Sometimes you meet someone by chance, become instant friends over some small, stupid detail, and spend the rest of your friendship marveling at all the other small, stupid details you have in common.

My friend Laurel and I met online several years ago and became friends when I called her for an article I was writing about Afton Station, which she owns. We bonded over our shared affinity for Archie McPhee products — specifically, the miniature pink plastic Cadillac fins they made a few years ago for decorating toilets, bicycle helmets, computer monitors, or anything else crying out for a touch of streamlined class.

Since then, we’ve discovered a litany of commonalities — everything from trivial stuff (we both love sushi; we’ve both grown our own mushrooms from a kit) to big things that actually shaped the way we think (both our moms were Christian Scientists when we were little) — and we always laugh when we discover a new one.

So it was that I checked her blog this evening for the first time in several days and found this post lamenting the recent loss of a small, largely insignificant sign from a fencepost in east Tulsa. Not four hours earlier, I’d thought of the sign, with a sad sigh, as I drove past the spot where it had once hung.

Reading Laurel’s blog entry on the subject, I felt exactly the way I’d felt the evening my best old college buddy and I experienced a Gift-of-the-Magi sort of moment involving an out-of-print book we’d been trying to track down for years.

Next round of sashimi’s on me, Laurel….