Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My favourite coincidence story

From the book: Coincidences In The Unknown, 1902, Camille Flammarion tells of the experience of his friend, the poet Emile Deschamps. In his childhood, at a school in Orleans, Deschamps shared a table with a certain M. de Fortgibu, who had returned from England with a taste for plum puddings, then unknown in France. He insisted that Deschamps try one. Ten years later Deschamps passed a restaurant and saw a plum pudding being prepared inside. His early taste, long forgotten, urged him to enter and ask for a slice; but the pudding was reserved for another, and Deschamps was obliged to beg the favour from this stranger. It turned out to be M. de Fortgibu, and both were astonished at meeting again for the second time over the same dish. Many years passed again, and Deschamps was invited to a dinner party which featured an English plum pudding; and Deschamps delighted his hosts with the tale of his extraordinary encounter with de Fortgibu. They all joked about the possibility of the old man turning up. During the meal he really did. De Fortgibu had also been invited out to dinner, but by the occupant of another apartment in the building, and had lost his way. "Three times in my life have I eaten plum pudding, and three times have I seen M. de Fortgibu!" said Deschamps. "My hair stood up on my head. A fourth time I should feel capable of any thing . . . or nothing!"



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