#1. There was one incident that occurred in my freshman year at college. I had left my car in a parking lot at Chicago’s O’Hare International to come home over my winter break. When I returned to school two weeks later, I had just enough cash in my pocket to pay for the parking and get myself back to campus. Unfortunately, when I got to the car, it would not start. Lifting the hood revealed the car battery frozen solid with its top and sides split opened like a frozen bottle of milk. I was presented with a very troublesome predicament, as my funds were not sufficient to cover both the parking and a new battery. Feeling pretty blue and very dejected, I was just starting back to the terminal to call my dad. I figured I was in for a serious (albeit long distance) tongue-lashing. However, hanging my head proved to be quite beneficial. As I rounded the back of the car, I spied in the snow only a foot from my car’s rear bumper a small familiar looking yellow ticket. I was surprised that I had not noticed it earlier while loading my suitcase into the trunk. I picked it up. It was a ticket for the parking lot issued that very day. I could hardly believe it. I read it and reread it. I wondered who had dropped it, but I knew as I looked out over the vast acres of the snowfield with only the upper two thirds of the automobiles showing that it would be impossible to return to its rightful owner. It must have been meant for me. I was certainly relieved that my problem was solved without having to make what would have undoubtedly been a painfully humiliating telephone call.

Ok, while maybe not rising to the level of miraculous, it was a pretty amazing coincidence. What are the odds?

#2. Once as young law clerk, I was given an assignment that took me to a large estate of my employer’s most important, but recently deceased client. The home in many ways reminded me of the Stettinius mansion. White fluted columns topped with scrolled ornamental capitals flanked the circular covered entrance. The large front doors opened onto a foyer beautifully balanced by a formal living room on one side and a library on the other. My work was in the library. There were already a dozen large file boxes in the room piled haphazardly on random chairs and tables containing the departed’s personal papers that had been taken out of the cabinets and large file draws. Most were closed and ready to be placed in storage. I had been there a couple of hours engrossed in pouring over files and writing up an inventory, when the silence was broken by the clear sound of crinkling paper that lasted for a good four or five seconds. I paused to wonder what might have caused such a curious sound. I got up and proceeded to straighten out a couple of the boxes that were angled precariously before returning to my assignment. When a short time later I heard the same distinct noise again I thought maybe a mouse had gotten into one of the closed boxes. This was some pretty significant crinkling, so I did a little more checking, looking and rearranging. But this time, when I returned to my place at the table I feigned work and readied myself to zero in on the source of the noise, should it return. It did. And I was on the offending box in a flash. I opened the box. Nothing seemed to be amiss that might cause such a sound, but there was a smaller box within the large one that I also opened. It contained legal pads with hand written rough drafts of letters that the deceased had written many years before. I set the documents aside to bring to the attention of my supervising attorney. Once the smaller box was removed from the larger one, the crinkling did not reoccur. It later turned out that those drafts provided theretofore unknown information vital to the heirs of the estate.

By the time our oldest son was three, we had already been looking for more than half his young life to move out of our beach condo and into a house. My wife and I differed on priorities: she wanted a yard while I was keen on keeping a view. Then one Sunday the realtor called with a lead on a house soon to come on the market. He arranged to show us the house and it was just what we had been looking for. A few months later we were moved in. The house was about 25 years old, so one of the first things we had to do was get rid of the shag and replace the kitchen. Since the work was going on, I thought that I would pitch in and change the doorbell. Okay, it wasn’t heavy lifting, but it was something I thought I could do. I got the stepladder and armed myself with multi-head screwdriver. I popped the cover to see how it was attached to the wall. That’s when I noticed the manufacturer’s name and serial numbers stamped into the metal housing. From that moment on there could never be any doubt that we had bought the right house for our home. The name stamped on the housing: FRIEDLAND the same as ours.



Having personally experienced these happenings, I know that while others might doubt their veracity I could not. 

The reason that I have written this is to have hopefully peaked your interest and to see if you would be willing to share your knowledge of such non-fictional brushes with Rod Serling, Twilight Zone type moments.  It would not matter to what or to whom you may attribute such an odd happening - merely that it happened. You would have to be able to say that the odds of such a particular thing happening are incalculable.

What I plan to do is to review the stories submitted, edit where needed and when appropriate to request additional information. I will then take the ones I find to be the most "What are the odds?" worthy, anthologize them and publish them on a web site or other forum.

To make a submission to copy and paste this address in your own email or go to our SUBMIT STORY OR COMMENT button.
. (there is an _ between stuart and friedland)
or call Stuart at (310) 544-3933
If you click on this purle address, fill out the message box and hit send, it may not be sent!  


Implicit by making any submission the submitter releases all rights (if any) and authorizes the use of the story.

Even if you don’t have an experience that you want to share, feel free to forward this site to anyone you see fit.

To those who participate allow me to thank you in advance.

Stuart Friedland (or call Stuart at (310) 544-3933)
For: Real Life Is Stranger Than Fiction  (there is an _ between stuart and friedland)
©Stuart Friedland Oct.28, 2007
all rights reserved





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