(Submitted by reader Dave R)
In about 1985 I got tired of dealing with the apartment manager where I was living in Santa Ana, and moved into a nicer condo across town.
Shortly after that I was invited to join an organization. I won’t name it because it isn’t important, but it’s a national social organization that has local chapters. I’ll call it the ABC Club. The local chapters often have parties at the members’ homes. So I joined the ABC Club and went to my first event, a party at someone’s house not far from where I lived. At the event I was introduced to several of the local members, including a man who was identified as the President of the local chapter of the ABC Club, I’ll call him Richard Barry (obviously not his real name, but the point is we shared some common feature of our names, a first matching a last, or something similar).
A couple of days went by, and then I received a letter at my new home, addressed to Richard Barry, ABC Club Orange County, (with my address of course). So I looked at this letter, trying to wrap my head around the situation, trying to figure out whether they had sent me some membership materials and perhaps put the wrong name on the envelope, since our names were similar. I think I eventually opened the letter to see if it was for me, and found it was some kind of bank statement, or treasurer’s report, etc. for the ABC Club, clearly not intended for me. So I decided to call Richard Barry. As a new member I think I got a roster of all the local members with their contact information, or I may have looked up the number in the phone book. Anyway I called him up and after exchanging hellos, I said “Richard, I think there’s something screwed up in the roster or the addresses for the organization, because I just received some correspondence for the group, with my address but at my condo, but it has your name on it.” He asked me, “What’s your address?” I said “110 Brookline.” He said, “Oh, I used to live there, I just moved out last month.”
So yeah, what are the odds? I wouldn’t even know how to begin calculating them for a situation like this!
[EDITOR: The final question seems pretty valid to me. With all the factors of addresses, location, timing, moves, people involved, this one seems all but incalculable. Extremely impressive.]