We have all heard of Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” That is what Capt. Edward A. Murphy Jr., a US Air Force engineer once said and it has stuck in the American psyche. So much to the extent that there are numerous corollaries added by others over time. Addendums such as “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong…at the worst possible moment”. And that Murphy was an optimist.
From my book of essential trivia and bizarre facts, “Uncle John’s Lists That Make You Go…Hmmmmm” (an enlightening bathroom reader so its contents are appropriate for this column,) here are some more observations that maybe life is futile.
Douglas Adams observed, “The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair.”
“A shortcut is the longest distance between two points,” according to Charles Issawi.
“If it works well, they’ll stop making it,” said Jane Otten about corporate planned obsolescence.
Poet and author Benjamin Disraeli observed, “What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expected generally happens.”
For my hanging onto things that might be needed for other repair purposes (like my collection of used guitar strings to be used to clean clogged fuel hoses and clear tiny orifices of debris) James J. Caufield correctly observed, “The longer one saves something before throwing it away, the sooner it will be needed after it is thrown away.”
We have all been in Bill Vaughn’s shoes (and maybe behind him in line) as he observes, “At the bank, the post office or supermarket, there is one universal law: The shortest line moves the slowest.”
“Misquotations are the only quotations that are never misquoted,” said Hesketh Pearson.
And perhaps we should end this list with an observation from a brilliant man. “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” Albert Einstein said it and he ought to know. And maybe the rest of us will agree.