Recently I addressed the somewhat meaningless nature and constancy of "coincidence" in my workplace. Just today three of us were discussing a Bob Dylan concert happening that evening (not, alas, at the library, but two or three miles away) and the moment we finished speaking a Bob Dylan song started playing on my computer. It was... unamazing. Well, except the song was really good. But then there are those times when you're emptying a bin of books, thinking something sad, like "I was such a fool to say that I would love to go in on a staff barcalounger! Why do I do these things?" when a book misses its box and lands on your foot. You say "Ow" and look down. The title of the book is Stop These Negative Thoughts Now! And Go Have Some Corn Tortillas. Oddly enough you happen to have some tortillas cooking in the oven, corn tortillas, but with beans and cheese and salsa and chard layered between them, which curiously the book title doesn't mention. And, yeah, sure, a book title like that, especially without mentioning the chard, is merely coincidence, but that doesn't mean the Universe isn't talking to you. I actually think the Universe can be downright chatty. And it's not just small coincidence magic tricks the Universe speaks with, or mildly wise advice that it's spilling out of its top hat, but I notice the Universe gives me comedy material sometimes too. I think it knows I write a blog because I get it a lot more of this sort of stuff from the Universe these days. I think it's always looking for a wider audience. I got some comedy material today, not long after the Bob Dylan coincidence. I think it might have been a second try on the part of the Universe. It probably knew the Bob Dylan thing wasn't its best work. Anyway, I'll tell the "joke" first, before the brief story of how the Universe wrote the rough draft of it for me. It's a short joke. It's not that funny, but the Universe wrote it. I told it to three people. It's this:
We should have a library program where we get Jimmie JJ Walker to come in and read aloud Dinotopia.
So, first I saw a copy of Jimmie Walker's somewhat recent auto-biography Dynomite!: Good Times, Bad Times, Our Times. Then, and it wasn't the next thing I saw or anything, but it was there, in the same evening, same work session, dramatically presented, a copy of Dinotopia came through before me on the auto check in. It was the most natural thing in the world to assemble them. It was right there. I have no business insulting the Universe if it's going to be all friendly like that. And really, it's not a bad joke at all. Like I said, I told three co-workers. One of them quite liked it, and I think one sort of liked it. And if it's not super funny, well, I didn't really write it. It's the Universe's joke. Talk to the Universe.