I knew there could be a problem the moment I heard my mom say, “We found the weirdest message at work, and we’ve been trying and trying to figure out what it means.”
But I’m getting a bit ahead of the story.
I’ve always found coincidences to be a funny thing. I’m always amazed at some of the unusual circumstances that happen in my life, with several things happening at the same time, and all of them coming together to produce an unusual result.
And I seem to be one of those people where if there’s even the smallest chance of the unusual happening, then it’s going to happen.
For example, if I were to stay with a woman at a hotel in a random, far-away city where there’s only a slight chance of running into someone I know . . . then I’m going to run into someone I know with the mysterious woman on my arm. Of course, that’s just an example . . .
So the day I heard my mom make her announcement, my heart kind of sank, and I knew the answer lay in a conversation I had several months earlier.
As a freshman in college, I began working at the campus radio station. At the time, that’s what I wanted to do – work in radio. And as you might imagine, the college guys at a radio station had very deep, intelligent conversations – like which party would be the best one to go to that week, and which of our female classmates would do best in a wet t-shirt contest.
So it shouldn’t come as any surprise to know that many times we were sitting around having conversations that were even less intellectual.
One evening, late in the spring, we simply started using the word “Derf.” I’m not even sure what it meant then, much less now. But we started bantying around the phrase “Give Derf a Chance.”
I know this is hard to believe, but at the time it seemed quite deep and meaningful. And, of course, funny.
So a couple of months later, I found myself sitting in the break room at the bank where my mom worked. And I started doodling on a piece of paper there. Sure enough, I happened to write “Give Derf a Chance.”
This will give them something to think about, I thought to myself. Hee hee.
Little did I know.
It turned out that the bank had just hired a new president. And as coincidences would have it, his name was Fred, which of course, is “Derf,” backwards.
For weeks, employees at the bank tried to figure out what the mysterious message meant. And just who, in their right minds, could have written such a thing.
Well, it turns out it was me. And “in my right mind”?, Well, I’ll let you be the judge of that . . .
But really, what are the chances that the bank would hire a new president, and his name just happened to be Fred, and I happened to write a piece of nonsense that just happened to have his name spelled backwards? And then what are the chances that all of those things happen at the same time?!
I found the whole episode somewhat amusing, although I did feel bad to be the source of so much employee talk and uncertainty.
But looking back, knowing now how coincidences work in my life, I’m not even surprised it happened.
I just wish coincidences could work in my life in some way other than showing there’s humor in the universe. Like, for example, I could win the lottery. Or even the BILLION DOLLAR bracket challenge.
Of course, I have Duke University to blame for losing out on that. Stupid Duke University. Not only did they cost me a billion bucks, but now they’ll probably want to use me in one of their case studies.
And that’s fine. Just guess how much I’m going to charge them . . .