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2017, April 26: Nothing Unusual

A silly fortuneSo April 25 is my birthday, me being Garth Haslam, the guy who researches and writes the articles here in Anomalies... and one of the best gifts I got this year -- 2017 -- was a story. Allow me to tell it to you.

        For my birthday, I got together with my parents, my sister-in-law, and her kids, for dinner at a Chinese restaurant we'd never been to before. The food was good; but the cookies were better... I got the following 'fortune' in my fortune cookie which, frankly, I thought was hilarious: "You will receive an usual gift freely given. Accept!."

A silly fortune
[Copyright (c) 2017, Garth Haslam/Anomalies]

Clearly, whoever was in charge of the factory that day had meant to say I would receive an unusual gift; what exactly is a 'usual' gift anyway? We all had a laugh, and then headed home.

        I have two jobs, one of them being a night job; so I was back up at 2AM the following morning, and off to work. After my seven-hour shift, I grabbed a 1-liter Dr. Pepper to buy on my way out, something I do quite often. As I was waiting in line at the '10 items or less' checkstand, an elderly lady lined up behind me and put her meal down. I reached out and got one of the order separation sticks to place between our items on the checklane belt, and she jokingly asked "Not paying for mine also?"... to which I jokingly responded "heck, I can barely afford mine!"

        "Well, I'll pay for it!" she said back, surprising me... and when I said thanks, but not necessary, she surprised me again: "Yesterday was my birthday. I'm 72 now, and I want to buy your drink just because I can!" Once I told her my birthday was yesterday too, there was no stopping her; so I used my employee discount on both of our items, she paid, we both said "Happy Birthday!," and went our separate ways.

        Then it hit me... I had just been given my usual purchase as a gift out of nowhere. "You will receive an usual gift freely given. Accept!"

A Paranormal Point

        Given my hobby (this website), I'm often asked what sort of weird stuff I personally have run into. The truth is, not much... I know a lot of people who have (and still do) run into weird stuff, and occasionally I'll be there when they have something odd occur, but as for me, myself, and I... not much tends to happen.

        What I do run across more than would be usual are events like the one above, best labeled "coincidence"... clearly unrelated events that seemingly have a connection that shouldn't be there. Skeptics love to blow off matters like this, and deep believers often treat them with too much importance; for everyone else, they are mostly just good stories.

        At the core, these sorts of events tend to be meaningful mostly to just those people who experience them. I know that, for me, it's small things like this that always remind me of my own belief that there is so much more to the world than our simple senses can tell us; and that always re-motivates me to keep digging for more.