The idea that the improbable equates to the impossible is an age old misconception among humans and has likely spawned religions and lynchings alike. If a person falls off a cliff but happens to land in the top of a tree that bends just enough to slow their fall and directs them into a lake where they happen to land in the water directly in front of a woman swimming naked, well, yeah, that does seem to be divine intervention. Conversely, if that naked woman is a lesbian and the last thing she wants is a man dropped in front of her, well yeah, she does seem a little cursed.
That’s fiction but it does get the point across. In reality, the debate has raged for decades as to how likely it was that one man killed JFK. Some claim the killer wasn’t that great of a shot, and someone had to be above average to fire the three shots allegedly fired. I maintain it could have been a case of one man having the best day of his life behind the scope of a gun, and it just happened to be the wrong day for a president and the rest of us too.
But this is still dealing with a situation where not all the facts are in play. I could merely point out the odds of winning the lottery are about the same as being struck by lightning more than one in a lifetime, and there are people who win the lottery every day, just not anyone I know. Remember the terrorist attack on the jetliner that exploded over Scotland? Eleven people on the ground were killed when pieces of the jet landed on their homes. What are the odds of dying in your home as a piece of a jet comes crashing down from the sky, and the jet was brought down by a bomb?
One of the most weird things I ever saw in my life were two guys in the Army who were both not only at Fort Stewart, but were in the same unit, and housed in the same room in the same barracks. They were both from the same tiny town in Nebraska, and had both went to the same schools all their lives. They hated each other’s guts, and only through very bizarre coincidence had they wound up in South Georgia at the same place in time. One had actually joined the Army a year after the other had, and neither had known what job the other had chosen, and that turned out to be the same job. One of the guys truly appreciated the irony of the situation and thought it was funny as hell and the other hated life for it.
Now I have one that has you involved in it. At some point in time you decided to read this, and maybe you’ve read something by me before and maybe you haven’t, but what are the odds that me, from South Georgia, and you, from wherever you are, wound up in the here and now that lead to you being able to read this at all? Of all the millions of websites and billions of blogs, here you are reading mine, and the odds that one person from where you are reading something from someone from where I am is pretty damn small, yet here we both are. See, there isn’t anything cosmic about high end improbability, unless you believe there is something cosmic about you and I sharing thoughts, and maybe in fact there is something cosmic between us, and in that event we should drink Scotch together soon.
When I was a freshman in High School one of the first girls I dated was named Andrea Carson. She and I went to a few parties together and it looked promising but it didn’t gel and we went our separate ways. I haven’t seen or heard from her since the mid seventies or so, and really hadn’t given that part of my life much thought at all.
Today after going to the gym I needed food, healthy food, but I didn’t have a lot of time, so I was just going to get something after I got to work, and suddenly there was a guy standing on the corner waving a sign for a sub shop. Subs are healthy if you put the right stuff on them, so I decided to try the place, since it was new, and pulled in. It looked nice, the help was friendly, and they were wearing tie dyed shirts, all colorful and pretty. I was the only one there, and they asked me where I was from, and I told them South Brooks County, and tone said, “Thomasville?” and I said, “No, Quitman, but I don’t live in Quitman.” She said, “It cannot possibly be as bad as Blakely.” And I said, “Well damn, I’m originally from Blakely.” We traded off a few names as to who I might know, and she’s the cousin of a woman I went to school with, and I didn’t know her father but her mother is…Andrea Carson. It was a very strange and awkward revelation, and before I knew what I was saying I blurted out, “Oh wow I used to date your mom.” And that led to the other two women bursting out laughing at the weirdness of it all. I looked at the woman, the full grown woman, in her early twenties, and suddenly I saw Andrea in her, and it was like seeing the ghost of the living. It was hard not to stare, and I found myself wondering if this woman had been my daughter would she be as cute, and just as suddenly, someone I hadn’t thought about in a couple of decades or so was fresh in my memory. I wanted to tell the woman her mother was once young, vibrant, and really hot, but that didn’t seem to be the thing to say. I really didn’t know what to say, so I said very little, but man, that was so totally weird.