Of pink bikes and birthday songs

I’m sure everyone has those moments where they’ve just read a word and someone nearby or on tv says it in almost the same moment (not a word like “the” or “water” or something, but less common things like “serendipity” or “Zimbabwe”). It happens to me a lot –I remember a time many years ago when a question came up on Jeopardy!, and no one in my family had any idea what the answer was, so my brother and I both independently decided to pick the least likely answer; we both said “Paraguay!” at the same time. That was weird.

Well, something similar but moreso has been happening regularly for … oh, months now.

There was the time little while ago when I thought “Hey, this radio station they have on at work takes requests; I should ask them to play that song I haven’t heard in twenty years” … And they played it ten minutes later.

tumblr_miuvq1fjxR1rk557io1_500_largeThere was one day when, since I hadn’t slept well the night before, I ended up crashing for a little while when I got home from work. But I knew that if I didn’t get up soon I would a) not sleep that night either, and b) more importantly, I would miss Jeopardy. So I dragged myself back downstairs, a little dopey because I had fallen into a pretty deep sleep. Deep enough to dream, because I’d had a seriously strange dream about the Beatles. I don’t know why – I haven’t thought so very much about the Beatles lately – but: it was as if I was watching a documentary, complete with narrator; there was a moment I still can see in my head of the narrator talking about the boys’ cheekiness in the early days, and part of the footage under it was of John coming down what looked like a fire escape, an outdoors metal staircase that doubled on itself; he was dressed in the Early Beatles uniform suit, with a hat, and gave a sort of wave with a silly face as he hurried down. Then there was something involving the four of them behind easels and then all walking away at the same time, some kind of staged Moment, and quite authentic-looking. And toward the end I remember a shot of 70’s George, and the narrator saying something less than flattering, and being really ticked off because you do *not* speak ill of George Harrison. Then I woke up. (Yes … yes, that’s the way I dream. Flying? No. Beatles documentary? Yep.) Unfortunately, I did manage to miss most of Jeopardy, coming in just in time for Final J. Which asked something along the lines of which Beatles Top 40 hit had the shortest name. (It was “Help”, and I couldn’t think of it.)
Peter-Berrisfords-hot-pink-bike-1024x682Then there was the afternoon I had to stop off at Best Buy for something (that’s an electronics store, as you may know)(no toys)(except for electronic toys, of course), and I had what NPR loves to call a “Driveway Moment”, where I sat in the car to listen to the rest of a story. I don’t know exactly what I was listening to, something about a story-telling competition with the theme of “fish out of water”, and what kept me in the car was a man named James Braly talking about his three-year-old son Oliver, who loves pink. And who wanted a pink bike. And how hard it was to fulfill that wish, both because of Braly’s innate rejection of pink as a color for his son’s bicycle, and because it’s just hard to find a pink bike that’s not a Barbie 2000 or what-have-you. It was a sweet story, and I was glad I heard it out, and then I got out of the car and headed for the store … and up ahead, just going in, were two women just entering. And one was carrying a small child’s bike. And it was pink.

I’m still a little flabbergasted by that one.

There have been many, many smaller examples:
– Talking about about Mom’s eye appointment, and just as I said the word “eye” a huge eye (for an eyedrop commercial, I believe) appears on the tv screen

– Typing the word “delivery” at the exact moment the narrator of the audiobook I’m listening to says “expect to deliver”

– On TV: Louis Gossett Jr. mentions “A Gathering of Old Men”, I scroll down on a Word doc to “The Gathering Storm”
Ingrid-Michaelson
– Moving to the next email in my inbox – from ingridmichaelson.com – just as “Boys Chase Girls” comes on the radio

Stuff like that. Mind you, I’m not talking about “within the same minute” or “a few seconds later” – I do mean simultaneity.

Those may not be so extraordinary, except in their frequency. I mean, if you do two things at the same time they’re bound to converge now and then. These, though:

– Listening to an audiobook of Outlander; scene: Wentworth Prison. Decided to take a different route home than usual. Ahead of me at a light: a van with a window sticker I’ve never seen before: Wentworth. I didn’t even know there was a school called Wentworth.

– Receiving a cookbook I had requested (the previous post’s New Sugar and Spice, in fact), and puzzling with friends over what on earth the jaggery in “Jaggery Flan” is. I forgot about it; I was reminded of it; I looked it up, and sent my friend Wife, “Mom”, Knitter a message to let her know that jaggery is a sort of sugar popular in parts of Asia, “Slightly less sweet than maple syrup, a little thicker than honey and boasting a rich, brown sugar-like flavor”. Just as she read the message, she told me, the Stones’ “Brown Sugar” was playing on the radio.

And, most recently: On my birthday, I decided to go to a certain boutique-y little store I hadn’t been to in a while. I’d been there a few minutes, when on the oldies station they had on I heard “da da da da da da – dadun” and I thought “No…” Yes. And the Beatles sang.

If I could only harness this…

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