Owl in a Sombrero (and Other Weird Things)

I will get to the story of the owl, but first let’s break this down:

A coincidence is…

by definition, “A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.” We’ve all had them. You have a song in your head, let’s just say for example, Mambo no.5 by Lou Bega (I actually saw Mr. Bega in a record store in Dortmund, Germany while I was purchasing Weezer’s Green album which is not relevant to this example at all. I just like telling people), and you turn on the radio to hear the catchy but wildly offensive song which describes a man who thinks flirting is a sport, so he’s gonna do it with a bunch of young ladies in an attempt to “dump it” (ew).

I realize I’m getting off topic, and the lyrics aren’t the point, but I bet you now have this song in your head and will for the next 24 hours (you’re welcome). So, for some unexplainable reason you have this song in your head and suddenly it’s on the radio. Never mind that this one hit wonder came out 18 years ago and you have likely scrubbed any traces of this German pop singer and all of the ladies he stalks from your memory. Somehow this song was in your head, and this song happened to be the one playing on the radio when you turned it on. What a coincidence. A terrible, trumpet laden coincidence.

now that i’ve ruined your afternoon, let’s get started

We all experience these kind of mind-blowing parallel occurrences, but some are so mind-blowing that you wonder what kind of black magic you have suddenly stumbled upon and how you can sell that shit on Etsy.

I have experienced a few myself which had me researching how to join the X-Men. My good friend Katie was at my house the night Castro died, and for some (now forgotten) reason I asked her if Fidel Castro was still alive. He was…until he wasn’t. He literally died within moments of this inquiry. The next morning I texted Katie to let her know that we had killed a Communist dictator with just our curiosity and she concurred. So if you hated Castro, you’re welcome, if you loved him, my condolences.

A similar situation occurred with the incredibly beautiful and talented Chris Cornell. My sister had invited me to see Soundgarden in concert the night before he tragically passed away, and despite being a fan, I declined. Then he died and I began to curse my newfound powers, for great power comes great responsibility and I really don’t have the bandwidth for more of that nonsense.

The above mentioned stories are pretty freakish, but the most bizarre coincidence I have ever inherited involved an owl, a sombrero, and Katie again. So let’s just get right to it.

Katie and I would often have lunch during the week at this little pizza joint down the street from my old office. One of these lunch dates fell a few days after April 20th (this date is important). I listened to Katie casually tell me a story while I inhaled my food like a starved hyena, as I often do.

She tells me that she found herself in a weird predicament on this date. She explained that she had left her back door open, and a barn owl flew inside. Confused as to how to remove said owl, she called the local police department. The conversation with the operator was an interesting one, as it was 4/20 and Katie was sure they were going to think she was high as balls and imagining owls.

a hero arrives

They sent an officer to her home who, when arriving, said something like, “so you got an owl, huh?” as if this is a completely normal call and he was chosen as the designated owl wrangler for the city (the hero we all need, obviously). She lead him to the owl who (pun!) had moved and probably felt like he might be the one on drugs, as he was pretty sure he had either entered Narnia or the Seventh Circle of hell, depending on what owls fear most.

The officer pointed his flashlight at the owl which answers the question of what freaks an owl out because he immediately flew the fuck outta there. As we laughed at this strange situation she had found herself in, I made a casual joke about how if she had been high and imagining owls, she may have said something to the operator along the lines of, “Hello, there is an owl in my home. Yes. An owl wearing a sombrero. Please send your best owl wrangler.” She laughed obligingly at my stupid scenario, we paid our bill, and she drove me back to work.

prepare to have your goddamn mind blown

I worked on the 3rd floor of this building, but I had friends on the 4th floor from my previous team. I very rarely had the chance to go up there, as my work was grueling and time-consuming and didn’t offer much free time. On this day however, I had a brief meeting that happened to be on 4.

After the meeting I went to the break room to drink crappy coffee rather than go back to my desk to do actual work. As I was walking out, I ran into my friend Laura. We exchanged pleasantries (or whatever adults call them) and she asked if I could do her a favor. She mentioned something about how I am good at drawing (the only thing I can draw semi-well is a dinosaur) and she was wondering if I wouldn’t mind drawing a little something on the birthday card she was giving to a family member. I asked Laura if her family liked dinosaurs, because that was all I had to offer.

I pull the birthday card from its envelope and I swear on pizza and wine, the cover of this card was of an owl wearing a sombrero.

An owl.

Wearing a fucking sombrero.

We both agreed that it would have been preferable if the owl was actually David Bowie coming to trick Katie into becoming his Goblin Queen, but sadly, he moves the stars for no one.

David Bowie in the beginning of Labrynth
I’m not sure what kind of drugs you’d have to take for this to happen but sign me up.

*For more information on coinky dinks, check out this the NPR Hidden Brain podcast, “Magic, or Math?”


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