic background by my name so I guess he was expecting me to say Bombay). I tell him where I was born.

So was he.

In the same hospital.

6 weeks before me.

And lived 3 blocks from our old house.

And knows the children of all my parents’ old friends (this we don’t find out until I mention the name of someone and he’s all, yeah, I know her son or whatever).

To top it off, he went to my father’s old university, only the top school in India.

And we’re from the same ethnic community.

Had my parents not moved to Quebec, we would have 100% certainly known each other.

It’s just creepy man, creepy. Anyway, now we’re going out.

Not too crazy but last week, as I was on the phone calling in a refill on my birth control pills, my sister calls my cell phone at the same exact time to tell me she’s pregnant.