Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You have got to be kidding me...

My Spec Ops heroes are fond of saying, "There is no such thing as coincidence." You'll hear law enforcement hard at work solving a case maintain the same thing. And yet, there IS the word - coincidence - so obviously, there' s a reason. As defined, coincidence means: The occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection.

So while it's hard to buy certain things as being coincidental, there are some pretty far out documented cases that are just too connected to ignore. I had to dig a little but I found some really interesting exampled. Here are just a very few.

1) In Detroit in the 1930's a young (and careless) mother was grateful to a man named Joseph Figlock who was walking down the street when her baby fell from a high window. The baby's fall was broken by Figlock and neither of them were hurt. A year later, the very same baby fell from the very same window onto - you guessed it - Joseph Figlock, as he was again passing by. Again, neither one of them were hurt.

2) In 1883, Henry Ziegland thought he had dodged fate when he broke off a relationship with his girlfriend who, distressed, committed suicide. Her brother was so angry he shot Zeigland then turned the gun on himself and took his own life. Only, whoops, Ziegland wasn't dead. The bullet had only grazed him in the head and knocked him out before lodging in a tree. Years later, Ziegland decided to get rid of the tree so he blasted it with dynamite. You see what's coming, right? The explosion propelled the bullet into Zeigland's head and killed him.

3) Mark Twain was born on the day of the appearance of Halley's Comet in 1835 and died on the day of its next appearance in 1910. He even predicted it would happen.



4) In 1975 in Bermuda, a man was accidentally struck by a taxi and, sadly, died. One year later, his brother died the very same way. To make it even stranger, he was riding the very same moped and was hit by the same taxi driver AND (drum roll) the taxi was carrying the very same passenger.






5) Twice a month I sit down to write a blog post. Each and every time, I find myself scrambling for something interesting to write about, I always end up writing it at the eleventh hour and by the time I'm finished, I'm always certain it's the most lame post I've ever written? coincidence??? I reallllyyy think not.

Okay, you get the picture. What about you? Have you ever experienced some truly amazing coincidence? One OTHER one comes to mind for me (thank God it didn't involve anyone dying). I was on my very first trip to NYC. My friend and I walked into a pizza place, sat down and before long struck up a conversation with a gentleman and his teenage son who were sitting very close to us at the next table. Turns out, the guy was my cousin's lawyer. Now I live in Iowa, he lived in Colorado, yet at that particular moment in time, we coincidentally started talking and - boom - there was the connection.

All right, so it's not THAT incredible or amazing, but it was a really cool coincidence. So, again, I ask - what about you? Any come to mind that you want to share?







22 comments:

Helen Brenna said...

Wow, Cindy, those are incredibly strange coincidences. The ones that happen to me always seem to center around connections with people, like your cousin's lawyer deal. It's that 7 degrees of separation thing.

Betina Krahn said...

Personally, I think coincidences can be little guideposts on the path of life. For example, when I was in high school and my parents were trying to decide where to move, we visited a town in Ohio that had so many little similarities to the place we already lived. . . same high school letter, same mascot, same colors. . . I said to my folks that I wanted to move there. . . and lo, and behold-- my parents did take jobs there. We talked about it later and all felt it was kind of meant to be. It helped that everyone we met was welcoming and friendly and that my folks got good jobs. :) Okay, maybe that's not really a coincidence, since it's not an "incident." How about being in Arizona and running into a former student of my sister in Ohio? Does that count?

Also, how odd is it that my grandmother and my late husband's grandmother had the same name. . . and that The Pool Boy's grandmother had the very same name? You can make the case that the grandmas were of a similar age and certain names were popular then. . . but still. Who knew that all I had to do to find love was to search for guys with grandmas named "Alma"?

Betina Krahn said...

Oh, and how eerie is it that former presidents (and good friends)John Adams and Thomas Jefferson each died on July 4th. . . only hours apart?

Michele Hauf said...

I like to think 'coincidence' is a fancy word for 'the world is working the way it wants to'.

:-)

Cindy Gerard said...

Helen - Yes. the 7 degrees thing is cool too. When I flew to NYC this past Nov i sat beside this really nice gentlemen who turned out to be Katie Couric's brother in law AND his sister is an editor for Simon and Schuster - my publisher. Small world.

Cindy Gerard said...

Betina - the gramma's names are really coincidental. Cool story.
And yes to the Adams/Jefferson issue.

I think I read something once about there being multiple coincidences between Lincoln's and Kennedy's deaths but can't come up with them now.

Cindy Gerard said...

Love that, Michele. In the long run, we really have little say over many things. :o)

Keri Ford said...

Very interesting. I think I've had stuff like this happening, but my ate-cake-for-breakfast-brain isn't spinning too well through the memory department.

Cindy Gerard said...

Keri - HA. if you come up with something later - please share. I know I have more but they're avoiding me at the moment too

lois greiman said...

Life is often way crazier than I am allowed to write about. Coincidences do happen, but, as authors, we kind of have to pretend they don't.

Cindy Gerard said...

Great observation, Lois. As authors we have to be uber careful about coincidental occurrences in our books or the critics will jump all over them. Life is absolutely stranger than fiction :o)

ArkansasCyndi said...

We had one of those ODD things last year.

We snowbird in Florida every year. A couple of years ago, I got a bad computer virus and the "blue screen of death". I had to take it to the computer experts in the park where we stay (we travel in an RV).
Jerry and Marsha. Bad virus. Ate everything. Took a while but got it back up and running AND saved all my data.

Fast forward to July 2009. We were traveling with my parents to Gettysburg, PA. (they were following in their own RV). We made an impromptu stop in a small town in North Carolina in a very small RV park. We were assigned two side-by-side RV spots. We could have taken either one. We took #3 and parents took #4. After we'd been there a few hours, husband and I kept looking at the RV next door. It looked so familiar. It was Jerry and Marsha from Florida. What are the odds that we would end up next door to some people we knew from Titusville, FL? Plus, I had computer issues this year and had to contact the them again for help. But this time, it was contacting "friends" for help. So strange!

Kathleen O said...

Well the only coincidence I can think of is my grandmother and Elizbeth Taylor were born on the same day Feburary 27 and that they both had violet eyes.

Cindy Gerard said...

Arkansas Cindi - that is just too cool! And yes, very much a coincidence.
I LOVE when things like that happen.

Kathleen - that's cool. I was born on the same day as FDR - well, a FEW years later :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Arkansas Cindi - that is just too cool! And yes, very much a coincidence.
I LOVE when things like that happen.

Kathleen - that's cool. I was born on the same day as FDR - well, a FEW years later :o)

KylieBrant said...

I agree, the coincidences in my life seem to have to do with finding people with an Iowa connection no matter where I'm calling. Most recently I was talking to the assistant director of Colorado Bureau of Investigation who wanted to know how close I was to Fayette. Turns out his in laws live there! So of course I had to tell him about all my relatives who live in Colorado.

Keri Ford said...

Thought of one! (strangely after another piece of cake!). Husband and I were shopping on our honeymoon in Hawaii. We walked in a store that sold paintings…and we bought one. When we gave him our shipping address in Arkansas, he perked up. “You’re from Arkansas? No way. I’m from Perryville.” (or something like that, it’s been a few years). Anyway, weird huh? We did the whole, oh, I have family nearby, do you know them? No, well I know so and so, do you know them? It seems like there was more. When I thought of it, it seemed a lot more impressive than having it all typed out now.

Pamela Keener said...

I was in Hawaii to meet with my brother who was stationed on the sub base. We took this informative class of tours available in Oahu. At the table we were sitting I struck up a conversation with a mother and her daughter. We were both from PA and I was a PA State Trooper and her husband was also. We all got together and went to this luau. At the luau I struck up a conversation with a newlywed couple and lo and behold he was a PA State Trooper also. At that time there were 4000 men and women in the PA State Police and 3 of us were in Hawaii.
That was so cool.
Love & Hugs,
Pam

Cindy Gerard said...

Keri and Pam - great stories and wow, major coincidences!
What a hoot!

PJ said...

This stuff happens to me all the time. Here's one of the stories.

I grew up in a very small town in Michigan. When I was 16 I spent the summer studying in Europe. One day, during a field trip to Chamonix, France, we took the gondola to the top of Mont Blanc. While browsing in the cafe at the top of the mountain, I overheard bits of the conversation going on at one of the tables and heard one of the women say "Kalamazoo." Come to find out, not only was she from Michigan, she was my English teacher's college roommate and I had to go to the highest mountain in the Alps to meet her!

Cindy Gerard said...

PJ - too cool!!!

Susan Connell said...

Dear Cindy - Another coinkedink as some like to say. What are the odds that Kathleen O and Elizabeth Taylor share the same birthday? I don't know, but they got a little crazier when I, who rarely drop by here, just happen to check in and get to add that I just celebrated my 61st on Feb 27, also. I think Chelsea Clinton, Joanne Woodward and Howard Hessman share cake day with us, too. Susan, older and more dazzled than ever by this stuff.