Tag Archive: Steve Gray

Coincidence, Italian Style

(Submitted by reader Steve Gray)

A woman friend and I were visiting Naples, Italy. She was on the faculty at UCLA and I live in Santa Monica. She wanted to visit the Naples La Scala Opera house and hear an opera. I wasn’t really interested so we agreed to attend only the first act. We left at intermission and began our walk down the street.

Suddenly a female voice yelled, “Sylvia!” It was someone she knew from UCLA. (Remember, this is halfway around the world and the meeting was completely coincidental.)

The woman who called out was with her husband and they were walking toward the opera house. They were hoping to catch the second act of the opera. (Why they were going to only the second act, I don’t know.) We gave them our ticket stubs and went on our way, with everyone’s plans lining up as hoped.

[EDITOR: I sometimes like to do the above-mentioned trick with movies. Maybe that’s the reason I’m the only person I know who thought Mulholland Drive made perfect sense.]

(Submitted by reader Steve Gray)

I was driving to the Valley on the 405. Going up the mild grade from the L.A. basin, my car died.

A few days later, I was driving the same route, and the car died in exactly the same place.

It at first seemed like an unbelievable coincidence, and maybe just a little spooky, but I soon found out the problem was simply an overheating radiator. Once I thought about it, I realized it took a definite amount of time for the engine to get hot enough to stall from the time and place I left, pretty much guaranteeing it would die in the same place each time. So in the end, no magic, nothing supernatural, just mundane mechanical problems.

Stranger Homecomings

(Submitted by reader Steve Gray)

While in graduate school at Harvard, I lived on the one-block-long Irving Street in Cambridge.

While visiting San Francisco I was at a party talking to a guy who, it turned out, lived on exactly the same one-block-long street at the same time I did, yet we never managed to meet.

The Odds Must Be Crazy…