I don't know if there's a bigger picture I'm missing - in fact, I'm sure there isn't - but it's just too weird not to suggest.
On July 4th we had some visitors in town and I planned ahead to buy tickets for all of us to see the new Will Smith movie, Hancock. We drove down to Renton for the 2:30 showing at the East Valley 13. Fail!
We knew something was up when we pulled into the parking lot and saw just a smattering of cars there instead of being packed as you'd expect on a holiday. Then we saw a uniformed theater employee standing on the sidewalk and knew she was not handing out good news.
The theater had been hit by lightning that morning it turned out and "everything was fried." How random is that? How often is a movie showing canceled by lightning? I couldn't even get a refund on my advance tickets that day since none of the registers were working either.
As odd as that was, stuff does happen and I probably would have forgotten it by now except for what's happened since.
A few days ago, I was running some errands in downtown Seattle and found a parking space on Broadway, near Pine. We have those electronic parking meters that take cash or plastic and dispense a ticket for up to two hours so I put in my credit card to buy some time. Fail!
For the first time in all the years I've been using these machines my Visa card got swallowed inside one. No way to retrieve it, it turned out, no matter how many times I hit Cancel. I found the trouble phone number on the kiosk and called it to make a report. The nice Filipino man who answered the phone told me someone would be out in 20 to 30 minutes to open 'er up. So that happened.
I still didn't put those two incidents together until yesterday when once again technology was my foe. I was in the Tukwila Target store standing in line at the cash register. I was, no joke, buying a jar of mayonnaise and the new Randy Travis CD. In case you are wondering if I could be any whiter, yes, I could have also been buying some golf shirts and some Wonder Bread, wise ass.
Again with the firsts. The power suddenly went out in the entire store. We were plunged into total complete darkness for about 15 seconds, just long enough for me to wonder why there weren't any emergency lights in the store. If the lights were out much longer I'm sure the looting would have begun and then the looters would have fallen over themselves trying to find the exit.
So the power came on but the cash registers did not. You know computers. Each one had to be rebooted and I just stood there watching a series of screens slowly come present themselves to Ming, my checker. There is no way to rush a reboot so I just stood and stood and eventually left my Caucasian merchandise on the counter and vowed to return on another day with more reliable electricity. Fail!
Soooooooo, is there a theme here? Is Someone trying to send me a message about the destructiveness of rampant American commercialism? Or am I jinxed? Or should I be seeing clues to the upcoming Al Qaeda attack? Or is it just a wacky coincidence? Courage.