First off, it should be observed that 'A Confluence of Otters' is totally what the final book in that Game of Thrones series is called. It will come in sequence right after 'A Buttload of Unicorns', which I have already pledged to the internet to write myself should George R. R. Martin die before getting around to it.
The other thing to observe about the confluence of otters is that that is not the collective noun. Upon doing a little research the internet tells me that there are in fact four acceptable terms for a group of otters; A Family, A Raft, A Bevy, or A Romp. And while normally my heart would belong to the word Bevy, I have to go with 'A Romp of Otters' as the preferred term, because that is f*cking adorable.
Seriously. A Romp of Otters.
Doesn't just reading that make you want to to cartwheels through a field of giant marshmallows?
OK, moving on.
Now, I'm not particularly superstitious - I have no trouble walking under ladders and the number 13 doesn't particularly bother me. However, I do kind of think that when the same reasonably obscure thing comes up repeatedly in entirely unrelated contexts it might be worth taking note of the fact.
For instance, say you should be cleaning out your basement and find a bottle of Brandy that you didn't know you owned, only to find 15 minutes later that you also own a long-forgotten brandy snifter. I think you and I both know what the universe is telling you to do there, and it requires a smoking jacket and a leather chair.
Not that that has ever happened...
A few days ago, while working on an event that I'm helping to organize, I was presented with the (probably facetious*) suggestion that we should have live otters in attendance.
*No, you're going to have to google it
I was unable to make the live otter experience* happen, sadly enough.
*Best. Band. Name. Ever.
But then the following day I heard the NPR report about Hellbender Salamanders (the tale of which I recounted here) and how they are called 'Snot Otters' by the locals.
And I thought to myself, 'Self,' I thought, 'What a charming coincidence that Otters should come up in casual discourse twice in 24 hours when I haven't thought about them in years otherwise.
Well then, last night at a gathering of friends that I hadn't seen in a fair while, someone brought up the subject of otters in a completely unrelated discussion. And I thought 'Holy crap, self, that's three otters in two days! That's enough to call them a Romp!'*
*OK, I didn't actually think that part since I only just a moment ago learned that they were called that. Still seems notable though.
So at this point I have no choice but to conclude that the universe is trying to tell me something otter-related. But in direct contrast to the brandy incident in which my instructions were clear, I'm not entirely sure what I'm intended to do with the information.
Should I float down a river on my back with my adorable human looking hands clasped over my belly?
Should I beware of a strange man breaking open clams with a rock?
Is it an oblique reminder to remember to enjoy simple pleasures?
Help me out with a little clarity here universe.
In the interim, here's a video of an otter playing with a rock.*
*Careful - this may actual reach a toxic level of adorable.