$10.00
Strange Coincidences Contest (WIN 300 GEEKGOLD!!!!!)
Manchuwok
Canada
Mission
BC
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To celebrate strange things, I am holding a contest. Please post the strangest, most bizarre, unlikliest coincidences that have ever happened to you. The contest will run until the end of February and prizes will be awarded according to the number of thumbs each entry receives.

Prizes:
1st Place: 50 bag
2nd Place: 30 bag
3rd Place: 20 bag

4 random thumbers of this list also get 50 bag

I've started the list with a few examples of my own, though I won't be eligible to win. You may enter up to 5 times.

UPDATE:
Raiko Puust
Estonia
Keila
Harju Maakond
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Raiko & Agnes Forever! Feel the Love and Feel the Warmth. Happiness is 2 hugs plus 3 kisses every hour...:D (http://mrboardgames.wordpress.com/)
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Addicted Estonian gamer with big heart and direct winning attitude. Need any help with something, just ask. Need some GG for something, just ask. Need something to be translated, just ask. Meanwhile, behave! :D (http://mrboardgames.wordpress.com/)
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has donated an additional 100 bag for this contest. So now we will award a second and third place prize as well as another random thumber.

UPDATE 2:
You can't handle the truth?
Canada
Edmonton
Alberta
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has, in a bizarre coincidence, also donated an additional 100 bag for this contest. Now we will have an additional two random thumber prizes. Furthermore, to celebrate coincidences, all names will be thrown back in the hat before each new random thumber draw. Thus the same person could win ALL FOUR random thumber prizes!!!
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Popular Tags: probability [+] apophenia [+] synchronicity [+] [View All]
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101. Board Game: Funny Phone [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Michael Orford
United States
Missoula
Montana
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I get home one evening and there is a message on my machine. (This, in itself was odd... considering I had no friends...)

The message is like this: "Hey, Jake, I decided I do want to buy that car. Call me back." At the end, the caller left a phone number.

"A wrong number," I figured. I decided that the right thing to do was to call the caller back to tell him that he had a wrong number (otherwise, the car seller would never know that the potential buyer wanted to buy).

So I dial the number... and the number left on my machine is A WRONG NUMBER. "What kind of an idiot CALLS a wrong number AND LEAVES A DIFFERENT WRONG NUMBER‽‽"

Hours later however, it occurred to me that...
Spoiler (click to reveal)
this wasn't exactly a coincidence. It was the result of a strange set of events but here is what happened:
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Months earlier, I had rented a phone in Canada for a week. (There used to be places that would rent phones to business people so that they can have a local number.) I had specially arranged to have any incoming call patch through to my Seattle phone (which charged my rented phone an international long distance phone call but I needed it arranged this way.) What had happened was that, the phone rental company had set up this special account for me... AND FORGOTTEN TO UNPATCH IT AFTERWARDS. As luck would have it, the phone company did not rent out that particular number until a few months later.
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102. Board Game: Beat Detroit [Average Rating:4.54 Unranked]
Albert Hernandez
United States
Greenville
SC
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I arrived in the US when I was 5 years old and started kindergarten. My family started in Detroit because my uncle's family was living there. Kindergarten was fun and scary though I have very few memories.

Well, I was born in Cuba so my folks where not quite used to the snow. After that first winter my dad decided he'd had enough of the cold temperatures and we moved to South Florida. I remember leaving Detroit really early in the morning and seeing my uncle waving goodbye. I cried about that a bunch.

Well, we made it to Hialeah, Florida where I started 1st grade. I walked into the class on my first day really nervous and scared. I looked around all this big room full of unfamiliar faces. All of a sudden, in the back of the room I spotted a girl that I knew from my class in Detroit. Her family had also moved to Hialeah that year.

Alas, this story would be better if we'd kept in touch, but by third grade we'd lost touch.
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103. Board Game: Happy, Happy Birthday [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Josh
Canada
Cambridge
Ontario
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“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” -Bukowski
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“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” -Friedrich Nietzsche
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Another simple birthday one here. My wife and I were born on the very same day - April 24, 1976 - within 3 hours of each other, her in the US and me in Canada.

It's a lot of fun, since it feels like we're having a second Christmas in April!
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104. Board Game: Tribond [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:10829]
Chris Funk
United States
Springfield
Ohio
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When I was in high school, I worked in a comic shop and met a guy named Frank. Great guy, because one of our team in the store eventually and we spent many late nights after hours in the store playing games, taking inventory, rearranging the stock, etc. Frank became one of my best friends and still is today.

After I stopped working in the comic store, I started working at a computer manufacturer in tech support. I met a guy named John that started after I did and spent three weeks going through the training program and then quit three days after hitting the phones. Never saw him again until almost a year later. I had gotten a job at the Speedway corporate office in Enon, OH. When I walked in for my first day, John was sitting in the conference room. He got a job in the same department I did and we started on the same day. We became really good friends when working there over the course of 4-5 years.

Here's where the strange thing occurs. We went to John's birthday party at a bowling alley. My wife and I show up and the first person we see is Frank. We hadn't seen each other in about 8 months so after hugs and such went around, we asked what brought him to the alley here because his usual alley is about an hour from there. He was there for John's party. Frank and John have been best friends since high school.

It was just really strange that all three of us had known each other for 8+ years and had no idea we knew one another outside of our individual friendships.
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105. Board Game: Strange Synergy [Average Rating:5.84 Overall Rank:5483]
Jelatinous Wube
Australia
NSW
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During a time when I was looking into what made my then Girlfriend tick, I registered for a course entitled: The Alpha Course. In short it was a primer on Christianity.

My name, Jene, is comparatively uncommon and what happened to be a strange coincidence began when I was googling directions to where the course was to take place.

Near to where The Alpha Course was to be held was a street, the only one of its kind in Australia I later found out, called Jenee Street. surprise

Anyway that was a big coincidence to me, and at the time I felt somewhat strangely, considering I was agnostic at that point.
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106. Board Game: Extrablatt [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:2146]
Stefanie Kethers
Australia
Melbourne
VIC
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When I was in my early 20s, my then-boyfriend and I spent a few months in Australia. One of the things we did was a trip to one of the Southern Reef islands, Wilson island. To get there, we had to join a larger boat that took us to Heron island first.

On the boat, I started chatting to a guy. I quickly noticed he was German, and asked him where in Germany he came from - I thought he sounded a bit like me, so I thought he might be from around where I came from.

"Oh, you won't know it", he said, "it's a really small place, near Cologne". I told him that I knew the area, and he said "It's really small, just West of Cologne". "OK", I said, "that's where I come from, too". He finally named the place, which is a village with maybe 1,000 people. And, I told him, it was the place where my parents lived. "Oh", he said, "then I deliver their newspaper".

So, I met the guy who delivered the daily newspaper to my parents in Germany on a boat several kilometres from the Australian mainland...

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107. Board Game: Unfathomable Encounters [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Canadian Dave
United States
Lehi
UT
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The story:
I'm sitting in a choir rehearsal in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in October 2002. Seated next to me is an American and we start talking. Over the course of the conversation, I say I'm from Canada and he mentions he is from Brier, Washington. The following conversation snippet ensues...

Me: You're from Brier, eh? I used to date a girl from Brier.
Him: Really? Who was it?
Me: Jane Jones*
Him: Haha. Really? I totally know her...
Him: Wait a minute. You said your Canadian. Were you living in Utah?
Me: Yes.
Him: Did you ever get a prank call from her cell phone a few months back?
Me: Yes...
Him: That was ME!!!


Background: As a Freshman in University, I was dating a high school senior from Washington. Around February or so, I received this random phone call that I totally didn't get until she grabbed the phone and commented that some friends of hers had stolen her phone and called me. And I met him. At a choir practice. In Brazil.

Go figure.


*name changed, just in case
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108. Board Game: Canada Quiz [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Canadian Dave
United States
Lehi
UT
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Every time I go travelling, there is inevitably one person who shows their ignorance by asking, when they discover I'm from Canada, if I know someone. Canada, they reason, has a small population and therefore all Canadians must know each other. For the most part, this is not true.

However, occasionally...

In San Diego, California:
Random Person: Hey, you're from Canada? Do you know Mike Wilkie?
Me: Um, no. Pretty sure I don't.
Random Person: Oh, well...I assumed since you were from the same place and all.
Me: You know, Canada's pretty big...
Me: Wait a minute...Mike Wilkie... big guy, little brother named Ben? Plays football for Raymond High?
Random Person: Yeah!
Me: (sheepishly) He's my cousin's best friend's older brother.

shake
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109. Board Game: Paris Connection [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:997]
Andrey Velkov
Bulgaria
Doganovo
Elin Pelin
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Happened 3 or 4 years ago. I was sent on a business trip to Paris, alongside two of my coworkers. Due to some good coincident we had a free day in Paris, so I decide to spend it browsing board game shops. One of my coworkers decided to join me while the other decide he wants to sit in a coffee shop and watch F1 racing so we split at the hotel and we go on our way. After several hour of walks in Paris, finally finding the targeted board game store and getting myself a copy of Stone Age and some other stuff we head back toward the hotel. As we exit the store I feel a small whiff of wanderlust so I convince my friend to walk to the nearby metro stop, rather than tracing our path back from where we came.

Now the highly improbable thing happened:
After 200 meters or so we run into our coworker (the one that wanted to watch F1) just walking down the street toward us. It turns out he had just finished his coffee and the race so he was heading back to the hotel.

Now I don't recall the exact street but it wasn't a very big one or very famous one and we had not discussed our destinations when we split the hotel, so for me this was a great coincidence.

To finish the story we went back to the hotel, had dinner and the gathered in my room to play some Stone Age
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110. Board Game: Target Number [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Randall Bart
United States
Winnetka
California
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I am meeting some friends at a motel in Las Vegas. It's one of those huge Las Vegas complexes. I park and start walking the mile to the front desk. I call my friend Jama and ask where we're meeting. She says "Come to my room. 1736." I look at the nearest room number. 1736.
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111. Board Game: Bookworm [Average Rating:5.50 Unranked]
Cpl. Fields
South Africa
Hopelessly Surrounded
Isandlwana, Zululand
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When I was a teenager I was in a local used bookstore. There was a rare books section, and while I was browsing through these musty, leather-bound volumes I came across a small German prayer book published in the early 1700s. It was only $10 and I bought it on a whim.

After I got it home I took a closer look, and on the inside cover, in faded ink, was my brother's name. And a date: 1752. I was intrigued, to say the least, especially as our family name is relatively uncommon. I contacted an uncle who was into genealogy, and he informed me that the book I'd bought had belonged to my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, who had immigrated from Germany in... 1752. Perhaps he bought the book to console himself on the long voyage into the unknown.

I gave the book to my brother, who has passed it on to his son so it will stay in the family.
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112. Board Game: Leader 1: Hell of the North [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:1389]
Nigel Harris
United Kingdom
Sale
Cheshire
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OK, to set the scene: I'm not a keen cyclist. And I have no sense of direction. This was around 20 years ago and I was at University in Nottingham, UK. I decided I'd cycle across from Nottingham to Tamworth to see my folks for the weekend. I hadn't attempted anything like this before - over 30 miles when I was more used to shuttling around campus, but I had a bag of washing that needed doing and I thought I'd just strap that on the back of my bike and get my mum to do it when I got there

Anyhow I set off pretty much unprepared. No map, but I did stash a couple of chocolate bars to give me a boost along the way. I got lost. At one point I was heading towards Derby. I ended up in a town called Ashby-de-la-Zouch which was way off track. Worse, it was a town built on the top of a really steep hill...

So there I was, standing on my pedals, struggling up this god-forsaken hill - and I was pushing the lever to try and drop another gear. Trouble was, I was already in 1st, and my bike wasn't properly set up. The chain fouled on the sprockets and jammed with the moving wheel. There followed a pretty bad sound of chain-snapping, sprockets coming free, and the tinkling of little bits of metal bouncing all the way back down the hill. Followed by a few seconds of stunned silence.

I got off my wrecked bike, grabbed my laundry bag and threw it on the ground with what little energy I had left, invoking the name of the lord in a particularly colourful way...

Then I heard someone say to me "Excuse me, can I help you?". I turned around to see a man stood by the gate of his home, which fronted to the road I had been cycling up. I turned to face him and said "I very much doubt it, unless you can work miracles with wrecked bikes."

And so, the coincidence (and the kindness). It turns out that this chap runs a bicycle club. I mean, what were the odds of that? And for him to have been just stood there to witness the event!

We wheeled the bike round the back and there they were: six or seven bikes in various stages of repair. He set about mending my bike and his wife made me a brew and I rang home to say I might be an hour or three late. The kind couple sorted me out and set me on my way.

I was so grateful - I made it home some time later - but suffice it so say I spent most of the weekend recovering from a round trip that was a good 50 miles!

Overall, a very happy coincidence!
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113. Board Game: Paratroop [Average Rating:5.83 Overall Rank:6607]
Nigel Swan
Ireland
Dublin 6
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My name is Nigel Swan. Another chap born within 3 days of me and two streets away is also called Nigel Swan.I have never met him. He got married within 2 weeks of me getting married and had a car crash while I had a broken leg. All my friends started ringing me up asking how I was after my car crash. They where amazed when I told them that there was another Nigel Swan.My name is unusual for Dublin with only about 20 people with the surname. I suppose I will eventually meet him.
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114. Board Game: Dream Factory [Average Rating:7.11 Overall Rank:371]
Caleb Glave
United States
Moore
Oklahoma
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My car packed to the brim with my every possession, I started on my cross-half-country move(NC to OK). With 80 miles left in Tennessee I succumb to the boredom of the state and either fall asleep or zone out just long enough to drift into the medium. I remain calm and consider that if I brake hard on dirt going 70 MPH I will turn the car sideways. I brake ever so tenderly while looking at the oncoming tractor mowing the median. The car turns and then rolls onto its hood. Sparks fly past my face through my open sunroof as I look at the 18-wheeler in the oncoming lane my car is sliding across. Suddenly the car flips, the front end having caught on the dirt and landing the car upright and off the road, with enough force to break the back axle.

I step out without a scratch and call my dad. My mom answers the phone and states "You've been in an accident, haven't you?" I would later call my "surrogate mom" from North Carolina and get a similar reaction. Apparently, both my mom and my "surrogate mom" had dreamed of me having a major accident the night before.

I was very lucky and didn't have any accident related pain. I was also lucky to have a brother that would pick me up and take me to my destination. My luck continues in that the town with the salvage yard my car was towed to (and I stayed the night) was hit by a tornado the day AFTER my brother picked me up.

TLR; I am one lucky SOB and both my moms have magical dream powers. Wear your seat belt, it will save your life.
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115. Board Game: Illuminati: Deluxe Edition [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:978]
United States
New York
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Back in 1988 I was quite excited because I would get to meet one of my idols, Robert Anton Wilson (writer of the "Illuminatus Trilogy" and the "Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy"). Bob was flying in from Ireland to do a series of seminars throughout the United States. His writing inspired me and his recent rediscovery of the work of Phillip K Dick also led me to explore the latter's work; both of these would lead to my first short story's publication latter that year.

To both of these led to my reading a P K Dick short story at the exact same point in time (though not in space) as Bob was reading the same story; I was in Brooklyn at about 2 AM, while he was over the Atlantic crossing several time zones. We discovered this shortly after the seminar ended and a couple of us decided to hang out and Bob decided to join us.

It was the conversation about Dick's story that made up both realize a kindred spirit in one another. Well, that and the fact we were both libertarians with an anarchic bent and a polymath pursuit of various knowledges.

So began my correspondence with one of the most important minds in the late 20th Century. From that point on, whenever Bob was in New York City, we would meet and hang out. My favorite moment of all of these was during his "Religion For the Hell of It" tour, when I got the great comic writer and a room of his fans to laugh out loud with a comment so irreverent it would get me banned for several years if I were to expound on the entire contents of that lecture.
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116. Board Game: Prêt-à-Porter [Average Rating:7.30 Overall Rank:646]
United States
New York
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Living in NYC did have its advantages, along with all the drawbacks.

My family ran a business a stone's throw from the United Nations and I would, when I had a little free time, take a walk to the fabulous park that surrounds it. This is highly recommended for those who come the city.

Anyway, I was off on one of these jaunts when I saw a simply lovely young woman staring at a large advertisement on the side of bus stop's rain shelter. The woman was quite pleased, smiling like a cat who had just recieved a special treat. I looked at the woman featured on the advertisement, then back to her. They were one and the same person. I shook my head in disbelief and walked on, letting the woman enjoy her moment in the Sun.
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117. Board Game: Money! [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:1023]
United States
New York
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HYPERBOLE! It's like the greatest thing ever!!!
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Whenever I run short of cash and find myself in debt, the Universe seems to conspire and give me a gift in the amount I need.

In 1984 I was working part time, but most of my money went to going out with my GF at the time and a little bit to pay off a custom drumset I had ordered -- a Yamaha Recording Series made up of two 20"x24" kick drums, and 10"x12", 12x14", 14"x16" & 16"x18" tom toms. The drums were expensive, made more so by the fact that they did not come in a standard set, but were specifically chosen by me for the sound I was looking for.

I had also accidentally destroyed a friend's custom bolling ball and needed to repay him. I was at my wit's end in trying to figure out how.

Valentine's Day was also comming up and I had no idea how my GF would take me not doing something romantic like going to a nice restaraunt.

Two days after the bowling ball incident I had to be somewhere by a certain time, but all of the circumstances of the day were conspiring to postone my appointment. By the time I was finally free, I was frustrated by this day and my financial plight. I drove to the subway station, finding a parking spot amid the snow drifts, and walked to the subway station. I took three or four steps and stopped. Lying amid the snowbanks was an envelope with money sticking out. A lot of money. I took it to the police, but no one claimed it, and they let me keep the cash. It was enough. Enough to pay off the bowling ball, take my GF to dinner, and put a substantial dent in what I owed on my drum kit.

That day, like so many others, the Universe was looking out for me.
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118. Board Game: Cyborg [Average Rating:4.03 Unranked]
A. S.L.
United States
DeKalb
Illinois
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My mother wrote her PhD thesis on cyborgs. Ten years later, her daughter became one.


I have an electronic device implanted beneath my collar bone from which wires extend under my skin up and behind my neck to attach to the base of my brain. (Let me tell you, it's a hassle to go through airports with this thing.)


At the time of her studies Cyborgs were purely imaginative/speculative constructs. Her source materials were comprised wholly of fiction (both books and video) and intense sociological analysis of this fiction. Cyborgs did not exist, but her daughter did. She watched her daughter grow into a creative intellectual, never suspecting (it simply wasn't possible to suspect) that girl who was flesh of her flesh would shortly be one of the few who had gone through a procedure to link mind with machine, thereby making the figure of the cyborg no longer fiction.
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119. Board Game: Strat-O-Matic Baseball [Average Rating:7.53 Overall Rank:854]
United States
New York
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HYPERBOLE! It's like the greatest thing ever!!!
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In 2002 my GF and I were watching a baseball game on TV. It was during the playoffs, but I forget the teams. At some point early on I began to read the body language of the batters and predicted exactly what they would do with the ball -- what field they would hit into, whether they would fly out or pop out, whether they would be safe and how far they would get on hitting the ball. It was as if, for these 10-11 batsmen, I had read the script of what was about to happenm and it transpired exactly as I said it would. Unfortunately the food we ordered for delivery earlier that evening had arrived and my moment of prognostication was lost.

Now, my GF is an atheist-materialist, so it was not like she thought I was psychic or anything. I, myself, am spiritual, but come from a scientific background, so for me this was an exercise in kinesiology more than an otherworldly event. But it certainly was weird while it lasted.
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120. Board Game: Scrabble: Major League Baseball Edition [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Banjo McCardel
United States
Ridgefield
WA
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You are mighty small, little Banjo, and your flippers are tired. But one day, you will become...
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BANJO...KING of the Seamonkeys!
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I live in Milwaukee, but grew up in Ohio as a Cleveland Indians fan. In 2007, I planned a trip home to visit my parents so that I could go to Opening Day at Progressive Field. Unfortunately, I got slowed down by the weather and traffic, and didn't make it to the game.

It actually saved some disappointment, since they got snow at the stadium, too (it is not a dome), and they had to stop play in the 4th or 5th inning, so it didn't even count as a completed game. It continued to snow, and they ended up having to cancel all of the games in the series, since they were expecting even more to come.

I went home on Sunday, a little bummed about missing Opening Day, and when I got home, I learned that they had rescheduled the Indians series with the Angels to take place in Milwaukee! So I got to go to the official Indians Opening Day, after all! It just happened to be at Miller Park.

I took full advantage, and went to all 3 games. In the third game, I sat next to a friend's kid, who was cheering for the Angels. The Angels were winning going into the bottom of the 8th, and I told the kid that the Indians were going to win. Sizemore led off, and I said he was going to get on base. He walked. I told the kid that he was going to get to second (I admittedly thought by stealing second),and the second batter walked. Then, after Hafner took a ball, I told the kid he was going to hit a home run. He did on the very next pitch! The Indians won the game, and that kid thinks that baseball is fixed now. ;-)
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121. Board Game: Catan [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:161]
Me, sin? Pf! Nah! Chill
United States
Fountain Valley
California
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Should I stop doing the whole anagram thing?
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Congratulations! You found the hidden message! Geekmail your answer to me for your prize.
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OK, by popular request, I'm posting mine. I've added spoiler tags for the underage and faint of heart and wusses. Please try to be discrete about this. Don't go telling everyone, and whatever you do, don't post it on the internet. I might want to run for public office someday.

I've left out some parts that don't directly relate to the coincidence, some of them quite juicy. But you'll just have to use your imagination and concentrate on the coincidental aspect of the story, not the sexual aspect. I will tell you that the sexual aspect of it was good, but that was no coincidence.

So, I go to my high school class reunion and see many classmates I haven't seen in
Spoiler (click to reveal)
none of your business
years. The planners of this event went all out and actually planned three separate events over the weekend: a "warm-up" get-together on Friday night at local restaurant/bar, the actual reunion at a very nice venue on Saturday evening, and a beach party on Sunday. Friday night, I ran into a woman I remembered as being completely crazy in high school. So I'm talking and flirting with her, and I thought I was doing pretty well, when a guy walks up and she says, "Oh, and this is my husband."

Fine. No biggie. I've had many such disappointments before. I'm used to them. So we continue talking and it seems she's grown into a perfectly normal, sane woman (if that's not a contradiction in terms). She's married, has three kids, lives in Columbus, Ohio - and other perfectly normal things. We had a pleasant conversation and that was it.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
So I see her again later in the weekend, due to the multiple events, and she says to me, "My husband said he thought you were going to take me home last night." What? I didn't know I had that option. It turns out she and her husband have an "open marriage," and that if I want, I can have sex with her with the full consent of her husband. She was staying at her mom's house while she was in town, so we couldn't do it there. So it didn't actually work out for logistical reasons.

Again, no big deal. This is pretty much the story of my life: a possibility of sex that doesn't work out. Happens to me all the time. It doesn't even phase me anymore.


We say our goodbyes and she says that if I'm ever in Columbus, Ohio, I should give her a call and we can get together
Spoiler (click to reveal)
and have sex
. I said sure. It was one of those things you always say but never actually do. I'm never going to have any reason to go to Columbus, Ohio. Of all the old friends and relatives I owe visits to, she isn't in the top 10, and none of the top 10 live in Columbus. So if I'm going to be spending money I don't have on a plane ticket, it won't be to visit her. In fact, the only reason she makes the top 20 of people to visit is because of this story, otherwise she wouldn't be in the top 100.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
I have long been told that class reunion nookie is among the finest to be had, and as much as I'd like some, it's just not worth the expense in my current financial state.


My local game convention is Strategicon, held three times a year, which I had been going to for many years. It was in a period of decline when a rival convention called "ConQuest LA" started up on one of the same weekends as Strategicon. Out of curiosity, I decided to go to ConQuest LA instead, just to see what all the fuss was about. People were complaining about Strategicon, and I couldn't help but wonder what the difference could possibly be. Aren't all the games the same at either con? Some of my friends referred to it as "TraitorCon". BTW, AFAIK, ConQuest LA no longer exists, but Strategicon is doing very well lately.

So I'm at the rival convention. It's pretty small, being the first time it was held (and competing with another game convention the same weekend a block away didn't help). A game of Settlers of Catan is starting up, do I want to play? Sure. I win. Oh, it's a tournament! So now I'm in the final. 16 players, only two rounds. I win the final as well. Now winning two games of Settlers in a row is not much of a coincidence, but it turns out this tournament has some kind of "official" status. Klaus Teuber's son, Guido Teuber is there promoting "Settlers Online". I get a T-shirt and shake Guido's hand. To my surprise, I am now the official Southern California Regional Champion of Settlers of Catan for that year. I have won the privilege of participating in the National Tournament to be held later that year at Very Large game convention you may have heard of: Origins, held each year in Columbus, Ohio.

They paid for my airfare, hotel, and convention registration. I did have to share my hotel room with the Northern California Regional Champion. Although I can't help but wonder what they would have done if we were of opposite sexes.

So, yeah. I got to see my old high-school classmate while I was in Columbus.
Spoiler (click to reveal)
And yes, we had sex. And yes, it was good. There are some more details to the story, but they don't really have anything to do with a coincidence.


I did not win the national tournament, but the guy who knocked me out was the guy who did win. So I can say the national champion was the only one who beat me. The NoCal guy made the final. If I had won the national tournament, it would have qualified me to go to the World Championship to be held at Essen, in Germany, which would have been cool, but I don't have any high school classmates that live in Germany.
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122. Board Game: The Birthday Game [Average Rating:5.17 Unranked]
Brian Boyle
Australia
Sydney
NSW
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You can work out the odds this one quite easily.

My Personal Assistant and I share the same birthday. No big deal. Born in the same Chinese Year - 12 years apart. No big deal.

Her Father and my mother share the same birthday. Small coincidence, given the prior.

Her brother and my sister (we only have one sibling each) also share the same birthday. Bigger coincidence.


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123. Board Game: The Margaret & David At The Movies Boardgame [Average Rating:5.33 Unranked]
Laszlo Molnar
Hungary
Budapest
Hungary
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For a short period in my life I worked at a cinema (just after school). Back then I shared my room with my sister. One evening I woke up and she woke up at the same time. She turned her lamp on. "What are you doing?", she asked a bit confused as she saw that I am sitting in my bed in the middle of the night.
"I dreamt something stupid", I said.
"Me too!" she replied.
"I was selling movie tickets to you", I said.
"And I was buying movie tickets from you."
We couldn't sleep in the next hour.
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124. Board Game: Duo [Average Rating:5.24 Overall Rank:9981]
Mat Nowak
Canada
Halifax
Nova Scotia
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This is weird because I experienced two strange coincidences today just a few hours apart.

1) I'm a pharmacist working alone in the dispensary today. After bagging a prescription I staple the official receipt to the outside of the bag. As I was stapling one such prescription bag I thought to myself, 'I've been using this stapler a lot this weekend, it probably needs more staples.' Seconds later, as I attempt to staple a second prescription bag, the stapler fails to staple... it is out of staples! I laughed to myself.

2) Last night I watched the Ryan Reynolds film, The Nines. I enjoyed its rather quirky bizarre storyline, and I haven't laughed so hard during a film as I did when one character explained what "eights" were. Eights are koalas since they are telepathic... plus they can change the weather! (Koalas coincidently happen to be my favourite animal, but that's not the strange coincidence in this story). Anyway, so tonight I was telling my niece (who had just returned from a one week vacation down south) about me laughing about the film referencing koalas, and we both laughed about it. I then glanced at the calendar on her wall and pointed out that she should change it to the next page since it is no longer January. As she changed it to february, what animal happens to be the photo for the month? Yup! A giant Koala, staring right at us. We both lost it laughing and my mind was blown. Koalas truly are telepathic. I'm a believer now!
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125. Board Game: Mali Powstańcy: Warszawa 1944 [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:2493]
Kuba Bartoszewicz
Poland
Warsaw
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I guess it's nothing, but I was quite amazed. It happened last Thursday. I'm packed, ready to brave the freezing temperatures in order to visit my folks when I suddenly get a call from a friend.
"Hey, listen, would you take a commission to design a board game?"
I am by no means an experienced designer. I dabble. Sometimes my friends play something I made, but it never goes any further.
Now for the funny part. The first one. I used to practice sword-fighting, the crude two-handed 'western martial art' you get at Renaissance fairs or at historical re-enactments. I still have my bastard sword and I'd been nagging the friend that called me to borrow one from his friend, so that we could practice some. Guess what? He paid a visit to this guy only to be offered a game design job. What a lucky sword. So, he called me:
"Yeah," I said, "why? Who ordered that? Wh..."
"I don't know," he cut me short, "I'm swamped at the moment, so I thought you might like the job. I'll give your number to the lady who called me, alright?"
I agreed and within ten minutes' time I got another call. A woman said she was calling on behalf of Q..., a leading Polish translation agency. A publisher aksed them to prepare a cost estimate for an educational board game project. The game has to be about Polish history (hence "Mali Powstańcy" or "Little Insurgents"), has to be playable, and so on, and so forth. Baffled, I ventured deeper into the conversation. When an opportunity like this presents itself, I guess it's better not to say you are a complete rookie when it comes to the financial and manufacturing side of game-making, but I wanted to play it straight.
I'm working on the project now, even though we still haven't talked business yet, but, with any luck, I'll be able to say more later.
Thus we arrive at the sword leading to the game. But there's more:
"Q..., you say?" I said, "I think I know your boss, he taught interpreting at the Warsaw Uni, I learned a lot from him, great guy."
"Do you translate?"
"Yes, mostly."
Ten minutes later she e-mailed me a sample text to translate. A few pages from a novel and a novel is what I've always wanted to translate. I know it's all very tenuous, but thanks to one sword, I now might be in for a design job and a translation job. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
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