There are various versions of ‘Murphy’s Law’ going around. It may be Murphy’s first law of inevitability: ‘If anything can go wrong it will’ or his first law of obsolescence: ‘If it jams, force it. If it breaks it needed replacing anyway’. There’s Murphy’s law of duplication: ‘The legibility of a photocopy is inversely proportional to the importance of the document.’ And Murphy’s law of computing: ‘The attention span of a computer is only as long as its power cable.’
Of course Murphy’s law is traditionally tested by dropping a piece of toast that is buttered only on one side. Murphy’s law dictates that it will always fall buttered side down. This has been scientifically tested and is not true. It does not always fall buttered side down. A development of the theory then states that the likelihood of the toast landing buttered side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet. Still not scientifically proven.
Murphy’s law(s) are predicated on pessimism. They assume that the worst will always happen. While they may be amusing, if we live our lives based on Murphy’s laws we will miss out on so much joy. So, on Shrove Tuesday (otherwise known as Pancake Day in the UK) I have a suggestion for breaking Murphy’s law. Instead of dropping toast, toss pancakes – because they are double-sided they always land right side up.
(unless they stick to the ceiling!).