Saturday, December 04, 2010

Sometimes the Weirdness Just Gets Weirder

Hunter S. Thompson once said, “It never got weird enough for me.” I'm a long way from being able to compete with Dr. Thompson when it comes to weirdness but I've always loved that quote and think of it when something deliciously weird happens.

A long, long time ago for some non-memorable reason, I had to take a whole battery of psychological tests. I think it had something to do with a job I was applying for but maybe not. Anyway, I did well enough but I remember the tester who met with me to give me my results commented that, considering my score on most of the tests, I had don disproportionately well on the Miller's Analogies Test. She said that I obviously had an enhanced capacity to see the interconnectedness of things in the world and she asked me if I experienced a lot of “coincidences”. I said that, as a matter of fact, my whole entire existence seemed like a coincidence to me.

The thing was, I didn't know that a lot of people didn't see the connections and “coincidences” I did all the time. This was kind of an eye-opener and since then I've often been amused, though not always surprised, when some weird coincidence shows up. Like yesterday.

Now to set this up I have to talk about my first novel, The Old Mermaid's Tale. The core of that story is about a young woman who knows that she is essentially romantic by nature and who yearns for a lover who is mysterious and somewhat mythical. She has a boyfriend named Gary who is very sweet but does not fit the bill. One evening they are walking down the street and, as they pass a tavern, she hears a man singing inside. He is singing in French, the old Edith Piaf song Parlez Moi d'Amour and her boyfriend tries to translate the words for her. She thinks about that song a lot and eventually she meets the singer, a Breton mariner named Baptiste, and the rest is... well, I won't tell you the rest.

But that moment, when she hears that song, is the pivotal moment in her young life. Everything changes after that and when I was setting up my little publishing business I decided to call it Parlez-Moi Press because of that scene in the book. That is why this blog is called ParlezMoiBlog.

When I was working on the collage that eventually became the cover of the book and the design for most of its promotional material I happened upon a drawing I did quite a few years earlier. It was a sketch of a man's face because I liked his eyes and hair and I remembered it was based on a photograph in a magazine of designer John Galliano. I think it was an ad for Gap t-shirts. I really don't know much about him except I liked his eyes and hair in that picture. I saved the drawing and finally decided to use it for the cover design. I always sort of secretly hoped that the book would become famous enough for Galliano to see it, recognize himself, and threaten to sue me. Yeah, weird idea.

So, here we are some years later. The OldMermaid's Tale is out in the world and, though it has sold well enough it is a very long way from famous. Parlez-Moi Press has published more book and John Galliano' eyes continue to peer out from places like the top of this blog. So, imagine my surprise when I was reading a magazine recently and discovered that designer John Galliano has released a new perfume. The name of his perfume is ---- did you guess it? --- Parlez Moi d'Amour.

Is this weirdness, karma, a “sign”, or just more Miller's Analogies-type coincidence? Don't know but it sure is interesting.

Thanks for reading.


  1. I was a weird child and am a weird adult-according to others only! I have always seen connections and I doubt coincidence are insignificant.

  2. I love these sorts of coincidences, and I see them all the time. Had no idea it was something quantifiable with a test.

  3. Colin, if you are weird then the world needs more weirdos! You're one of the best. Along with Carla,who is talented, brilliant,and a continual delight.

    Thank you both.

  4. That's a pretty freaky story. I love those eyes and didn't know they were John Galliano. He's pretty weird, too.


If you enjoyed this post, please comment and leave contact information if you would like a response. Commenting rewards the authors/artists and pretty much makes our day!