Okay, this is one of the weirdest stories I have written. It is the story of the “gift” I gave my mate for his 40th birthday that cost me nothing except that in the telling of this story I’m forever going to hear those calls of “I told you so” from my wife. This is the gift that “the universe provided” simply by me putting a thought out there and setting the wheels in motion. Possibly I created a Butterfly Effect. But here’s the thing; I am sceptical of this even though I made it happen.
As a sceptic, I don’t believe in many things that come under the religious, paranormal, quackery or pseudoscientific banners. I don’t believe in astrology, numerology, crystal powers, tarot, ghosts, psychics, auras, past lives, voodoo, exorcism, miracles, prayer, reincarnation, angels, deities, karma, and fate and many other things too vast to list.
I’d love for the last two things to be real sometimes. I wish that there were karmic forces at play, ready to smack someone upside the head for do something bad to someone else, but reality is, that doesn’t happen. And fate; sometimes when something freakily coincidental happens and a positive result happens, one would be quick to think it a product of fate, but again, that is not reality as much as we’d love it to be. And then this happens…
My mate turned 40 just a couple of weeks ago. About two weeks before his birthday I made a call to the head office of his favourite rugby league team; the Parramatta Eels. The Eels play in Australia’s (and also the world’s) most premier rugby league competition, the National Rugby League or NRL.
The call I put in was to the head coach’s office. Brad Arthur, Parramatta’s head coach grew up playing rugby league in the same team as my mate. The two of them had been I the same team since they were about 6-years-old and played together until they were about 17-years-old. I made the call because I wanted to see if I could get Brad (and hopefully the team) to give my mate a call and wish him happy birthday.
I was even hoping, had they had been playing a home game on the weekend of his birthday to get him in the change room before or after the game but seeing that they would be playing in Auckland, New Zealand on the Saturday night I was just hoping that they could make the call en route back home on the Sunday as that was the actual day of my friend’s birthday.
I spoke to the assistant in Brad’s office and they said it might be possible but I would need to tee up a time and nominate a phone number for my mate to be reached on at that time. Now my mate never has his mobile phone switched on over the weekend so I would need to nominate another number. They have a home phone with an answering machine and screen every call so I was hoping that I could get his wife to either stand by on that number, or have her mobile phone switched on to take the call at the arranged time.
So I gave her a call. I called their home phone asking for her twice. I made the calls during the school holidays and as I had not received a return call I decided to call her mobile. It wasn’t on when I called but I assumed the next time she switched it on she’d see my missed call and call me back.
A couple of days before my mate’s birthday he called me and mentioned that he knew I had been trying to reach him. I told him I was hoping to talk to his wife but at the time that he called me she wasn’t available to talk. He told me that he’d get her to call me when it was convenient for her, but I didn’t receive a return call. My plan had fallen through.
I had figured that Brad would have remembered my mate seeing they played 10 or 11 seasons together over that many years. I knew that if I had mentioned his name, Brad would have remembered him and would have said it would be good to catch up with an old team mate. I know that it’s not much of a gift, but I wanted to do something different and original for him. Give him something that money couldn’t buy.
On his birthday I called my mate to wish him happy birthday. We chatted for a while but then he had head out as he was doing something fun for his birthday. And then we didn’t speak for about three weeks. Both he and I are in sales and occasionally when we are out on the road we call each other just to say hello. Having seen an advertisement for the WWE bringing some shows to Australia (he is really into that) I thought I’d give him a call to talk about that in case he hadn’t heard about it.
During our conversation I mentioned that idea for the gift I was trying to arrange for him. I told him that it was unfortunate that I didn’t catch up with his wife to organize the time before hand because it would have been good.
“You’re not going to believe this…” he told me.
Okay. What am I not going to believe, I thought. And before that thought finished he told me an amazing story.
That night he went out for dinner with his wife and kids. We live in the district that is closest to the Parramatta club and Brad Arthur also lives one suburb over from us. And guess where he was having dinner on that night? The same place my mate and his family were.
And you know what? They caught up. They chatted about footy. I imagine they had that very conversation I was trying to arrange for them to have.
“Thanks mate” he said. “You put it out there for the universe to deliver.”
I guess I did. I made this happen. It was fate and I played a part. Well, I didn’t really, but it gave us a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that something I had wished for someone else had happened.
A few days later I told the story to some friends. One of them turned to another and said;
“Quick, who do you want to meet? Let’s get Darrell to try to organize that…”
Do you believe in fate? Do you believe in karma? Have you got a story like this to share with me and other readers?