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Monday, March 9, 2015


I've decided that I must be quite a storyteller.

I've talked to children, to adults, and to people from other countries.  I have talked on cruise ships, in lecture theaters, in libraries and museums, and in classrooms.  But it is the strange feedback that I get from private conversations that surprises me -- and I suppose is flattering, in a way.

I tell a person a story, and then months or years later (or maybe only weeks) that person tells me the exact same story, but as if it has happened to them.

There was the time when I had just found out that if you have a collectible coin, you must not clean it.  Polishing it so it gleams like new takes its value away.  I imparted this titbit to a man, and not long later, I encountered this same man, and he said, "Did you know that you shouldn't clean collectible coins? I looked it up," he said, "and I found it out."

And then there was the story I told another man about the diner who collapsed in a Chinese restaurant. His life was saved because there was a drug store just across the street, and the pharmacist raced over with a syringe of adrenalin.  It turned out that he was violently allergic to shrimp, and his meal had been cooked in the same pan that had been used for a shrimp meal previously.

About a year later, I was in a restaurant with the fellow I had told this story, and he said, "Did you know I nearly died because the pan used to cook my meal had been used to cook a shrimp meal earlier?  I only survived because there was a chemist shop just across the road."

"Goodness me," I said, and kept the rest of my reaction to myself.

It happened again not so long ago.  I had told a friend about a bus trip where the driver was new to the route, got lost, became panicked, tried to reverse, and hit a parked car.

And guess what experience that she had had she told me about a year later!

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