They bind us all together. They divide us. They are unlikely, yet they happen every day. They are a mystery, waiting to be unlocked by an enigma in the shape of a key.
On this episode of Strangely, Not True, we look at the case of two brothers; originally the best of friends, but ultimately struck down by Coincidence.
These two brothers were twins named John and James Smith, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. However, in order to protect their identity, we shall refer to them as Rufus and Halibut.
Rufus and Halibut were the best of friends. They were so close that they rarely spoke to their parents. They only grunted at their teachers. They had no other friends. If anyone tried to talk to them, the brothers would turn on them and beat them until the unfortunate person ran away, sobbing.
That was just how close they were.
All of this changed one day when they had a sudden falling out…
…of an airplane.
The fight started innocently enough. The two brothers were going sky-diving. The door opened and the light turned green.
“After you,” Rufus shouted over the noise of the wind.
“No, after you,” Halibut shouted back.
“I insist,” Rufus bellowed.
“So do I,” Halibut screamed.
This quickly degenerated into a full, knock-down fight and a minute later, the two boys were spinning through the air, falling to earth and exchanging punches. Luckily, their parachutes opened automatically. They gently floated to the ground, still whaling on each other, and from that day forward, they never spoke another word to each other.
Rufus moved to Spain and became a bullfighter. He married an Italian stockbroker and had five children.
Halibut moved the outback of Australia and became a world-famous didgeridoo maker. He did not marry but was an object of attraction for all of the Aborigine women in the area.
Still, the two brother did not forget each other. At times, Rufus would be in the bullfighting ring and he would suddenly see his brother’s face in the crowd. At other times, he would be eating paella and suddenly think of joke that Halibut had told and he would laugh so hard that paella would spray across the room.
Halibut was no different. One evening he heard a kookaburra laugh in a tree nearby and thought, “That is just how Rufus would laugh when I tickled his nose. And he loved eating cute and cuddly things, like that wallaby over there.”
Rufus tried to contact Halibut but it was impossible. Halibut was not on Facebook. Halibut’s efforts to contact Rufus were likewise in vain: Rufus did not have a Twitter account. It was hopeless.
Finally, one June day, Rufus returned to go sky-diving alone where he and Halibut had gone. Halibut went hiking alone to the place where they had landed and seen each other last. As Rufus was falling through the air, the parachute did not open. He realized he did not know how to open it. Last time it had opened by itself while he had been fighting. He tried punching himself in the face a few times, but it did no good
Halibut stood at the site where the two of them had seen each other last. “Oh, Rufus!” he cried. “If only I could see you again, just for a moment.”
He looked up just as Rufus landed on him. Both were killed instantly.
Take this tale of two brothers as a cautionary tale. Be sure to correct anyone who says that the fate of these unfortunate men was due to mere chance. It was not chance: it was Coincidence. Be on guard, lest coincidence strike you too, when you least expect it.
Until next time, this has been Strangely, Not True.