Driving to Green Acres this morning (don’t worry, just pinch-hitting there for a few days) I was listening to the iPod, set on “shuffle”. At one point Susan Warner’s song “Petaluma Afternoons” came on. I have about 600 songs on the iPod; “Petaluma Afternoons” is the only one which has lyrics referencing the Doobie Brothers (“Troubles fade into the distance / The Doobie Brothers on the radio…”)
After that song, the iPod shuffled itself and came up with: “South City Midnight Lady”, the only Doobie Brothers song on the iPod
Now, what are the chances? This is not a rhetorical question; it is a question with a simple answer. The chance of the only song referencing the Doobie Brothers being followed by the only Doobie Brothers song is 1/(600x600), or 1 in 360,000.
To put this in human terms, it is a once-in-a-lifetime (or less) event. If I commute 20 minutes each way to work, listening to the iPod the whole way, and songs average four minutes long, the above Doobies-event would (statistically speaking) happen once every 150 years*.
So what does this mean? Is it just random chance, same as the way venomous snakes developed poison and hollow fangs to deliver it just by random mutations? Or is someone, or something, trying to tell me something? If there is a Great Spirit, and it wanted to communicate with us in these latter days, wouldn’t an iPod be a likely portal (burnable bushes being so rare in the city these days)?
"Tell me if I should believe!", I thought to myself, "Show me a sign!" I figured if there was to be a sign, it would logically be in Doobie lyrics or song titles. Lo! Right in "South City Midnight Lady" itself is this phrase: "I thought there was no reason / For all these things I do / BUT
the smile sent out returned with you." (emphasis added.) This clearly pointed the way! There seems to be "no reason" for "these things", BUT THERE IS
The rest of the song, however, is just mushy giberish about alcohol detox, sleepy sunny eyes, and ladies. So I figured the next clue would be elsewhere in Doobie discography. With shaking hands, I lit up my last cigarette and Googled "South City Midnight Lady Lyrics", expecting revelation.
Things got exciting. In the first Google hit, following the lyrics to "SCML", were links to other Doobie tunes. The first title: "Listen to the Music". Yes! That's what I am to do, listen carefully to Doobies music for the message! Onwards, next title: "Jesus Is Just Alright". Okay, so I've never really understood the meaning of "JIJA" (i.e., is the author empasizing that Jesus is A-#1-OK in his book, or empasizing that Jesus is "just", merely, alright, and nothing to write home about?) but I figured we were getting somewhere-- the messages at least were leading in the direction of a Higher Power or deity.
Then the final two titles in the Doobie song list were: "How Do Fools Survive?" and "What A Fool Believes".
So what now?
* I know readers like to check my math, so:
Chance of “Doobie Event” per year =
(Chance of Doobie Event per song) x (# of songs per year) =
(1/360,000) x ((# of work days per year) x (# of songs per work day)) =
(.00000278) x ((48 weeks x 5 days per week) x (40 min per day / 4 min per song)) =
(.00000278) x (240 days x 10 songs per day) =
(.00000278) x (2,400 songs per year)=