It’s a Small World After All (Yeah, Really Small!)

imagesCan you hear me humming it even now?

“It’s a small world after all!
It’s a small world after all!
It’s a small world after all!
It’s a small, small world.”

That’s what was spinning in my head as I left a Walmart in Largo, Florida last night, even if Dwight disagrees. Here’s why.

I and the fam were just heading down the ice cream aisle (my favorite aisle of course) about to get a few final things for our vacation week ahead when a man, upon seeing the Iowa State shirt I was wearing, politely stops me and asks, “Did you go there?”

“No,” I replied, “but my daughter did.”

“So did I,” he comments, my wife now turning around smiling, wondering who in the world I’m talking to. “I moved here a few weeks back for an engineering job, and when I saw your shirt, I had to ask. After all,” he continued, “you don’t see much of that stuff down here.”  I suspect he was referring to the ISU logo wear.

My curiosity was piqued. “Did you live in Ames?”

“No. Just south of there.” And then he said it. “Ankeny.”

“You’re kidding,” I exclaimed. “That’s where we live!”

What followed was a few minutes of delightful conversation with a fellow “once-a-Hawk-always-a-Hawk” kind of guy, a man more familiar with where we both were from than where we both were at that moment. We both chuckled that such an encounter could occur—two Ankeny-ites crossing paths in a Walmart approximately 1,315 miles away.

It’s one thing to meet someone from your same state in another state when you’re on a trip, vacation, or some other getaway. That happens for sure.

It’s not even completely odd to run into someone from the metro-Des Moines area when you’re traveling. That, too, happens.

But I must admit it was no doubt unexpectedly amazing to meet someone from—no, not my state, and no, not even my local metro area— the very same small city where I live: Ankeny, IA. Yes, all the way down in the Tampa Bay area. I don’t know the precise mathematical chances of that occurring between two strangers at that moment in that place, but the practical probability? Slim for sure.

Whatayasay we belt it out once again?

“It’s a small world after all…”

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