Johnny on the Pot

Posted on September 28, 2013 under Storytelling with no comments yet


It is approximately 3300 kilometers from our home in Antigonish to our vacation property in Florida, a seemingly safe distance to get away from it all.  Not so.  A few years back we were visiting friends in a nearby retirement community when I decided to go out for an early morning run.  I was less than 50 yards from our friends’ front porch when I saw someone very familiar coming toward me.   It turns out that this woman lived on the next street over in my home town when we were growing up.

You often hear stories about people meeting in very unusual places and unusual circumstances.  You often bump into people you know in far off airports and sometimes at the summit of some obscure hiking trail.

And then there were the two people attending a funeral a while back.  They hadn’t seen each other in a long, long time.  The lineup was incredibly long, forcing the funeral home to create an S shaped lineup. They passed going in one direction and a short while later met again.  “Joe,” said one of the men, “I haven’t seen you in over twenty years and now I’ve seen you twice in twenty minutes.”

Recently, two women who were neighbors headed out from their respective homes on a beautiful summer morning.  One was heading to work and the other for a run. They exchanged waves as they pulled out of their driveways, seconds apart.

The runner headed to a well-known running trail while the other parked her car at work and decided to go for a run before starting work.  On the very same trail. The trail is one long continuous loop and can be approached from two different directions.

Part way through the run, one of the runners felt the call of nature and wisely heeded the call.  Fortunately there is one portable toilet on the trail as this is a well-used recreational facility.  Not the Port O Potty; the trail.  She entered; scattering away flies, and took care of business.  Feeling quite relieved, she grabbed for the handle on the door at exactly the same moment that her neighbor was planning to enter the facility.

The accompanying gasp and shriek rattled first through the portable toilet, then through an adjacent stand of trees and across the meadow, disturbing nesting waterfowl.

It was hard to determine who was more shocked at this stunning coincidence, but needless to say the experience nearly scared the crap out of both parties.

Later that day one of them decided to buy some lottery tickets, flushed with high expectations, figuring that the odds of winning were comparable to the chance meeting at the lavatory that morning.

The other was home digging through her old album collection trying to find just the right tune to capture the sentiment of the day.  She dusted off the jacket of Abbey Road and let the needle drop on the old phonograph.  She smiled as The Beatles sang her old favorite, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.”

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The Macdonald Notebook: Business & Politics in Atlantic Canada

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