The meaning of the word coincidence has, for the most part, been “replaced” by the word Ironic. Alanis Morrisette has a whole song where she lists coincidences and suggests they’re ironic. Irony is when you say something you don’t mean for some kind of effect. Coincidence is one or more remarkable occurrences usually highlighted by an odd connection that can possibly be read into as having divine implications.
I know the difference between irony and coincidence but fixing what Alanis and many others have started is a tall order. That ship has sailed. We have collectively changed the meaning of the word irony.
So I called “Irony” when an elderly lady stole my reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich in Starbucks the other day. It’s ironic (but not really) because I have a joke where I advocate commandeering others’ orders at fast food places. In my joke I at suggest waiting until the same order is called 3 times. Who knows maybe the person left. Right? Right? In real life the old lady moved fast as lightening. The barista barely got the words “reduced fat” out of her mouth before the blue haired bandit swooped in and swiped it from her hand. It was done so quick and with such decisiveness that we all paused and thought “it must be hers.” There’s no substitute for confidence and in the seconds it took me and the baristas to work out in our heads that grandma had in fact not ordered a reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich, grandma was long gone. No one spoke for a moment then I broke the ice with a statement disguised as a question…
ME: Umm, I think maybe that lady…
BARISTA: She took your reduced fat turkey bacon sandwich didn’t she!?
ME: So it would seem.
The thief’s clothes was as disarming as her speed and precision. She had on a stylish girl blazer and a silk-ish scarf. She stuffed the breakfast sandwich into what looked like a high end purse. My guess would be Dooney and Bourke. Why would someone like her steal Starbuck’s version of an Egg McMuffin. That’s the genius of it, I guess. All those questions bought her enough time to make off with my breakfast.
You slow, you blow. But just like in my joke when I remind the crowd that you’re ultimately stealing from the store and not the person, Starbucks made me another sandwich. It would have been cool to eat my sandwich with the smooth criminal (while she ate my other sandwich.) I could’ve picked her brain. We could’ve shared notes. Maybe plan a heist together. There’s a Whole Foods up the street.