I’m not sure how many people will get this, but here goes. So, I was riding the bus the other day, and the fellow who stepped on in front of me was a massive, mustachioed fellow, and I instantly thought “My God, he looks exactly like Ignatius J. Reilly!” He really did–I mean he was dressed better than the protagonist of John Kennedy Toole’s strange comic novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, but he had the look and manner to a “T”.
What makes this extra funny is that a bus ride figures prominently in Reilly’s backstory. So not only did he look like Reilly, he was even in a situation like Reilly himself might be found in.
“A strange coincidence”, you say. So I thought too. But in itself, not the sort of thing worth posting about. Odd, but not really that odd–there are lots of heavy-set, mustachioed guys in the world.
But then, dear readers, we reached the realm of the truly uncanny.
It was about a 20 minute ride, and I was standing directly behind the Reilly doppelganger. During the 20 minutes, the bus stopped a few times, and two different passengers sat next to him. He conversed with both of them; though I got the sense he didn’t know either of them.
With the first passenger, he talked about theology. After that one left, he talked with the next one about geometry.
I swear I am not kidding. For those who haven’t read the book–and make no mistake, you have to read the book to truly understand this–Ignatius J. Reilly is always talking about how modern society needs “theology and geometry”. It’s like a running joke in the book, mostly because it seems like such an odd combination. And here was someone actually talking about these things.
I was waiting for the Twilight Zone music to start. It was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had.