I experienced two startling coincidences recently, and feel impelled to share them with you (particularly because the first incident was directly connected with this blog). They are such low-probability events that I still have difficulty in believing that they happened, but happen they did; not just one, but two of them, one close on the heels of the other.
The First Coincidence. A few days ago, I wrote here (https://cochinblogger.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/how-my-vocabulary-got-me-my-first-job/) about how knowledge of a word (ambivert) helped me get my first job, in sales. The interviewer (a director of the company) observed rather pointedly that I was an introvert (a look at my interests listed in the CV told him that), and was floored by my retort that I am an ambivert. At the end of the post, I wondered whether only extroverts could succeed in sales, and promised that I would return to this topic in a later post. Well, the same night (June 24), in my inbox, I found this in my inbox: Success in Selling for Introverts like Me/
Incredible, right?! I still find it hard to believe! I mean, introverts in sales is not the most popular debating point out there, and for two minds separated physically by oceans to come together like this is amazing. What blows me away is this: Troy White was probably writing his piece at the same time that I was writing my blog post on how I got my first job!
The Second Coincidence. This began with a stray, rather mischievous thought that occurred to me when reading the transcript (http://www.problogger.net/jeffwalker/) of an interview of Jeff Walker by Darren Rowse. Here is the relevant snippet of dialogue:
Darren: … So, thank you for joining us. That’s the longest intro I’ve ever done, but I just wanted to say I think it’s really a relevant conversation for people. So, thanks for joining.
Jeff: Well, thanks for having me. This is going to be fun. Yeah.
Apparently, all is fine, and there is nothing untoward. Daren Rowse has given a rather long, rather flattering, introduction to Jeff Walker, who in turn graciously says, “Well, thanks for having me.” Now, English is a rich, highly idiomatic language, and the image that immediately sprang to mind was of the two worthies copulating. 🙂 Perhaps something like “I’m glad you chose me” would’ve been best. Now, I also wondered whether this was just me and my taste for bawdy humor; perhaps normal people would just read on without pausing.
The next day, I picked up The Punch Bedside Book, edited by William Davis, from one of the numerous used books stalls that now dot the Cochin landscape (this development deserves its own blog post). It cost me all of half a dollar. The Introduction begins by describing how a doctor’s wife protested when Punch ran a series of cartoons on the theme of Suburban Orgy. Let me hand you over to William Davis:
We expected a few protests, but as it turned out, there was only one. It came from a doctor’s wife who objected to Graham’s final quip — a cartoon which showed a couple saying goodbye to the host. The wife was shaking his hand and saying, “And thank you for having me.” The doctor’s lady thought this was simply too much. Punch, she insisted, had descended to unspeakable levels, and henceforth would be banished from her husband’s waiting room. I wrote back and said it was all in her mind, and anyhow it seemed cruel to deprive patients of badly needed laughs. I did not mention the Punch line we nearly added in a further cartoon — a cartoon which had the host replying: “And thank you for coming.”
Of course, the humor is delicious, but what blew me away was the coincidence of coming across the pun on “having me” in a book purchased that very day on a whim, so soon after it interrupted my reading of Darren Rowse’s interview of Jeff Walker. This was the second low-probability event in quick succession. It just blew me away!
Some parting thoughts:
1. It’s possible that apparently unconnected events are connected at a level of detail that is beyond human perception. There is a mystical strain in this agnostic that would have him believe everything is connected. I was influenced by Jung’s Memories, Dreams, and Reflections when I read it in college. Here is an introduction to Jung’s concept of synchronicity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synchronicity
2. I’m relieved I don’t have an abnormally dirty mind. What’s good enough for Punch is good enough for me.
3. A doctor’s wife — I mean, of all people, a doctor’s wife — being squeamish about the functions of the human body? Something about it does not quite ring true, but I’m damned if I can put my finger in it — oops, I mean, on it. 🙂
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