Thursday, December 05, 2002

Murphy's Law & Order

In case you hadn’t noticed, Mallory isn’t German, it’s Scotch-Irish. My mother’s maiden name is Reilly. Shortened from O’Reilly, as Irish as you can get.

Now, I’ve known quite a few Irishmen in my time. O’Sullivan were good people, I can’t say as I ever got a long too well with any O’Briens, but most of the Murphy’s I’ve known have been really fun to know.

Most of them, that is, except for one. The one who was in Congress. At least I assume he was in Congress, because he’s got a low named after him. You know the one, "Murphy’s Law." It’s one of the shortest laws in the U.S. Code, all it says is "If anything can go wrong, it will."

I think it was co-sponsored by Congressman Morton. I think this because the box of Morton’s Salt reads "When it rains, it pours," these two sentiments inevitably go together, at least in my life.

For whatever reason, Ellie, our 11 month-old never needs a diaper change until, Gracie, our 3 year old has an accident. And for reasons I can not explain, Gracie only seems to have accidents just after my wife Bethany has gone out the door to some meeting at school. Does this kind of scenario sound at all familiar to any of you?

I think it’s time Murphy’s Law was changed. Maybe we could start a letter writing campaign to get this Murphy character removed from office. All I know is, we have to do something.

What I’ve learned to do is to obey the law. Better to go along with it and ride it out to the end than try to break it, you’ll always get caught. Here’s an example of what I mean-

So, I was trying to get this Thanksgiving dinner thing going for Church (huge thanks to all you LYF kids & parents for pulling it off by the way). At any rate, we had our computer serviced and in the process, last year’s notes and letters on the dinner got erased.

I forgot to order the potatoes from Staley’s, they agree to get them for us anyway, I don’t know how much to order for and between their move and personnel changes, they can’t find our records either. My mind remembers our Ash Wednesday Soup Supper and tells them we expect maybe sixty people. Not a problem, they’ll have the bags of potato mix ready for me to pick up whenever I can come get them.

Friday night I picked up a movie at Citgo and pulled in across from the Oak’s Club to pick up an order of Chicken. If Murphy’s law hadn’t already been in effect, it was just about to. I figured I’d only be a minute or two so why not leave the engine running, it’s a small town and a cool night.

I closed the car door and started for the bar, and start to saunter across the street, but get yanked back like a dog tied to a tree in the middle of the yard. The corner of my coat was caught in the car door.

"No sweat," I thought, "I’ll open the door and release my coat" No dice, the door was locked. "Well, okay, it’s just a few blocks, I’ll walk home to get my spare set of keys. Oh, yeah, I forgot, my coat’s caught in the door and it’s really cold. Hmmm. I could stand here and look nonchalant in my coat, and wait for Bethany to bring the extra set of keys, oh, yeah, I pretty much have to call her to let her know I need the keys."

"Hmm, Okay," I said to myself, "I’ll slip off my coat and nonchalantly, leave it on the ground next to the car and walk into the bar, pay for the chicken and ask to use their phone. Geez, there’s a lot of people in there. I don’t need the whole town knowing I locked my keys in my car- while it was running." Then I noticed the lights in the lobby of Staley’s- "Great, I thought, I can use their phone, isn’t there something I need there anyway? Oh yeah, the potatoes for Sunday."

Guess what, who ever was there didn’t answer when I asked if anyone was there. "Shoot, I can’t use the phone without asking, well, it’s not long distance, maybe they won’t mind- hey this way, even they won’t have to know how dumb I was." I call home, go figure- thanks to Murphy’s Law, Bethany is giving the girls a bath and can’t get to the phone. I leave a message, but our answering machine is downstairs in the den, she’d never hear it. I call back four times, hoping that one of the times she’ll at least hear the phone and check the messages. Each time my message was more anxious, the fifth time I called I was down right irritated- Murphy’s Law again, that’s the time she picks up, why would she want to help my when I’m so crabby? And, Murpy’s law, that’s when Allan Staley comes out of the kitchen with me on his phone.

Well, the happy ending is that she bundled the girls up in their pajamas and came with the keys so that I could bring the car, my coat, the potatoes and the chicken home without being too embarrassed. Of course I had to call the next day and ask Rick and Al if they would prepare the potatoes AND gravy for us, like they have every other year and make enough for 200, rather than just 60. Thank God, and Rick and Al, they could, would and did. Whew!

Best of all, no one except Bethany and Al Staley ever knew about the whole thing with me locking my keys in my car. Well, that is, until now.

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