Tag Archives: coincidence

Going Bananas

You know how you’ll be cheerfully going on with life, and suddenly the fates deliver a spate of occurrences related to the same obscure item?  Well, for the last couple of weeks it’s been bananas.  Actual bananas; although things have been a bit bananas in the metaphorical sense, too.

Digression:  Why do we say ‘going bananas’?  What makes bananas crazier than any other fruit?  We don’t ‘go apples’ or ‘go peaches’.  Although now that I think of it, I kinda like ‘going kumquats’.

Back to my point:

I realize bananas aren’t particularly obscure. They’re always in fruit baskets and grocery stores; but they lurk unobtrusively in the background (at least, as unobtrusively as any large yellow phallic object can lurk).  But lately they’ve been popping up in my life repeatedly.

It all started with Hubby. And no, I’m not going to make an off-colour reference to his banana popping up; though the temptation is strong. (Yikes, maybe I’m finally growing up! But probably not.)

Anyway, you may recall that we’ve been experimenting with tomato wine and cider. It’s too soon to tell whether any of it will be palatable, but as a preemptive (or maybe defensive) action Hubby has been researching wine conditioners, i.e. ‘anything that will make vile rotgut tolerable enough to swallow’.

And guess what? A lot of people condition their fruit wines with banana wine.  To me, that sounds like starting with shit and adding new shit in the hope of creating something that doesn’t taste like shit; but what do I know?

That was the first banana-related occurrence.  Next I went out to visit my step-mom. One morning as I reached for the fruit basket, she said, “You do know how to open a banana correctly, don’t you?”

I hesitated, wondering if this was the setup for a joke or the introduction to an etiquette lesson (because everybody knows that ‘ladies’ eat bananas sideways in public). Turned out it was neither.

“I saw it on TV,” she said. “You hold them by the stem, parallel to the floor with the tip curving up, and then snap your wrist down and the banana will open.”

And damn, she was right.  After more than fifty years on this earth, I finally know how to open a banana.

Flushed with my new knowledge, I suggested to Hubby that it would be an efficient way to peel a bunch of bananas if he decides to go ahead with the banana wine.

He raised a skeptical eyebrow. “What if the bananas are really ripe?” he inquired. “Like they are when you make banana bread.  Because that’s how ripe they need to be for wine.”

“Oh,” said I, crestfallen. “No, that would probably end up more like ‘squish-splat’.”

From there the conversation devolved into speculations about banana-bombs and other forms of domestic warfare.  We never did get back to banana wine; but it’s probably for the best.  The smell of fermenting bananas would drive me kumquats.

Have any bananas popped up in your life lately?

Book 15 update:  At last, some quality writing time!  I’m halfway through Chapter 12 and John has just saved the day… for now…

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Only In My World

I’m a weirdness magnet. All kinds of oddball stuff happens in my world; everything from finding machete wrappers at bus stops and dick prints on my hotel window to experiencing unusual coincidences pertaining to warm guns and email.

The past few weeks have been no exception.

I was out for a walk when I spotted something on a perfectly-manicured front lawn. When I got closer I blinked twice, but I wasn’t hallucinating. Nope; no matter how I looked at it, it was still a large dead mouse smushed in a mousetrap. You don’t see that very often on nice suburban lawns, even if you’ve been partaking in unusual substances (or so I’m told).

The whole situation was weird. Both mouse and trap were soaking wet, so the homeowners must have dumped them in a bucket just in case the mouse survived getting whacked. I’ll grant them points for thoroughness, but since they’d obviously succeeded in making the mouse as dead as possible, why would they chuck it out on the front lawn?  Why not release the body and flush it or bury it or dump it in an unobtrusive corner of the back yard instead of displaying it to passersby like a bizarre welcoming gift: “Hello, may I offer you some lovely drenched vermin attractively served on wood with steel accents? No? Whyever not?”

Just to keep things interesting, Fate has served up a couple of unusual coincidences in the past few weeks, too.

Such as the day I walked into our local postal outlet. The postal clerk knows me by sight, though not by name… I thought. Until she cheerfully greeted me, “Hi, Kelly!”

My brain was deep in plotting my current book and I absently returned the greeting before realizing that I was not, in fact, Aydan Kelly. Explanations and laughter ensued, but she still insisted that I looked like a ‘Kelly’. She had no idea I’m a writer and she hadn’t read my books. So what are the chances that she would have called me by the name of my main character?

And speaking of coincidences, it’s no coincidence that I mentioned the dick print on my hotel window earlier in this post. Only a few days after we got home from that trip, I was over at my friend Chris’s place when he eyed me very seriously and said, “I hate to tell you this, but I’m afraid you have a stalker.” He pointed to the sidewalk outside their house. “There’s a dick on the sidewalk over there. It followed you all the way from Canmore.”

Sure enough, somebody had chalked a dick there. I just laughed and told him it hadn’t followed me; it had followed him. Not my problem, bucko.

But I spoke too soon. The very next day I stepped out of our house only to discover this:

It followed me home; can I keep it?

It followed me home; can I keep it?

I realize kids draw, er… unusual things… now and then, but I’ve lived here for sixteen years and this is the first time I’ve seen a dick drawn on our sidewalk. It’s so soon after my Canmore experience the coincidence seems ridiculously far-fetched. (Unless Chris has chalk dust on his fingers… hmmm…)

Am I really the only one? Please tell me somebody else has happened upon a sodden dead rodent on a suburban lawn, or something equally peculiar…

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Happiness Is A Warm Gun

I’m worried.

Being the cynical geek I am, I was sure Big Brother was watching us long before the “news” broke about the NSA and PRISM.  No surprise there.

That’s why ever since I started writing the Never Say Spy series, I’ve joked semi-seriously that I’m probably on a no-fly list somewhere.  Anyone watching my browsing habits will know I spend a disturbing amount of time researching untraceable poisons, the characteristics of C4 and other explosives, sonic grenades, Tasers and stun guns, specifications and ballistics tables for firearms, and a host of other unsavoury topics.

Throw in my YouTube viewing history of martial arts, shooting techniques, self-defence against knives and guns, military training videos, and some other odds and sods that are definitely non-typical for your average middle-aged female viewer.

Then add my frequent searches on computer networks, hacking, cracking, and encryption, and I just bet they’re watching me.

Meanwhile, and (until this morning) completely unrelated to this… I’m a big music fan.  I love just about all genres, and, as I’ve mentioned before, my MP3 player contains everything from rock to reggae to ragtime, country to classical, metal to Motown, pop to polkas, blues to barbershop harmony.  But (*gasp*) I’ve never been a huge Beatles fan.

Sure, I like their music, and I respect their impact on the music scene, but I’ve never actually gotten around to buying an album.  So yesterday I thought, “Hmm.  What kind of self-professed music lover doesn’t have a single Beatles song on her MP3 player?  Maybe I’d better go and buy an anthology.”

So off to Amazon I went, and I found a remastered 2-disc set that looked good.  I checked the track list and discovered the song “Happiness Is A Warm Gun”.  I’d never heard of it before.  So I played the preview, then messed around a bit and got distracted.  And forgot about the whole thing.

Until a mere 18 hours later.

Sometimes I like to get out and do some new things and meet new people (bear with me; I’ll establish the relevance of this momentarily).  So I belong to a couple of Meetup groups.  They send me updates on upcoming events.

Here’s what I found in my Inbox this morning:

email

What the hell are the chances of that?

My idea of getting a Beatles album was completely off-the-cuff.  I went to Amazon and clicked on the first Beatles album in the list without any conscious selection process; I’d never even heard of this song before yesterday; and I arbitrarily chose to listen to its preview instead of any of several other songs that were unfamiliar to me.

And within 18 hours, I get an invitation with the very same title?!?

And what are the chances of two different Meetup group organizers emailing me on the same day about gun-related activities?  I just joined this group.  They shouldn’t have any way of knowing I like to shoot.

I thought the alien butt sensors and the NSA were bad, but now I’m totally creeped out.

Who else is watching me?  I don’t know, but I’m suspicious of the jackrabbit that’s been living under the spruce tree in our front yard.  He has a shifty expression…

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Alien Butt Sensors

They’re invisible, but I know they’re there.

I’m not sure how or when they were installed, but there are hidden pressure sensors under every toilet seat in the house, as well as on my office chair.  It’s the only possible explanation.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve just nicely settled myself on the throne when the phone rings.  In fact, it happens so frequently that it’s a standing (sorry, couldn’t resist) joke with one of my friends.  She calls; I’m in the bathroom.

Every.  Single.  Time.

This makes it sound as though a) I have continence problems and therefore spend a considerable amount of time ensconced in the holy of holies; or b) she phones me far too often.

Neither is true.  I won’t lower myself (sorry again) to discussing my bathroom habits here, other than to say:  normal.  And it’s rare for her to phone me more than once a week.

So I’m convinced that she somehow knows when I’m in the john.

It’s far too creepy to consider that she might actually be the culprit responsible for the butt sensors, so I prefer to believe they were installed by some advanced alien race that is capable of invisibility and possesses both the technology to broadcast telepathic signals of unlimited range, and the malevolence to torture me by broadcasting “Phone Diane” every time I shit… er, sit.

And the bastards didn’t stop with the toilet seats, either.

The sensor on my office chair is an extremely specialized model; probably some advanced prototype they’re developing exclusively for sales to telemarketers, politicians, and meddling relatives.

It doesn’t just register pressure and react the way the toilet-seat model does.  No, this one is far more diabolical.

It also taps into my brainwaves.

It doesn’t react when I’m doing something boring and tedious and I’d love to be interrupted.  Oh, hell no.  I can spend all bloody day writing computer training workbooks with nary a peep, but within ten seconds of achieving the zen-like bliss of uninterrupted writing … I’ll be interrupted.

It’s obviously programmed with a complicated algorithm that constantly sifts through the detritus of my mind, measuring my exact degree of concentration and commitment to the task at hand.  When I achieve some critical pre-determined level, the butt sensor psychically broadcasts “Interrupt Diane using any method necessary, immediately”.

Phone calls are easiest, but in a pinch they’ll induce Hubby to choose that exact moment to ask a not-very-important but time-consuming question.  Or the courier will show up with delivery that needs a signature.  A sudden loud noise and/or cry of distress from somewhere in the house is always a winner.  Or there’s the tried-and-true method of having somebody crash into my parked
half-ton and ring the doorbell to report the accident.

That may sound far-fetched, but don’t laugh – it’s happened five times.  I don’t know how anyone can fail to see a big red truck in their rear-view mirror, so the aliens must make my truck momentarily invisible, too.

I guess it could be worse.  In the big picture, interruptions are only an annoyance.  At least the aliens don’t seem interested in my body cavities.

Unless there’s something about those butt sensors that I really don’t want to know about…

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