Thursday, August 06, 2009

Murphy's Law

"Scott?" I ask while reading an article on the couch the other night, "What exactly is Murphy's Law again?"

He looks up from his computer,
"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" he replies.

Yikes - I wasn't expecting that.

The line I was reading in the sailing magazine read: "...and remember: Murphy's Law is right. Every. Single. Time." Ouch. This particular cruiser was writing about watching his boat bust up (and, ultimately sink) against rocks somewhere off the coast of Vanuatu while he and his crew watched from some other rocks where they clung for their lives as they awaited rescue. A scenario surely in the top three worst things that can happen to a boat and legitimate fodder for the author's less than optimistic outlook.

What a gloomy Law. I mean, wow - aren't we taught to see the glass half full? What about "The Secret" and the theory that our thoughts manipulate our realities? Hmmmm. This is quite the conundrum and has got me thinking...

When you put your life in the hands, or the belly rather, of a 35 foot (and 35 year old) fiberglass sailboat floating in water with about 1,000 different things that can go wrong at any given time - it's probably not a bad law to be mindful of. In fact, I might just make a little placard to remind us of this.

I get a lot of flack for being (what I call) a realist - I tend not to expect the worst but prepare for it, and hope for the best (Who would dare go to sea, for example, without an emergency tiller? Anyone? Anyone? That's what I thought). Perhaps this is what Murphy's Law teaches us. Imagine, if you will, living on a boat with hundreds of feet of line, twine, wire, and rigging - gaskets, valves, hoses, and systems - connect all that to batteries, chargers, engines, and outlets and then have all of that sit, indefinitely, in corrosive salt water - you get the picture. Seems it is best to "expect the worst" because that way, you will (touch wood) be one *teeny tiny* step ahead of the constantly impending disaster that is one tug, push, pull, or flip of the switch away...

So really, Murphy just has a rather harsh way of making clear the importance of preparation, maintenance and stayin' on top of your shi...stuff.

Murphy, here's to you...and *hoping* you'll go easy on us. But we'll bring the emergency tiller (and the dingy, and the epirb, and the spares...), just in case.


Brittany and Scott


Last Paradise said...

Or Paper Charts... never go anywhere without a paper backup :)

Lisa Hanneman said...

My aunts and uncles always called Christina "Murph" when she was young. And the nickname still applies. She can give you plenty of insight on living within Murphy's Law.

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