Coincidence, I rejected you. How can show your skinny, pointy face here, in Attleboro, of all places? I had convinced myself, “No more superstition for me. A twenty-first century citizen, I live in the natural world and science is my guide. Coincidence is just coincidence, bare and meaningless, unless wrapped up in a coat of reproducible data, woven from threads of strong correlation into knots of irrefutable evidence. Go away. Leave me in peace, you annoying ghost.”
On May 11, 2016, I was pumping gas into my rental car, when the video screen above the credit card reader turned itself on to blare an annoying commercial. After the commercial, a “news” show began to play, with 10 second sound bites of the remaining three presidential candidates. I thought to myself, “This is just like George Orwell’s story, 1984. I’m living in a world surrounded by screens, all attempting to influence and persuade me. Screw you, you propaganda pimps! I’ll think for myself!”
Thankfully, I was rescued from my depressing observations by the loud click of the automated gas pump, which had stopped at that random moment when the tank filled. Thank goodness. Finally, it’s time to pay and get away from this annoying video screen. I need a receipt, so I pressed the Yes button and watched the paper slowly roll out of the networked and computerized Pump #6. Here is the total amount paid: $19.84, paid in full.