The meaning of coincidence
The small town nine-year-old boy came in from a pickup game of wiffle ball. The mid-July heat was too much to bear. He desperately needed a shower and 30 minutes near the on-again, off-again window air conditioner.
When he flipped on the light switch where the A/C was located, though, the entire house darkened. He looked outside and his neighborhood was pitch black. Had he caused this blackout? Had he triggered an outage for the town?
It only got worse from there.
When he switched on his battery-operated short wave radio, there were reports that parts of The Big Apple – New York City – were also experiencing the same outage.
He couldn’t worry about New York 300 miles away when he couldn’t even see a few feet in front of him, and the heat was getting worse in the house.
But this New York City incident was a big deal. Would the authorities somehow track him down and blame him for his actions? How could they? Would he be fined and thrown in jail for it? Again, how could they? It was an innocent enough mistake on his part. And it wasn’t even a mistake. He had to see when he came inside the room. How was he to know when to flip the switch and when not to?
Now, who could he tell? His mother was out playing Bingo and would probably be home soon since it’s hard to play Bingo in the dark. Would she understand? Would she turn him in to the authorities so they didn’t have to spend a lot of time and money searching for him?
Thad waited in the dark by the living room window until his mom came home. He’d tell her everything and hope she’d understand.
He saw the headlights flash through the window, which meant she was pulling up to the driveway. With tears in his eyes, Thad ran to her and gave her a big hug.
“What, what?” she asked. “What’s wrong?”
“I did it, Mommy. I did it. I caused the electricity to go out, here in town and in New York.”
“New York? Lights are out there too?”
“Yeah yeah, Mommy, I didn’t mean it. I really didn’t. I don’t know what’s going to happen now.”
“Slow down, Thad. Tell me what happened.”
He explained where he was and what time he came home and that with one flick of the switch, all the lights went out.
“Please don’t turn me in, Mommy. I didn’t mean it.”
“Relax, Thad. It’s not your fault. It was merely a coincidence. It could have happened to me too. But thanks for telling me, Honey. Let’s go inside and find the candles. It’ll be all right.”
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