Monday, October 12, 2009


Douglas Adams wrote:

If one coincidence can occur… then another coincidence can occur. And if one coincidence happens to occur just after another coincidence, then that is just a coincidence. (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, 172).

As if to prove his point, I just randomly flipped through the pages of the just-quoted book, hoping to find the right page so that I could properly cite it. My random flip stopped on page 172 exactly, where my eyes immediately fell upon the word “coincidence” about two thirds down the page. Is this too a coincidence?

Regardless, the reason I got to thinking about this is because about ten minutes ago, as I was reading Berke Breathed’s Bloom County Babylon, I came across this panel in a comic from 1985:

Given current events, I must ask again: is this just another coincidence? I can only assume so, since it was probably also just a coincidence that some guy tried to sell Dave a screenplay about a late-night talk-show host that was sleeping around with members of his staff. (I guess even Dave just couldn’t control all that raw sexual magnetism.)

On top of all this, Anna and I are constantly noticing coincidences in the shows we watch on a given night. For example, we might choose to watch last Wednesday’s Criminal Minds and the previous Friday’s Psych on the same night, and each show features an unsub that bludgeons his victims with frozen bologna. Coincidence? (This one, at least, is easily explained: there’s only so many ways you can kill someone with frozen bologna without being ridiculous and/or derivative.)

So if all these things are coincidences, that’s just another coincidence, which is comforting in a way. Otherwise, we’d have to assume that Berke Breathed has known about Dave’s affairs for 24 years and just never really said anything about them. I don’t know about you, but I’m just not ready for that kind of un-forthcomingness in my 24-year-old semi-political comics.

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