We’ve all experienced the odd coincidence now and then, but few among us have witnessed a time when the whole universe aligned and things worked out perfectly, even when the odds were about one in a million. These stories from people who watched crazy coincidences unfold are guaranteed to blow your mind.
1. Super Sonic
I was ordering food at Sonic with my wife and a friend one time and my bud who was in the back seat wanted me to order and pay for him. He gave me his debit card and I asked if he wanted to punch his pin number or if he wanted to do it. He said I could do it, so I asked for his pin. He told me to guess it—and I took his breath away.
Me: "Uhhh...8...5...4...2..." (not really the number)
Friend: "What, are you serious?”
Friend: "You just guessed my pin number. What the heck man?!"
I really didn't believe him until it was time to pay and I typed in the numbers I had guessed.
Surprise, surprise—they worked.
If only they were lottery ticket numbers...
2. What The Dickens?!
I was at a knowledge bowl competition. The rules are, if you hit the buzzer, then they stop asking the question and you have to answer it. The buzzers are also very sensitive.
The announcer began speaking: "The first six words...BZZZTl]."
A guy on the other team had accidentally hit the buzzer. His eyes got really wide. He then said, "Oh no...uh...uh...It was the best of times?" Bam. Right answer. All three teams were stunned.
3. Who’s The Idiot Now?
One time in Quiz Bowl, we got one of the questions where they read a random sentence with a few big words, and then say "Spell the word." But I got a little too hasty and buzzed in the middle of the "Spell the word" part.
I closed my eyes and swore quietly, but the team captain, a really great guy, screamed "YOU IDIOT!" right into his microphone. I gritted my teeth, and took my best guess: "I-M-M-U-T-A-B-L-E."
Then I screamed "YOU IDIOT!" at the team captain and flipped his chair over.
(Oops, no, that's what I later wished I'd done, actually I just said "phew" and didn't speak to the jerk captain for the rest of the day).
4. Lucky Dime
I was picking up lunch for my office. I found a meter that was right in front (I never use meters if I can help it, mostly because I don't have any change). So I parked and ran inside hoping my lunch pickup would take just a minute (this restaurant was notoriously speedy). Of course, they were running late this time.
And of course, in that split second, I turned my head, and a bicycle officer found my car and started writing the ticket. I ran outside and started weaving a tale about how I definitely put in money, how I am so surprised it ran out so quickly, and to please look the other way just this once. The officer looked at me and I held my breath, hoping for the best. The conversation goes as follows:
HIM: "Once I start writing I have to give the ticket."
ME: "C'mon. I definitely put in money and it ran out so quickly."
HIM: "Well, did the meter fail? That's the only way I can tear up the ticket."
ME: "Yes. It failed! That's what happened. Of course."
HIM: "Prove it."
Figuring I had nothing to lose I said, sure. I ran inside the restaurant to get change (cause I had none in the first place). I got a dime and ran out to the waiting officer, saying "Watch this."
As soon as my dime went into the meter, the screen flashed "FAIL." There was absolutely nothing wrong with this meter before I put that dime in. I figured I lied so hard I changed the universe. The cop tore up the ticket.
Early in our relationship, my husband and I took a walk on a clear, starry night. He put his arm around me, looked up at the stars, and said something like, "I love you so much. If I could, I'd make a shooting star just for you to wish on. Right THERE." And then it happened—he pointed at the sky and immediately afterward, a comet appeared exactly where he pointed.
I had to marry him because clearly, he was some sort of wizard.
6. Smooth Moves
On my 16th birthday. I was hanging with my crush in a classroom and I was joking about how in superhero stories, their powers always seem to awaken on their 16th birthdays. So I was like, "So what if I'm actually telekinetic? I could just open the door like this.” At that moment, the universe had my back.
I waved my hand at the door (it was open just a crack) and the thing literally glided open. I was shocked. She turned to me with the biggest grin on her face, and in the singular, smoothest moment of my life, I go, "So, will you go out with me?" And how could she have said no to the future overlord of Earth?
7. Breaking The Ice
I had an ice-breaker for an attractive girl I saw. The icebreaker was to guess her birthday and told her I was an expert (this obviously shouldn't have worked as I'd never tried it before).
I took a shot in the dark and I just guessed: June 24th.
What do you know? Spot on the date!
I called B.S. and she showed me an I.D. Correct day.
Luckily she didn't think I was a creep. And I've never tried that trick again, so I have a 100% success rate at guessing attractive women's birthdays.
8. Motel 6th Sense
I'm in Canada. I was 15 years old when I came home from school for Christmas break. My mother said, "You will never guess who we got a Christmas card from." My response blew her mind. "That little motel we stayed in on our way to Detroit last summer." She just stared at me in disbelief. I was right but, I don't know why I thought of that.
9. What Happens In Vegas
I went to Vegas with my wife. She didn't quite get the rules of roulette. She saw the $20 minimum and thought the whole 10 had to be played on one bet. I couldn't believe her luck—she bet $20 on 27 and won $700 in her first play in Vegas. We ate well the rest of the weekend...
10. Tater Shot
When I was around 13, my brother was taking out the trash while I was frying up some potatoes (country fried potatoes are the best, salsa, cheese, sour cream, bacon, onion, and hot sauce, yum), a little piece of potato had just fallen on a slightly grubby part of the stove, so I wanted to throw it away. I looked over towards the trash, but my brother was already starting to walk away with it, I realized I was going to have to throw the potato bit away at some point so I said "Screw it, might as well have a little fun."
Here are the relevant measurements: my brother was 5 feet away, the opening of the bag (the drawstring was pulled) was probably a little less than an inch wide, and the potato bit was about 75% as big as the opening, so basically if you'd asked me at the time I would have said it was a 1-in-10,000 shot, but I went for it—and the outcome did not disappoint. I did the "move your hand back and forth to get ready for shooting" thing like you do when you're playing darts, and then I let that little piece of potato fly, I watched it follow a perfect arc and sail through the tiny opening without even hitting the edge.
I was too shocked to yell or dance or whatever, all I said was "You saw that, right"? (he did), because I knew nobody would ever believe me. If there was one moment of my life that I wish I could have a video of, that might be it.
11. Until We Meet Again
An unnamed man and I have run into each other approximately 20 times in my life. I'm 23. I really don't know this guy, but I have run into him at least 12 times that I can specifically remember, and there are other times that I just can't pinpoint. The first time I remembered seeing him "again" was at Disneyland when I was about 9.
Since then, I have seen him in the most random places, like Disneyland another time, Niagara Falls, a camping spot somewhere in Nevada when I was about 14, the LA county zoo, and a race track in Colorado about four years ago. Here's the weird part, though—we both recognize each other, but we never acknowledge it. I will always remember seeing him in CO because we both gave each other a look of complete disbelief. I hope to one day see him again, and see if he has taken note of all of our encounters like I have, and maybe get to know him.
No homo, but with situations like these it seems more than the appropriate thing to do. And who knows, maybe we'll never see each other again until our last day, making a moment of eye contact right before we collide head-on in a car crash. EPIC.
12. Hive Mind
In fifth grade, we'd play a Jeopardy-like game because, you know, kids play games in elementary school. Anyways, the category was States, and our teacher would say the names of cities in that state, starting with really random names, and building up to more familiar cities, usually ending with the capital. After a few rounds of them, it came down to the battle for first place. We stopped listening to the cities and teams had just started randomly shouting out states in the hope of getting it right.
The teacher got mad and said that we had to listen to at least the first city name before making a guess. We all sat in silence while he read the name of the city (I forget what it was). I shouted out a random state but so did everyone else on my team. We were shocked at what came out of our mouths. In perfect unison, we all scream out "MASSACHUSETTS!"
The teacher just stopped and looked at us with this bemused expression. "How did you know?" Somehow, all four or five of us yelled out the exact same thing and got the right answer. For the rest of the year, everyone wondered how we pulled it off.
13. True Bromance
In middle school, my best friend and I called each other every evening just to catch up, talk about girls, or update each other on our Max Payne and GTA playthroughs. Not one but two different times, I picked up the phone to call him to hear no dial tone. "Hello?" I was confused, but then it hit me. It was my buddy who had called at the exact same time and I had actually "answered" without the phone ever ringing. We never had any sort of plan or schedule just whenever we were fine with dinner and homework or whatever. True friendship that lasts till this day, lol.
14. Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?
I was at Denny's with friends and for some reason our attention was drawn to the butter on the table. It reminded me of something random, then my friend said "You know what I just thought of?" So I said the thing I'd thought of—and his jaw dropped:
"The part in Where the Red Fern Grows where the guy is telling a story about how he knows that raccoons won't let go of something once they've got their hands on it because of the time when he was little when a raccoon reached into a butter churn and couldn't get his fist out because he wouldn't let go of the butter".
That was exactly what my friend was thinking of as well.
15. Flushed Away
Recently, I was playing poker with some friends. I had the Queen and 10 of Spades in my hand. Then, after the first three cards, the craziest cards showed up: the King, Ace, and Jack. So, yeah, Royal Flush. I was then accused of cheating, so it was given to someone else to shuffle. And another Royal Flush came up for me, this time with Hearts.
16. Don’t Be Alarmed
Three friends and I moved into a new house in my third year of university. We decided to check if the ADT alarm system still worked because we lived close to some housing projects and crime was pretty bad in the area. After pushing the panic button the alarm started wailing out, and we had no idea how to stop it. We looked around for a PIN written down somewhere then called the landlord, but nothing.
Eventually, we called ADT and they said since the contract's expired they can't do anything, we also tried flipping the main power off, but it must have had its own PSU. So I did the only thing I could think of—I started jabbing at random numbers on the keypad, hitting doubles every third time. After about a minute the alarm cut off. It was probably a 5 digit PIN, not bad considering the odds.
17. ‘N Sink
My dad works at the federal reserve in Washington and it was take your kid to work. Before we actually got to see the cool stuff in the fed (believe me, there is some) we all had to sit in this really nice room and get some presentation on the economy and stuff. For some reason they had someone talking about the environment and whatnot, and I was like 8 or 9 I didn't even care. Little did I know I would shine that day.
She asked how many gallons of water are wasted from a leaky sink each year and I randomly raised my hand and said "52." She was all like, "Yeah good job! A future environmentalist here," but I don't even know why I raised my hand, I hadn't listened to a single word she said. That lady gave me a stress ball shaped like the earth. Best day ever.
18. It’s Not Easy Getting Green
I was eating a bag of coconut M&Ms one evening on my couch, with my wife sitting in a nearby chair. I reached into the bag and pulled out 5 random M&Ms, and they were all brown. I showed it to my wife, and she didn't believe that I did that randomly. Then, the craziest thing happened.
After munching those, I then take another handful and get 6 green ones this time. Decided that she wouldn't believe that any more than she did the first time, I keep it to myself.
19. Birth Of The Shadowdancer
I used to attend a week-long D&D summer camp every year, and at this camp, I was known for always wearing a Legend of Zelda baseball cap. Because of this, whoever was the dungeon master for my group at the time would put Aelda references into their campaign. On my last day of camp, as I was going to be too old to attend the next year, they teleported young Link, from Majora's Mask, into the game after some supernatural stuff went down, just to sort of "honor" my last day. This is when things got interesting.
I was a rogue shadow-dancer, so, true to my character, I said I wanted to ask Link to give me the Ocarina of Time and the Zora transformation mask. Of course, that was ridiculous because you would be totally overpowered, so they made an "impossible" check. They said I needed to roll a natural 20 on a 20-sided die, a 12 on a D12, a 10 on a D10, an 8 on a D8, a 6 on a D6, and a 4 on a D4.
And that is how Nix the half-zora time-bending shadowdancer was born.
20. Family Connection
My fiancee and I grew up in different states, she was from Montana and I was from California but we both ended up moving to Oregon and that's where we met. After dating for a year and a half or so we decided that we wanted to get married. No big rush or huge announcement or anything just decided we were right for each other and wanted to make it official. She stuck with me through my first bout of cancer and I knew then that she was the one for me.
A couple of weeks after that we drove to Montana to visit her family. We had been on the lookout for a good engagement ring for her, but we didn't want anything fancy or expensive and she wanted to help pick it out instead of me surprising her with one, which I was completely okay with.
So on our way back home from Montana, we stopped at a small restaurant and store where they have a small selection of jewelry. It's a place called the 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar and it is actually pretty well known. It is exactly what it sounds like, 50,000 silver dollars line the walls of the building. It is right before a large pass that is hard to get through in the snow. Anyway, we go in and she finds a ring that she loves, and we get it for her. Later on in the trip on the way back, we stopped at a waterfall in Oregon and I officially proposed to her with it. It was a good moment—but it gets even better.
Fast forward half a year later, we are talking with my grandma and telling her the story. Her jaw kind of drops a little and she tells us that my great-grandfather used to work as a tow truck driver, and when that bar opened he would go wait there and wait for people who needed to be towed when the weather was bad. Apparently, he spent A LOT of time there. This was when the bar first opened and he was one of the first people to place a silver dollar on the walls. She said that if we would have told one of the employees his name, they would have been able to point out which one he had put up. Needless to say, we were quite surprised, I had never even heard of this place before and we ended up picking out her engagement ring there!
21. Voodoo Child
I was in junior high and this girl I talked to (our parents were friends) rode the same bus I did. I got on the bus one day, and in my brilliance as a socially awkward kid, I told her that I put a spell on her (and made some quite convincing hand movements and facial twinges). "Uhh," she said and sat down in her seat ignoring me.
The next day she gets on the bus in much the same way. I asked her how her day was and (as I randomly pulled something out of thin air) asked her if the curse I had put on her had worked. "Did you hurt your hands at all"?
Her face went pale. She took her hand out of her jacket pocket to reveal three fingers taped up. She told me she had slammed them in her locker that day.
I was just as surprised as she was, but of course, I didn't let her know that. She told her parents that I had cursed her, and consequently, mine heard about it all as well. Never again have I ever felt that lucky at a guess.
22. There’s Something About Mary
After a class in my undergrad, I was approached by a girl who'd noticed my t-shirt. It was a shirt for a summer camp I guided whitewater canoe trips for, and it was fairly well-known in the camp community. She was wearing a T-shirt from her camp, also very well known. We introduced ourselves and became acquaintances.
The following summer I was at a river doing the annual training with our guides, when she (let's call her Mary) walks up, seemingly out of nowhere. Strange for us to run into each other here, in the wilderness. She was there doing a course to upgrade her whitewater certification. This is in mid-April or so. In casual conversation, I introduced her to a friend of mine, who was to be one of three guides on a trip we were to lead that summer.
That summer, the three of us guys, with our nine campers, paddled from western Ontario, Canada, near the border of Manitoba all the way across the province, 750 km over 25 days, on a river called the Attawapiskat, which ends in James Bay. We had to take a train for over 24 hours from a couple hours north of Toronto to get to the start, and after all that paddling, we had to fly south to where we could catch a train to a place where there were roads again so we could drive back to camp.
We are sitting in the town where the train leaves (Moosonee), just watching this other trip get in from a river called the Missinaibi. This river starts over 800 km away from where we started. It flows from the south and they paddled right into the town we were in. We see some kids portage (carry their stuff) over the hill toward us, and we notice they are using Wannigans. Wannigans are an old voyageur style of packing things, that amounts to putting all your stuff in wooden boxes and carrying it with Trump straps (a strap that goes over your forehead). We speculate idly on which camp that might be, using wannigans. Other than us, we couldn't think of many that did. I guessed one camp, and Mackie, my fellow guide said "I don't think I know anyone from there". I said, "Yes you do, you know Mary".
"Yes, Mary, I always run into her, I randomly ran into her at training this last spring, you don't remember"?
"Ohhh”. . . (faintly recalling) "I think “ -
"That girl". I point at Mary, the next girl to portage a canoe over the hill. Needless to say, we were shocked and overjoyed to have someone to talk to on the long ride home about our experiences that weren't part of the small cult that inevitably forms on long trips like this.
The next summer, I decided to take a Whitewater Rescue Technician course, to keep me current (pun intended) for trips for the next few years. Mary is the first person to walk out of the cabin as soon as I pull up. She's doing a bit of work on the side of the company. Of course.
About four years later, I found myself in Mongolia. I was at the end of ten months of traveling and hadn't seen anyone I knew without planning it first. I'd lived in New Zealand, Viet Nam, and after catching a case of Typhoid fever (separate story) needed to head home with my newfound low budget, but not before one last adventure.
The plan was to do a 20-day, self-guided horse trek with a friend I'd met up with. We were canoe guides at the same camp in Canada, so we figured we could hack this trip if we treated it like a canoe trip with horses. It worked out.
A couple of days before heading out into the Steppes to start preparing, we were running around Ulaanbaatar (the capital) looking around and finding gear we hadn't brought with us. We were the only white people around as far as we could see that day. Walking along, talking with my friend, another white face caught my eye walking the other way. At this point, I'd been in Asia half a year and forgot I was white until I looked at my hands or in the mirror, and regarded Westerners with the same intrigue the locals did. As the other face passed me in the crowd we locked eyes, and after three steps I froze in my tracks as recognition kicked in.
I turned back to see her staring at me. Mary. "What. The HECK. Are you doing here”!?
We hugged, and she told me she had just finished a 20-day canoe trip through the steppes, and we should come to see the pictures. She took us back to her place, she had rented an apartment with a bunch of other Canadians, who all looked bewildered that she'd fished a couple more out of the maelstrom. We caught up over trip pictures and bid each other good luck till the next encounter. Who knows where that will be?
23. Wrong Number
I was sitting at a Round Table pizza years ago with a friend of mine in the small town we lived in. The payphone (next to our table) started ringing so my friend answered it.
"Hey John (my friend's name), what's going on"?
"Steve? How did you know I was here"?
"What do you mean? I called you at home".
"Steve, I'm at Round Table Pizza. This is a payphone."
My friend John looked at the payphone's phone number and he let out a huge gasp. It was one digit off his home number.
24. Up For Debate?
When I was in college, I tried to organize a debate club since my college didn't have one. I know, I am a geek.
I got $300 to donate to the eventual winner and ran ads in the college newspaper.
To register, you had to show up at dinner time in a room, but no one showed up. No one at all.
I spoke to the person in charge of all of the activities and announced the fiasco. She said: "I had a girl ask for information, but she had a class during the meeting and couldn't go."
I said: "So what, one person doesn't make a debate club."
2 years later, I meet a girl in a philosophy class I like and 6 months later, start dating her.
We got married 4 years later.
2 or 3 years after our wedding, we are watching a movie or a TV show in which there is a debate club. Don't remember which. Here's where the serendipity kicked in:
She casually mentioned she once thought of joining the college debate club but she had a class during the registration and later learned it was canceled!
I could have met my future wife 2 years earlier!
25. Sleep Tight
I lived in a sorority house in college where it was an ongoing joke throughout the sorority over many years that the house had a ghost friend. One of our sisters (appropriately nicknamed Krazy) would wake up in the mornings after drinking and tell us stories about how the ghost visited her in the night. She asked the ghost her name, she says, and she responded with what sounded like either Helen or Ellen. We would come home and find Krazy intoxicated and in the kitchen with her arm around the air talking to Helen or Ellen some nights.
Every odd thing that happened around the house was attributed to Helen Ellen. She was a common topic around the house.
One day, a curious member of the sorority decided to go to the city's historical museum and find out what she could about our house. She came home with a package full of papers, pictures, and information about every previous resident of the house.
Lo and behold, we found out a shocking fact—the very first residents of the house (who built this most expensive house at the time in the city themselves) were named something and ELLEN.
Pictures were shown of where the two were married: under an archway in their extended living room (what was now MY bedroom). Oh how nice, right?
The rest of the story was that Ellen had gone crazy somehow and was very sick, she died on the stairway IN THE HOUSE. This information included pictures of the funeral. Her casket sat in the exact spot they were married, THE EXACT SPOT WHERE I SLEPT EACH NIGHT.
26. Synchronized Scare
When I was nine I was watching a Disney Channel movie about kids exploring a spooky museum at night to catch mummies or something. The tension in one scene started building, and the big "scare" finally came—one of the kid's watch alarms unexpectedly went off at 10 pm (movie time). It just so happened that I had set my own watch alarm that morning for 10 pm, and apparently, the time of night in the scene coincided perfectly with real life so that both watches went off at the same time. I did the nine-year-old equivalent of peeing my pants, which was peeing my pants.
27. Perfect Timing
Freshman year one of my friends threw a tiny gum-wrapper foil airplane in lunch and it got stuck in the ceiling. That was funny enough, but it got even funnier. Three years later as a senior, I was sitting at the same table with the same kid that threw it and the principal had come over and was yelling at us to keep it down, when out of nowhere the plane came down and landed in her hair. This enraged her and she wasn't going to let anyone leave until she found out who did it. We told her what happened and she gave us all detention for "lying to her." I wasn't even mad I got detention, it was too funny.
28. A Marvel Of Engineering
A friend of a friend once was getting rid of a bunch of equipment racks. His company, Crane-Eldec, formerly Eldec, needed the space. So I grabbed three. Nobody knew where any of them were from. One of them had a marvelous set of switches and lights and a marvelous aerospace-grade wiring loom on massive multipin connectors. The front panel simply said, "BOMB BAY DOOR TEST APPARATUS ROCKWELL B-1B" (Eldec was, of course, an aerospace manufacturer). Seeing as I run across aerospace chunks all the time, no great shakes. Except my best buddy down in LA was making a space movie, and I knew the wiring harness would look great on an ersatz Soviet space station. So I shipped it to him.
My buddy lived in a loft at the time. They shared the 4th floor of a building in the fashion district. Sarmac, the fine-art photographer who lived next door, was over-hanging out. He turned and looked at the table where the wiring harness was sitting.
And he turned white as a sheet.
"What's wrong?" my buddy asked.
"That's the wiring harness for a Rockwell B-1B ALCM deployment bay test apparatus," he said.
"Uh...yeah. I think it is."
"It was assembled for Eldec Corporation in 1981 in Mukilteo, Washington".
"Wow! Did you, like, photograph them or something?"
"Before I decided to be a photographer I was an aerospace engineer. At Eldec. In Mukilteo, Washington."
"It was the last project I worked on, actually. It's one of the things that made me go back to school."
"So... did you, like, build a lot of those?"
"No. We only needed one. That one."
29. He Followed Through
I got into an argument with a jerk at one bar. I said "You know what? I'm going to bang your sister!"
We left and went to another bar. I hooked up with a girl. The next morning while I'm leaving her place, I couldn't believe who I passed by. I ran into the same jerk.
I banged his sister.
30. Sofa, So Good
Before I bought a house, I moved a lot. During one move I sold this huge plush ottoman on Craigslist. I loved that thing but it didn't fit in my new place. About 2 years later I moved again and I wished I had it, so on a whim one day I found one on Craigslist and went to buy it. I was in total disbelief at the listing—yes, it was my old ottoman. In a completely different part of the city from where I dropped it off when I sold it, but with the same person. I sold my whole living room to this chick. I didn't know it was mine until I walked in, but she also had my old sofa and rug that I didn't expect to ever see again. It was like walking into my living room—two years ago.
I live in a major city, so I thought the odds of that happening were pretty slim!
31. High School Reunion
I quit my job and traveled around for a few years. I was in rural Mongolia and the bus stopped in a small town. That's when I had the most bizarre encounter. My high schoolmate was sitting at the bus stop. He had married a local girl that was an exchange student at his cousin's university. I hadn't spoken to him since high school graduation.
32. An Elaborate Coincidence
Right after freshman year, I joined a research lab for the summer, as did this other guy who also finished their first year in biology. Sometime later, my dad tells me that some woman he works with has a son, also in the same research institution as I am. I rolled my eyes. My University has 60,000+ people...What are the chances? So I asked him what lab it was, and it was the craziest thing...it really was the woman's son. The place they work has nothing to do with our fields.
Fast forward 3 years and said guy and I are dating, and decide to go to a country where my relatives live and have lived for a long time, to stay there for a bit. His family also has relatives in that city (it is on another continent) and they want to find out how far away my relatives are from theirs, location-wise. Turns out, mine and my boyfriend's uncles live on the same street, in the same building, one above the other, in identical apartments basically, we have known each for like 15 years and are family friends.
33. Karma or Carma?
My wife's Uncle from Texas rarely gets to travel. Visiting us in the Big City for the first time ever, he noticed a car parked on the street, directly in front of our apartment building. There was something incredibly peculiar about this car.
It was his daughter's car, still with her Texas license plates. She'd sold it two months earlier. Somehow this car was sold to a stranger, made its way to my neighborhood, to my street, and found street parking (IMPOSSIBLE to find in my neighborhood) ten feet in front of my front door on the DAY he visited.
34. I Won’t Tell If You Don’t
A few years ago, a friend and I decided to skip classes and take the train to Amsterdam which is 1 hour from our hometown. In Amsterdam, we took a walk down the Red Light District and saw our English teacher who was admiring some lady behind the window. When he saw us, he froze and our eyes locked for a second. He started to nod and walked past us (still nodding and smiling) as if nothing had happened. Later I learned that he called in sick and didn't show up in school that day, he should have been teaching our class at that same moment.
35. That’s Just Twisted
Early in high school, I worked for Auntie Anne's Pretzels in the mall. One time I had to wear the big pretzel outfit and walk around giving out samples. Two girls came up to me with a camera saying "We're doing a scavenger hunt and need a picture with the pretzel guy. Can we get one?" I said sure and we took the picture and that was that—or at least, I thought it was.
Years later I was at a party and hanging with some new chicks and we got on the subject of old jobs. I mentioned my first job was at Auntie Anne’s and one of the girls says "I remember when my friend and I were making fun of this guy in a pretzel suit and took a picture with him. He thought it was for a scavenger hunt but we were just laughing at him the whole time. Did you ever have to wear the suit?”
36. Double Jointed
When I was the ripe young age of 15, many a moon ago, I lived in La Jolla California. There I had a girlfriend named Eve.
One afternoon while her parents were at work, I stopped by with two joints to have a bit of fun. We smoked one of the joints and enjoyed our time, until she became paranoid that her parents would suddenly return home, catching us. Her parents would not approve of their 15-year-old daughter being alone with a male in the house, much less one with some illicit substance. So, with a most pleasant buzz, home I headed, 5 or so blocks away. Upon reaching my house, since my folks weren't home, I reached into my front pocket to partake of the remaining joint. It was not there. I scoured that pocket. No joint. In my as yet still smoke-imbued state, it nevertheless crashed into my head that I had lost the joint at Eve's! Lord, if her parents found it she would never be seen or heard from again.
I called Eve and told her the joint was missing. In a panicked voice, she told me she would begin searching, but I should retrace my steps, maybe I dropped it on my way home. Her suggestion seemed reasonable, so I set about to retrace my steps.
I was perhaps a half block from her house when...I saw it! There, in the gutter was the missing joint! I gleefully picked it up and placed it securely in my pocket.
Instead of walking all the way home and calling Eve, I thought, since she was half a block away, I would stop by Eve's and say hello. If her parents were there I would find a way to let her know all was well.
I knocked politely. Eve's mom answered the door; she did so with that reserved graciousness adults have for the young men who are likely banging their daughters. She called Eve, who approached me with a pleasant smile. Eve followed me outside and took my hand. In it, she surreptitiously deposited a joint. My brain did a stuttering two-step. Luckily, I did not blurt out anything that might have incriminated us. Eve and I spoke of other things, and I departed, with genuine wonder piercing the smoke wisps still lingering in my brain.
At home, I looked closely at the two joints. One was slightly yellowed, and slightly dimpled, as though it may have been exposed to dew.
It dawned upon me that I had gone searching for one joint, and had found another. It felt as though the gods had heard my pleas, and answered, "You want a joint that badly? Have a joint." My sense of La Jolla shifted, it became a city paved with illicit substances. As I toked upon my gift joint (it would not have been right to delay smoking it) a most profound thought hit me; I still had another joint.
37. The Language Of Food
I was at my friend's birthday party and his mom came outside to ask him if he was hungry. He didn't really hear her so I told him what she said to him.
My friend was stunned. He said, "Dude, she was speaking Hindi. How did you know what she was saying?"
I'm Mexican and only speak English and Spanish. To this day I don't know how I was able to understand a totally different language as if it was English.
38. Looking For Albino
I went into Home Depot to buy light switches. An employee asks if I need any help while I'm staring at a bunch of dimmers. After he helps me, this conversation develops (he had a thick Italian accent, and both my parents are Italian):
Me: So how long have you been in Canada?
Him: 6 years. Are you Italian as well?
Me: My parents are both Italian.
Him: What part of Italy are they from?
Him: Me too. What city?
This is where I started getting suspicious.
Him: Wow. That's where I'm from as well. What's your father's name?
Me: <my last name>
Him: Albino? (my father's name)
It turns out that his father grew up with my father. Every time he spoke to his dad since arriving in Canada, his father asked him if he found Albino yet. He kept trying to explain to his dad that Canada was huge, and they didn't know what part of Canada my dad moved to 45 years ago.
I called my dad and let him talk to his long-lost friend's son. He was not disappointed.
39. Frat Boy Welcome
Freshman year of college, move-in day at the dorms. Some frat boy knocks on my door and invites my roommate and me to a party hoping that we'll rush. I shoo him off and thought "Good riddance"—but the universe had other plans.
Flash forward 5 years. I am moving to New York with my wife. We are in the airport and strike up a conversation with a couple that went to the same college as us (there were 20k students at my school so not a huge coincidence) and they also happen to live in New York. We become best friends (at each others' weddings etc).
We find out after several months that we lived in the same dorm our first years of college (he was a year ahead of me so we missed each other by a year).
We also lived in the same dorm our Sophomore years (again, he was a year ahead of me so we missed each other).
But this is what blew my mind. We actually lived in the same dorm room our respective freshman years and he was the frat boy on my move-in day!
Pretty crazy amirite?
40. Seeing Double
I have a doppelganger that was seen by many many people in the late 90's. At the time, I taught at the local college. One day several of the students told me that the previous day they had come across him and attacked him with snowballs and dumped him into a snowbank. He was even getting out of a car that looked exactly like mine. They couldn't understand why "I" was so mad because I'm usually very boisterous and a big fan of slapstick physical pranks.
Soon after, my own mother ran into "me" working at the local convenience store and struck up a huge conversation. Her comments made my blood boil. She said things like "Times must be tough if you had to get a job at the mini-mart haha!” She said the conversation went on and on as "I" started looking more and more like "I" was talking to a crazy lady. It wasn't until he stopped her and told her that he had no idea who she was, that she realized it was not her actual 30-year-old firstborn son. Many people in my family and lots of my friends actually met him. Then one day he was gone. I never saw him again.
41. A Photogenic Couple
In the early 90s, my wife and I were out shopping and she wanted to pick up an 8x10 frame so she could put our wedding photo on her desk at her new job. We went into Zellers and found the frames, then we were shocked to discover that we could save a pile of work. The manufacturer's photo in the frame was our own wedding photo!
The photographer we used was a professional, who (like most pros) kept the rights to the photos. She retired a year or two after our wedding, and as part of her liquidation, sold off her archive and rights. We saw a unique opportunity to have a little fun with this—and we absolutely took it.
For several years after that, we would casually stroll through the photo aisle when we were in department stores and if anybody was looking at the frames, we'd grab ours and hold it up in front of us while striking the same pose—usually to the stunned amazement of the other shoppers.
Then I'd look at the photo and say something to my wife like, "Nah. They didn't get your eyes right". and we'd put the frame down and walk away.
42. Divine Intervention
I got into my car once after having driven to a different city. I flipped on the radio and all there was was silence. I shrugged and was about to change the channel, assuming it wasn't a valid station when all of a sudden it said "Daniel." This is my name, so I said "Yes?" out of amusement, and the voice said, "I am the Lord your God, Daniel. You must follow my Commandments." I freaked out for a moment. Then the voice came back and was like "And this is the part in the Bible”... and I realized that the classic hits channel in Cincinnati was a Bible thumper channel in Bloomington.
43. Lucky Mistake
8 years ago, I received an Instant Message from a random woman on AIM; she said she was looking for someone and I told her she had the wrong guy. She apologized and went on her way.
A few days later, I received an IM from her again saying that she thought I was talented (she had kept me on her buddy list and saw my design website in my profile). We started chatting daily and we got to know each other really well. We met for the first time in person 9 months after meeting online. We're now engaged and will marry next summer!
What makes this coincidental is that she was at a bar where a guy had told her his screen name and instead of writing it down she just tried to remember it. One day a few weeks later she tried to contact the guy from the bar and typed my screen name instead! But that's not all.
To top that off, I had only very recently turned on the option that allowed anyone to contact me (not just buddies). Had I left that off, we would have never talked. Had I not been online at that moment, we would have never met.
Oh, and she's a beautiful Swedish woman. That's not coincidental of course, just awesome :)
44. Black Magic Woman
Long odds at 1 to a little more than 2 billion. During my college years, I used to play a lot of backgammon when I lived in the dorms for a while. I was good enough that I would play for drinks and win enough to drink for free most of the time. As time went on I bumped into several other folks who were also good players. Most of these folks would split winning games with me with no clear winner over the course of a hundred games or so. In backgammon, if the skill level is similar, the odds of one person winning over the other will statistically even out over time.
During this time I often played a young Chinese woman who consistently won EVERY SINGLE GAME I played with her. It was unnatural. It didn't matter which backgammon set we used or whose dice we used or whether she used a dice cup or her hands. She consistently won over 100 straight games against a decent player. During my last game I played with her I finally had her in a gammon situation and was confident I would finally win a game. Over the course of the next few turns she rolled exactly the rolls she needed to win. I, being frustrated and stupid, invoked the "B" word. She immediately scooped up the dice and with a steely glint in her eyes said, "Don't" and rolled double ones—"ever" and rolled double twos—"call" and rolled double threes—"me" and rolled double fours—"that" and rolled double fives—"again" and rolled double sixes.
I stared at the double sixes, sat back in amazement, and was astounded at what I had just witnessed. We never played or really talked again. She avoided me after that. I don't know if I truly offended her with my ill-considered words or if she was afraid I would question her abilities to so clearly exert physical control of the dice. In hindsight, I should have said, "Teach me"!
45. Fairy Grandfather
After college, I moved to Chicago. One day, I decided to take a surprise trip back home to South Carolina. There are a ton of routes that I could have taken, but I decided on taking the scenic route through the mountains; tons of rural mountain back roads. About an hour from civilization, in the middle of the Appalachians, my car broke down. It was December, and extremely cold. I got out, put multiple layers on, and prepared for a multiple-hour walk to the next small town. No sooner had I turned around and shut the door did a car come around the bend and pass me. They didn't stop at first, but about a mile down the road they turned around and came back. My heart was beating out of my chest.
I was excited to get picked up; it was worth the risk. I opened the door and was completely dumbfounded to see that the driver was MY GRANDFATHER, who himself had decided to take an impromptu road trip, again, using back roads, to upstate Tennessee.
That's the kind of coincidence that makes you question a divine presence.
46. Carrie’s Brother?
In high school, we were hanging around in the playground encircled by two-story school buildings when some kid popped a vein and went into rage mode. The kid's head was turning into a dangerous shade of red and his profanities flowed like the Nile. It was unclear who his opponent was at the time, but it was showtime! kids gathered around in a circle and the first "Blood!" chants started. The other kid was actually quite older and had clearly wronged the kid in one way or another because he was obviously avoiding the confrontation while acting like he was going to fight.
Ragekid couldn't be contained and went all super-parry on the big kid. The opponent dodged the first few hits, but when he got one in the celiac plexus, he folded over in agonizing pain and nearly fell to his knees.
Ragekid backed off, seemingly surprised by his own actions. His opponent lifted his head, pointed at the kid, and yelled something like "I'll make you pay!" or something as insane. Right after his last word came a totally unexpected event—a loud bang, and shards of glass fell all over the place.
Apparently, during recess, some kids who had to catch up on class were studying in the chem lab. Unsupervised. And some of them had taken the Breakfast Club route. Which led to a lit Bunsen burner and a tipped-over bottle of ether. Kaboom. Scattered windows. And one kid with second-degree burns, but we didn't know that at the time.
All we saw was one kid in pain scolding another one and letting it rain glass while doing so.
47. History Repeats
My husband and I have parallel lives to the people that lived in the house before us. I have exactly the same career as a woman, and my husband has the same career as a man. One of the sales points was the room that my husband loved was to his specifications, almost right on... just a few changes were needed. We have one kid, they have one kid. I also found out that the people that lived in the house before us know one of my good friends at work. It gets creepier...
We found out that my husband and I met in a very similar way that the couple met. We all had fertility problems, the interior house was almost exactly the same colors as our other house. We are now moving because we are broke. Exact same situation... with the exception that we are not getting a divorce yet. The couple separated after they moved from the house. I live in a large city in Southern California.
48. Just Hold The Line, Please
Worked for a major credit card company at a time when most people were waiting 15-30 min to get through to a rep, and there are something like 4000 of us on shift at the time (various locations). The customer calls to report they've been mugged and their card is gone. Step 1) Shut off the card, Step 2) Get the report (5-10 min process). Then came the next call, which threw me for a loop. The dude gives the exact same account number and wants to know why the merchant won't accept it. The thief did not wait for me to get our security dept on the line.
49. Surreal Estate
I am the only child of a single parent. People ask me, "Aren't you lonely"? I grew up this way, so I don't notice it, but when I see brothers and sisters, I feel a little bit envious because I have no idea how it feels.
Anyway, when I was 17, I was all into Fight Club, the generation of men raised by women, etc. Although I had always accepted my fatherless existence, I never questioned it until I was in my late teens.
It was around this time of my life that my mother happened to be in the city, having dinner with friends (a rare occurrence as she is a homebody). She happened to check one of those free real estate magazines, where there happened to be a real estate agent who was the top seller for that month who just so happened to be my father.
She brought it home, explained the whole story to me in great detail about how he up and left, and we arranged a meeting. The shocking details of his life floored me.
As it would turn out, he was a prolific abandoner as he had two other children with two other women (that makes them my half-sister and half-brother), and the half-brother had actually been murdered six months before we found my father and the case was on America's Most Wanted and remains unsolved to this day.
I "inherited" my brother's car, which I would find out through watching America's Most Wanted was actually the murder scene.
Anyway, no father-son relationship was rekindled. We met twice, ate food together, and then went our separate ways. He still sends Christmas cards addressed to my mother, ignoring me, and including his business cards and company calendar magnets.
50. No Place Like Home
I moved to South America when I was 16. I once was looking around a bookstore, and in the tiny English language section, I found a book about old houses in New York State. I opened it to a random page and I couldn't believe my eyes—there was a picture of my house (the one I grew up in and that my mom still lives in).