Monday, July 26, 2010

A Major Coincidence? Or Just Tomfoolery?

This morning over at Sentence of Dave I tried-- unsuccessfully-- to explain a coincidence that happened last night. My excuse is that I stayed up too late last night, watching LeCompt, the best bar band in the universe. My kids did not care. They got up at their usual time (as did my wife, and she went to a yoga class on the beach, so I had to hake the cobwebs off and go skim-boarding . . . a recipe for disaster.) My cognition is still fuzzy, but I'm going to channel T.J. and explain this with clips.

Before I go on vacation, I usually print out some songs to play on guitar. So last week I printed out "Space Oddity" by David Bowie, for no other reason than I thought my kids would like it. They are boys, and they like space ships and death. The song has both. In case you've forgotten:



So last night, while LeCompt was playing Neil Young's "Down by the River," a song my kids like because they find the lyrics intriguing, I told my cousin that I had been playing "Space Oddity" to my kids and they really liked it. Not ten seconds later, LeCompt launched into a fantastic cover of . . . you guessed it . . . "Space Oddity." For a moment, I felt like this:



But then I remembered something I read about coincidences. It was some back of the envelope calculations that illustrated it would be much weirder if coincidences like this did not occur. We encounter stimulus during all our waking moments, and our brains love to seek patterns and find meaning. And the constant bombardment are senses are subjected to guarantees that those one in a million type coincidences will happen quite often. It can't take more than a month or two for a million things to run through our consciousness, so we'll experience one of these wild coincidences once every month or two. Think of all the songs you mention that don't suddenly start playing on the radio or in the bar you are in . . .

But then I remembered this scene:



And so I have decided that this was no coincidence-- that LeCompt playing "Space Oddity" just after I mentioned "Space Oddity" is a profound omen. I am going to die in space. It is my destiny; it is inevitable and unavoidable. "But Dave," you say, "just don't go out into space. Do not ever get into a spaceship and you'll be able to avoid this terrible lonely death in the cold recesses of the universe."

It's not so easy. I will try to avoid spaceships, but for example, something like this will happen. I will be on vacation in Florida, and think I am at DisneyWorld getting on Space Mountain, but in actuality, I won't be at DisneyWorld, I'll be at Cape Canaveral. And I'll get on board a real spaceship instead of a ride and never even know it. And then I'll die in space. Or my friend will pull up in his new mini-van and say, "Get in," and I'll get in, but it won't be a new mini-van, it will be a spaceship. So there's no avoiding it, and I am resigned to my fate. At least it will cure this hangover.

29 comments:

zman said...

Don't get your friend's minivan, especially if it's a Ford Prefect.

Dave said...

ha! sci-fi pun! definitely a new high/low for the humor on the blog.

Marls said...

Why are we going on the assumption that Major Tom died in space? Isn't Bowie going for some total total consciousness with the universe BS or the like? Maybe your fate is that you will drink 30 Busch Lights and a 40 of Colt 45 one day during OBFT and you will see God.

zman said...

What pun? You've never seen a Ford Prefect?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Prefect

rob said...

my music-related news: scored free last-minute tickets to see crowded house at wolf trap. a little bit fired up.

T.J. said...

I'll be at the 'Trap tomorrow night for Steve Miller.

Dave said...

"abracadabra" made number five on my list of the worst songs of all time.

please tell me you are kidding about going to see steve miller.

T.J. said...

Not kidding at all. This will actually be third time I've seen Mr. Miller. The last two times he played the exact same songs in same order.

Jerry said...

The soundtrack of your life...MANHEIM STEAMROLLER....live at Wolf Trap...

Dave said...

what is "manheim steamroller"? they are not the soundtrack of MY life.

zman said...

Camryn Manheim Steamroller?

mayhugh said...

Take the Money and Run is an underrated driving song.

TR said...

I saw Steve Miller live a couple times. Then I turned 18 and realized I could find better places to go get drunk and chase tail than an amphitheatre parking lot. Too bad The Teej hasn't realized this yet.

TR said...

If you're going to listen to any Steve Miller (and you really shouldn't) focus on listening to Wild Mountain Honey after you've taken copious amounts of drugs.

zman said...

How much was your ticket?

T.J. said...

I feel like we go over this once a month. Lawn tickets for Wolf Trap are 25 bucks.

Marls said...

Tomorrow night Bachman & Turner are at Wolf Trap, but they are apparently no longer in overdrive.

http://tinyurl.com/CanadianRockGods

mayhugh said...

Gotta go lawn at the trap. Beer isn't allowed in the real seats. Found that out the hard way at Huey Lewis and the News.

T.J. said...

Uh oh, Greg finally got to Jerry Overdrive.

Squeaky said...

This may lead to hours of wasted time at work.

http://tbz.me/mP7tq

enjoy.

d-train said...

no one here wastes any time at work - that won't happen.

i'm extremely amped with the BT reunion. have been waiting for this for a long time, like....forever.

d-train said...

i don't get to rock concerts anymore. last one i saw, in case you were curious, was john mellencamp (he used to be known as john "cougar") and john fogerty, sans beaver brown band.
1st concert - thompson twins with o.m.d. opening up - jmu's godwin hall, 1985 (i was in h.s., not college).
other first concerts?

Squeaky said...

Wow. d-train and I have something in common. I too saw O.M.D as one of my first live shows. Followed by Echo & the Bunnymen a week later.

Greg said...

Hott Black opening for Disaster Area at The End of the Universe.

zman said...

I saw Bob Denver at Brendan Byrne.

T.J. said...

Steve Winwood with Warren Zevon opening (I mean, seriously, wtf was that about?) at SPAC.

mayhugh said...

Bob Seger. I have no idea where I was.

T.J. said...

WASTED!

Igor said...

Zman saw Gilligan? Nice.