Tag Archive: roommates

Addressing a Coincidence

(Submitted by reader Jeffrey Nuttall)

In April 2009, a friend was looking for a roommate, and, since I was planning to move anyway, I ended up moving in with him.  As it turned out, though, there were some odd coincidences involved with my new address.

First of all, I later found out that my parents had both lived only a couple of blocks away from that address before they were married — my mother to the northwest, and my father to the southwest.  I had had no idea that my parents had ever lived anywhere near there until after I moved there.

But the coincidence gets better: the street the address is on is called Willis, and the nearest cross street to the south is Rayen.  My father’s name is Ray, and his last initial N. — Ray N.  And my father’s middle name?  Willis.

[EDITOR: This one’s both one of the craziest stories I’ve heard, and requires the most effort to find. You have to jumble together and separate out some names, and the rules are a little loose and require some searching. And yet, when you put it all together and see it as a whole the end result is wicked cool. Which is one notch above “crazy cool,” and a couple below “slap-my-ass-and-call-me-mathilda” cool. There’s a whole scale. Trust me.]

I spent most of my life as a professional actor, but in order to help ensure ends met I moonlighted on the weekend as a sales rep for a major electronics manufacturer. Every year in August they would hold a national sales training event in Texas, flying in a few hundred reps from across the country to learn about that year’s new products, the underlying technology, and some sales technique (although they eventually dropped the latter, as they realized their criteria for who to send to the training was based on the highest ranking making sales training superfluous).

One way they saved costs was to double up all sales reps in rooms, typically pairing people from very different parts of the country unless they requested a specific roommate. In this particular instance I was placed with someone from a different state who I had no prior contact with, but on our first night we stayed up late chatting, sharing “war stories,” and talking about our past. The TV was left on during all of this as noise and potential conversation topic. And then an episode of Cheers started.

The topic of acting background had come up previously, and I pointed out that I had done three episodes of Cheers. As I was saying this, I started to notice that the opening teaser on this episode seemed especially familiar. That said, I had always been a fan, so I didn’t think much of it until the opening credits finished and the plot became clear: it was my very first (and best-known) episode of the show, and I got to prove to my new roommate that I wasn’t merely blowing smoke about my past.