Seemingly Unassociated Coincidences

Fate is a construct of the human mind.  I do not believe in fate.  I also think there is no such thing as luck.  For the most part, some things just happen and there is nothing one can do about it.  Yet, sometimes there are too many coincidences to ignore, too many unassociated events which could possibly have an association if you used your imagination.  

People do this all the time.  Often they are wrong: the bigfoot hunter who sees a shadow in the woods, the anti-vaxxer who meets a mom whose kid has autism, the climate change denier who gets frostbite.  But then there are the times when going on a hunch based on limited data can bear fruit: Columbus reaches the Western Hemisphere, Pasteur cures rabies, the TV weatherman predicts the weather.

Yesterday some weird things happened to me.  I was at the local wholesale club with Mrs. M.  We had two shopping carts filled to the rafters like something out of a Dr. Seuss book.  We looked like those guys in India who carry an entire year's harvest to market on a motorcycle.  Sometimes the rest of the family is on the bike too.  How do they do that?

Overloaded Motorcycle
Me and Mrs. M. shopping at the wholesale store

Usually we do the self-checkout but we had a lot of stuff and a cashier was open so I went to him.  It must have been his first day, or something.  He was awful.  He slammed my bananas around like they owed him money.  He took the ground turkey out of its produce-bag-turned-salmonella-prophylactic to scan it and then left the bag off.  He completely ignored the case of Bubly seltzer under my cart.  

Some people would see the cashier miss an item and just roll with it.  Even some good God-fearing people feel OK about ripping off a "Big Box" store.  Believe me, I debated it for a brief moment.  But it did not require much thought for me to point out the guy's mistake to him.  Part of me felt bad for him and did not want to be the reason he got fired.  Part of me just wanted to do right, whatever that means.  I directed him to scan the seltzer.  However, he failed to scan the enormous cases of toilet paper and paper towels Mrs. M. had under her cart.  

We did not notice this second malfeasance because we were trying to figure out which two of the three pairs of ski gloves we wanted to keep and which one we wanted to put back.  That place has everything!  When we finally decided, the guy tried to deduct the cost of the third pair from our total.  We had to explain to him that he had never scanned it and we simply did not feel like walking the item back to its home.  All in all, we could have gotten out of there with close to $100 of free stuff but we did end up paying for everything after an embarrassing moment at the door due to the unscanned TP and paper towels.

Then, the moment we got out into the vestibule at the exit it started to pour rain.  We were in a rush to pick up some pizza we had ordered for the kids before it got cold and dried out but we needed to buy a bottle of wine to cook with later in the week.  I told Mrs. M. to wait out the rain in the vestibule for a few minutes while I ran next door to the liquor store.  When I got to the register the tab was $93.  OK, so it was not just a bottle of wine, there was some other stuff, some rum and some rye and three more bottles of wine.  So the cashier says to me, "If you want to round it up to an even hundred, you can take something else."  I did not get what she was slinging so I just said, "Yeah, I'm good, thanks."  Then she pointed at a gift set of a bottle of something I did not recognize packed with some nice glasses.  It was $37.  She said, "Are you sure?  You could get something like that," pointing at the gift set, "for an even hundred."

If I had had time to put any amount of thought into it I cannot honestly say if I would have done the right thing.  Maybe it was good that I was in a hurry.  I went with my first instinct and that was to decline the offer.  She even winked at me!  It was one of the most bizarre things that has ever happened to me in my life - and I have had a close encounter with a UFO!  It reminded me of the time Eddy Murphy dressed up as a white person to infiltrate the White World and people started giving him free stuff.

When I got back to Mrs. M. the rain had died down enough to take our shopping carts out to the parking lot without getting soaked.  We proceeded to the pizzeria.  I got out of the car without my mask, something I cannot remember having ever done since I started wearing one in early March.  I almost made it inside before Mrs. M. shouted at me and reminded me.  That woman saved my life!  OK, maybe not but I would have obsessed about having exposed myself to COVID for at least a week afterwards.  Once inside, the woman behind the counter who I think is one of the owners asked me if I wanted a free cheese pizza.  Someone had ordered it and not picked it up.

There was no moral dilemma this time.  I have worked in a couple pizza places when I was younger and I know how it goes.  When someone orders a pie without paying and decides not to pick it up, it is given to the staff or thrown away.  This pizza was like an abandoned puppy in shelter.  I had to take it home or it would die.  Plus, it was the owner who was offering it to me, I think.  I gladly accepted.  I cannot bear to see pizza thrown away.  That is a sin, in my house.

Back in the Family Truckster, I told Mrs. M. that I should have played Lotto.  Then I explained all the weird things that had happened, all of which went in my favor, the possible free stuff in the wholesale store, the offer to collude on a heist from the liquor store, the gifted pizza.  I really should have gone back out to buy a lottery ticket after we got all the food and supplies put away in the Zombie Bomb Shelter.  I think it was my lucky night - even though I do not believe in luck.  No such thing.

Then there was today - totally opposite.  I went to the post office - no parking.  I had to wait for a spot to open and then had to squeeze my gigantic Chevy Suburban (said Family Truckster) into a space meant for a Fiat.  The guy at the counter gave me a hard time about the birthday card I was trying to mail because it was too thick.  He wanted to charge me extra.  Then he had me sign for a certified letter.  I have not opened it yet but nothing good ever comes by certified mail - except one time last year.  My neighbor was required by law to notify me by certified mail that she was having her pool filled in.  At first I thought she was suing me for something.  We had a good laugh about it afterwards.  Then Lockdown happened.  I asked her if she regretted filling in the pool.  Her adult children who had moved back in all said, "YES!!!"  Oops!  Sore spot.

Anyway, then I went to the bank and missed the turn and had to go around and try it again.  When I arrived I messed up my approach to the drive-thru ATM.  I could barely reach the machine and had a hard time getting my card and my cash out of it.  I thought I was going to make it rain twenties all over the parking lot.

I bought a lottery ticket.

Moments later I was on the road back home and there was a municipal tractor coming the other way.  Several cars were speeding around it in my lane.  After I had gotten close enough to the tractor that the oncoming traffic should have stopped going around it a guy in a BMW felt entitled to squeeze through.  He floored it as I approached the tractor.  The closer I got, the faster he accelerated.  By the time I realized I was playing a game of Chicken the only way to prevent a head-on collision was for me brake hard enough to activate the anti-lock feature.  All my mail fell on the floor.

Moments after that a deer ran out into the road and stood there for a few seconds, also apparently playing Chicken with me.  I braked again and beeped at him.  I am pretty sure that if deer had fingers he would have given me one.  The whole trip out of the house was like one stumbling block after another.  My lottery ticket is probably a dud - I will probably lose so badly I will owe them money.

Coincidences and Aliens

All of these coincidences, positive one day and negative the next, made me think about aliens.  I wanted to write these things down in my blog.  But what is the link?  What do weird coincidences have to do with aliens?

Then something just happened which brought it all together.  I have been corresponding with a Twitter follower from Wales over the past few days.  The guy's name is Chris Fowler and he is really into UFOs.  I should probably interview him for my YouTube channel.  He seems like the kind of person who would have a lot of cool stories to tell.

Chris sent me a link to a show which featured the famous Ariel School mass UFO encounter in Zimbabwe, which was also recently featured in the movie The Phenomenon.  I love that story.  It is the most convincing eye-witness account(s) ever - even moreso than my own because there were more witnesses.  The Phenomenon's director James Fox participated in the interview.  At one point, the show's host asked the now grown up students if they felt lucky to have been a part of this encounter.  They all had mixed feelings.  They were lucky because they had been a part of something amazing and historic.  But they were unlucky because of the stigma associated with a close encounter.  No one wants to be thought of as a crazy person who "believes" in UFOs even though each one of them steadfastly says, "I know what I saw."

Coincidentally, I had asked "John" the police officer who encountered an alien while on duty how he felt about his close encounter.  Mostly, he was traumatized.  I suspect that in time, having now finally told someone about it (me) he will come to feel like the Ariel School students do.  I certainly do.  It took me a long time to come around to that point of view.  I feel like my encounter was something which defied the odds.  I was extremely fortunate to have witnessed it.  At the same time, as a parent, a businessman, and an active member of my community, it sucks being "That UFO Guy."  I do not want people in my everyday life to know me for that despite the fact that at this point it is no longer a closely-held secret.

Someone on Twitter named Jon asked me about John the policeman's sighting.  Jon was caught up in the fact that John had a car pull up at a police checkpoint and no one was in the car and then John and his partner came face to face with an alien.  Jon remarked, "So two anomalous incidents on a quiet road, at night, interesting."  Yup.  Sure was.  But I think it was just a coincidence.  The reason John goes into so much detail about stopping the car, in the video, is because that was what caused him to leave the road and ultimately encounter this creature.  The two events had nothing to do with each other.  It is likely the driver was drunk, panicked, and bolted.  But the second event would not have happened without the first.

Is spotting a UFO or an alien lucky, pure chance, a coincidence?  Some would say it depends on your belief in luck versus odds, fate versus coincidence.  I still do not believe luck exists, only chance, odds and coincidence.  I was not lucky, I was coincidency or chancey or maybe just oddsy.  Sometimes stuff just happens.

We will see, when the lottery numbers come out.

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If you have seen an alien spaceship or any type of unidentified flying object (UFO) contact me using the Contact form at the bottom of this page.  You may remain anonymous if you want.  I will not ridicule you or try to tell you why you are wrong.  I get it, I saw one too.

Thank you for reading and keep an eye on the sky.