By Alvin Richardson
You’ve all heard of it. Murphy’s Law is a common theory and simply stated says that if something can go wrong it will. I have expanded on this premise and call it Murphy’s Law of Inverse Proportionality and Disastrous Results which will henceforth be referred to as MLIPDR so you won’t have to read all those words again.
I feel comfortable dabbling in mathematical equations because I got half the answers right when I took trigonometry in high school. A cool 50 percent and was exceedingly proud of it. I actually asked my brother Terry about the possible uses of trig and he told me that, among other things you can bend pipe properly by applying basic tenets of that subject. Since I’ve never had a reason to bend any pipes the topic has not reared its ugly head again since I left high school.
So, simply stated MLIPDR reads: The more you happily look forward to an event the less likely it is to turn out the way you envisioned. Furthermore, the greater the anticipation the more catastrophic the actual results will actually be. This supposition ranks in dependability alongside the Pythagorean theorem, the quadratic equation and the theory of relativity.
Let’s go through some examples.
We had planned a duck hunt to the legendary Mississippi Flyway in the state of Arkansas. This area is world famous for the numbers and variety of waterfowl that transverse it and for a year we had carefully laid plans and awaited the date with much eagerness. MLIPDR kicked in immediately. On our overland journey to the destination our transmission went out on the truck – in the boondocks. We were dead in the water. Only perseverance and a wad of cash paid to a shady shade tree mechanic saved the day with a minimal delay.
We rallied the troops and carried on. Upon arrival we discovered that because of a weather malfunction all the ducks had flown south for the winter or north for the summer, I can’t remember which. Those that remained were flying so high that you couldn’t have killed them with an anti-aircraft weapon. So we made the eight-hour trip back home with a funky transmission, no ducks and two Labrador retrievers who were psychologically scarred because they had nothing to retrieve. They finally located and retrieved our lunch sandwiches in the back of the truck and we wound up eating beanie weenies and Vienna sausages out of cans that had been retrieved and slobbered on but not punctured. It was MLIPDR at work.
In another instance we had carefully laid plans for our annual dove hunt. Much effort was put into plowing, planting, fertilizing and mowing our millet crop on Memorial Day so that it would be ready around the Labor Day opening of dove season. We always look forward to this event with great fervor and as the appointed day approached we cleaned our shotguns, sharpened our aim and put in the blinds.
On the day of reckoning we showed up, cooked and ate lunch, then settled down to wait for the onslaught of birds to visit our field. Alas, by two o’clock nothing. Three hours later around five o’clock a bird was spotted but it was a false alarm. A pigeon flew over and when he saw all the seeds on the field he alerted his buddies and in a few minutes there came over a hundred of his brethren. Unfortunately there were no doves. None. An utter and complete shutout on a dove hunt is virtually unheard of. It’s like getting beat 56-0 in football. We had run head on into an industrial strength dose of MLIPDR.
Murphy does not limit his effects to hunting trips. My wife and I were very excited about a camping trip that we had planned. Nice quiet campground with lots of shade and scenery. No kids going, we would just come and go as we pleased. Four miles from home a tire went flat on the camper. Good old dry rot. I took a look at the other tire and though still holding air it was only a matter of time before it would fall into tatters. Without going into all the details, I should simply report that going to buy two new tires is not difficult although it is expensive. Changing multiple tires on a camper in the summer heat is another matter and by the time our ordeal was over we were soundly defeated by Mr. Murphy.
I need to warn you that MLIPDR can strike in a variety of situations. It’s not just outdoorsmen that should beware. Here are a few quick for instances.
The more you are looking forward to a party the more likely you are to throw up before the evening’s festivities are concluded.
If you have exciting plans to visit lover’s lane complete with a full moon and shimmering water, the outcome of your visit may be influenced by MLIPDR. Note: Other factors may include age and health of the participants.
If you are highly energized about a particular football game (i.e. Georgia vs. Florida) you can be sure that Murphy will wave his theoretical wand over the proceedings and produce results that make you unhappy.
In conclusion we may safely assume that MLIPDR is a physical law from which there is little chance of escape. My best advice is to pretend you don’t care if the hunting is poor, the fish aren’t biting, the game doesn’t matter or that lover’s lane is no big deal. Maybe, just maybe you can fool old man Murphy.
Share your stories with Alvin: firstname.lastname@example.org