Today is a Variation on The Flux sort of day. On the train this morning, a woman turned to me and asked, “are you the Oregon Legal Research blogger?” Now the odds of this happening must be close to zero. I live in one county of more than half a million people and commute 1.5 hours to another county of half-a million. I don’t even take the same route everyday. And I’m not sure how much I really look like my picture, but apparently more than I imagined.
Then, a little later in the morning, I answered the phone and a local detective was on the line with a question. I couldn’t answer his question, but I had one for him. Was he the detective who was written up in the paper a couple of weeks ago? When I saw the story I thought he’d be perfect for our cable-access program on juvenile law, but was too shy (!) or too whatever to phone to ask if he was free that night (we had to scramble for a last-minute speaker after the scheduled one had to cancel). But I tucked his name away in the recesses of my memory. And here he was on the phone. Who says you sometimes can’t just sit back and wait for someone to phone you – at least on a Flux Day. (He also has the most wonderful tattoos too – maybe it’s coming from a long line of artists, but tattoos are art to me and can be quite beautiful. I know, I know, but life is short.) And then a lawyer came it to ask a question I would not have been able to answer but for the fact that our last minute guest on the cable-access legal program last week talked specifically about the same topic.
Do you want to know about The Flux (but not this flux). The Flux, as I call it for reasons that will become clear in a moment, is pretty much a string of concurrent coincidences. Let’s say that out of nowhere, 3 books are simultaneously published on Queen Victoria’s third cousin – this is pretty much the example Willie Garvin gives of The Flux (it’s kinda scary what detail you can find online now) and it sums it up quite nicely. A few years ago there was a Philip Larkin Flux. You couldn’t trip over a curb, turn on the radio, open a magazine in a coffee shop or the dentist’s office, without falling smack into another story about Larkin. Very weird, especially when this went on for about a year. How often do you hear about Philip Larkin – at least in my line of work?
(Yes, I’m a Modesty Blaise fan and have been one since the first one was issued in paperback in the U.S. in the 70’s. And, I have a full set of them (well, not all the comic books, but all the novels :-))