Tag Archive: Doris

(Submitted by reader Michael Doyle)

In the summer of 1960 I was visiting my older sister in Rivertons, Wyoming, when a census-taker knocked on her door.  Upon opening the door, the census-taker took one look at my sister and turned pale.  It was obvious he was in shock.

He asked my sister, whose name was “Doris,” if her name was “Velma.”  My sister told him no, but that we had an aunt Velma. He said looking at my sister was as if he had gone back 40 years and that he was looking at the face of Velma.

After discussing the coincidence, the census-taker told us that he was at one time engaged to Velma who turned our to be our aunt.  But, he knew her in Vancouver, Washington, not in Wyoming.  Kin always told Doris she looked like Velma.  I guess this stranger proved it to be so.

[EDITOR: This reminds me of a favorite short story of mine, written by Mike Resnick, available on Escape Pod, titled Distant Replay. I won’t spoil the story more than what our story above might suggest about it. I strongly encourage you to give it a listen. Outside of that I can’t say much more about this one. It’s a startling moment in this strange world we inhabit. I can’t imagine just how shaking it must have been for the census-taker. – Jarrett]

Not a Trivial Coincidence

(Submitted by reader Donald Chesebro)

I watch hundreds of movies a year, much more than the average person, and take notes during most of them as part of preparing for an annual trivia contest in my hometown.  Thus, whenever a character drives or otherwise encounters a motor vehicle, I will write down (for example) what type of vehicle it is and what its license number is, if it’s visible.

Yesterday lunchtime, for no particular reason but for the first time in the over 15 years since I’ve owned my 1993 teal Accord, I wondered why I’d never seen anyone with my model of car in a movie.  I probably see another teal 91-94 Accord on the streets of LA at least once a month, but I’ve never seen it in the thousands of films and TV episodes I’ve watched since I bought my car (used) in 1995.  I figured it had something to do with Hollywood having deals with Detroit, or the like.

This morning, less than a day after I wondered if I’d ever see my car in a movie, I started watching the 2011 remake of “Fright Night,” the first movie set in the U.S. that I watched since framing my question (the only film I watched in between was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 the night before).

Four minutes into the film, there’s a ’91-’94 teal Accord parked in the driveway of the character named Doris.

[EDITOR: Meanwhile my car’s bumper sticker is “My other car is a Nimbus 2000,” so I probably would have seen my second vehicle the first night and made it even crazier a coincidence!]