From The Dilbert Blog (Hooked)
How many things have to malfunction around you before you stop calling it a coincidence and give it a name? For example, if everywhere you walked, the lights went out and vehicles came to a halt, you wouldn’t require a rigorous scientific study to rule out coincidence. My experience is near that end of the spectrum. Indeed, I have a long and humorous track record of making street lights go out when I’m near, only to come back to life as I walk away. For example, if I park under a street light, it often goes dark and stays that way until I pull out to drive away hours later. It happens so often that even other people have noticed.
Make sure you read through some of the comments.
For those of you who have know me for some time, you’ve probably either heard about my problems with streetlights or experienced them firsthand. If you haven’t, let me explain.
I turn off streetlights. I can’t do it consciously, and I can never remember exactly what I was thinking when they happen. But, in the course of my lifetime I’ve had *hundreds* of street lights turn off as I drive or walk under them.
Now, there is certainly an amount of coincedence possible. But when something starts happening in the triple digit of occurances, there is more to it than that. I used to actually keep track, but the last known count was 250ish back in college, and I stopped after that.
Funny story… once, as a teenager, we were on the Ocean City boardwalk in NJ. I was with a group of close friends who *knew* about this “problem”. We were telling the story to another group of new aquaintences. They thought we were full of shit and pulling their leg. Since I can’t do it on demand, they would never know. But this particular night, the electrons were on my side. Not only did one light turn off, but further down the boardwalk a second one turned off.
If you thought they went nuts after the first one, you should have seen their faces after the second one. My friend Jason still loves to tell that story to this day. He can certainly understand it, because his mother has an electronic curse too. She erases video tapes. Seriously. If she handles video tapes, they get all distorted and blanked out. Jason and his father both forbade his mother from touching the tapes they had in the house (before DVDs of course). If she wanted to watch a movie, they’d take care of it. Not every time she touched one, mind you.. but certainly enough wasted tapes that it made you cautious.
When I started dating Jean, she heard the story, and as almost everyone else, was an unbeliever. Now we’ve been together 10 years, and she’s a true believer. Having witnessed dozens, if not a hundred herself, of these incidents when she is with me. It’s so bad in fact, that now it occassionally happens to her. If it’s truly an electrical impulse/field from the brain/body, it would make sense that those who are close to you can be slightly influenced by your own electromagnetism.
I did some research on it several years ago and found plenty of other people that have a similar “problem”. Sometimes it’s with watches or other electronics, but it certainly exists. Some folks have tried to debunk it and come up with all these great technical reasons about recycling filaments in the lights, or electric issues, or arguments about gas/electic lights. The bottom line is that they are trying to come up with a reason for something that they can’t explain.
Looking through the comments in Scott’s Blog, I was pleased to find some links that I hadn’t seen before. First, that there is actually a name for it now.. urban legend or not, it makes it easier to classify those that it happens to. It’s called SLI, and folks who it happens to are called SLIders (probably some off reference to the TV show I’m sure). I also found a link to forum discussing a podcast from Mysterious Universe that covers the phenomena. I’m going to be listening to it shortly.
Wow, I haven’t posted an entry this long in quite some time. Then again, I haven’t had anything to say in the short free time that I’ve had. Something this personal though begged to be written about, and I just had to stop working and take care of it.
Believe me if you will. Feel free to post comments about your own experiences. I won’t scoff, because I can certainly believe it’s possible.