The World According To Damien
in a World gone mad – one sane voice emerges…

Damien on… Life is But A Dream

According to Ian Fleming, “The first time is happenstance – the second time is coincidence – but the third time is enemy action.”

Well, my first time was back in 1994. I had written one of my rare pieces of fiction. It was a time-travel piece, where the hero accidentally nails his grandmother and becomes his own grandfather (it could happen).

Since it was supposed to have been written in the future, I lightly peppered the story with “future-slang” terms, which I made up – one of which was “Euro”.

You see, part of the story took place in 2005 – by which time I figured a pan-European currency ought to be in place. But back in ’94, they were still discussing what it would be called.

They had just rejected one name on the grounds that it was too close to a word used for an antique French coin – and were now trying to think of an alternative. I just dreamed UP Euro.

Imagine my surprise when a year later, they announced…

My second time was in 1999. I wrote a small monograph on “Oil Of Ulay”. I questioned whether it should be pronounced “yew-lay” (as in the tree) or “ooh-lay” (as in “Ooh, Matron!”) and wondered – “What the hell IS a/an Ulay, anyway?”

A few months later, the owners changed the name to “Oil Of Olay” – leading me to write again: “Holy cow! They must have read my last piece! But why did they go with Olay? It sounds like “¡Olé!” – the thing Spanish crowds yell at a bull-fight.”

My third time came more recently. In these very columns, I stated that I was sure American film score composer Thomas Wanker was nice to animals and always washed his hands after going to the toilet – but I wanted to BE there, the first time he checked in at a hotel in Britain or Australia.

A few months later, he changed his name to Thomas Wander.

The thing is – ALL of these writings were read by, at best, only a few hundred people. So how had they had the effect they’d had? The European Union had taken my advice over the naming of the pan-European currency. A giant corporation had changed the name of a product that had been going for DECADES. And an American composer had changed his NAME.

You may say “coincidence” – but I wonder. Perhaps I AM living in a dream…

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