A famous person wears the same size water skis as me
She's got three cars as many years I've lived in this city
Her hair is blonde and mine is brown; they both start with a "b"
But when the phone inside her ribcage rings, it's not for me
-- They Might Be Giants, "The Famous Polka"
When I was a teenager and the Internet was in its infancy, the "about me" page on my website bore the heading "will.i.am" -- all lowercase, with the syllables separated by periods. Recasting my name as the sentence "Will I am" had been inspired partly by Schopenhauer and partly by Green Eggs and Ham, and the distinctive typography was chosen for no particular reason, just because it looked Internetty.
Some months later, I got an email from someone offering to sell me the domain name will.i.am. He said he had offered it to "the rapper will.i.am" first but that he hadn't been interested. I had never heard of will.i.am, was a bit bummed to discover that I had inadvertently pinched some rapper's handle, and changed the title of my page. I never bothered to look him up, but many years later I discovered by cultural osmosis that he was the frontman for a group called the Black Eyed Peas.
Years before learning that, I had come up with the band name (every kid comes up with band names) Blue-Eyed Bees, which was inspired by two Sugarcubes songs ("Blue Eyed Pop" and "Bee") and was supposed to be a pun on "how blue I'd be without you" or something. I think I still have some of the album cover art. Never realized the similarity to “Black Eyed Peas” until just now. (There’s also that one Peas song where they repeat “I’m a bee” 105 times.)
Why did I write the above? Because I was trying to write a post about how there just has to be such a thing as a completely meaningless coincidence. I thought I'd get a clear example of such a by finding some random person who shared my birthday so I could say that that obviously didn't mean anything. So I ran a search for march 15 birthdays, and one of the first results that came up was none other than will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Looking the dude up now (finally), I find that his real name is William James Adams Jr. and that -- no, I'm afraid I'm still just not interested enough to read much more about him! No sense of affinity whatsoever, despite the coincidences. Oh, I did note that his mother’s name is Debra, and that one of my correspondents is a black woman my mother’s age named Debra.
It’s just kind of maddening. I deliberately go looking for a simple coincidence and uncover a web of connections instead!