When I was in high school I hung out at MIT a great deal. It started at the MIT Educational Studies Program, and continued on until I went off to UMass Amherst for college. It was there that I met some good friends, some of whom I worked with at FTP Software among other places.
It was there that I met Phil Servita, Larissa King, Mark Mason and others and embarked on what is the strangest telephone experience I have ever experienced until today. For you see on that day over 20 years ago, we decided to pull a prank on Adam Mackler, IIRC.
We (by which I mean me, Phil and I think Larissa, Mark, and maybe one or two others) knew that Adam would be home alone that moment with his family away. He would be asleep comfortably in his bed in the morning and we knew how to get into his house. We stole into his house and cooked him green eggs and ham. Then we tip toed up to his room, announced our presence, gave him the green eggs and ham and proceeded to go all Thing One and Thing Two on him and his house (though we didn't actually break anything.)
He chased us and finally got tired of it and went to his room and started to eat the green eggs and ham. In his room we started to yell: phone, phone, phone, … We had arranged with another friend for him to call Adam's house at just that time and ask something like "Is Joe there?" and hang up. As we yelled phone, …, Adam picked up the phone before it rang, but just after it established the connection between the two phones and was greeted by "Is Joe there?" to which he screamed in surprise and threw the phone away. And so I encountered my first case of telephone serendipity.
Thankfully, I am lucky enough to actually have two such experiences for today, as I sat in my car with my three year-old asleep in her car seat, and having just finished listening to NPR talk about John Maynard Keynes, I called Melanie. I was greeted by the sound of someone dialing into the phone. For at the exact moment that I called, she had pressed the Talk button on her phone and started dialing.
Telephone serendipity can strike twice.