When stuff happens, blame Murphy’s Law

WASHINGTON — Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Welcome to Murphy’s Law.

I became a poster child for it this winter, as the Murphy Gods frowned upon me and toyed with my emotions and pocketbook.

It started on a snowy Christmas morning when my husband was out of town — in sunny Florida, I might add. I walked the dogs like I do every morning. But when I tried to come back through the garage, it would not open for me. There I was stuck outside with no cell phone or car keys. Bummer.

Lucky for me, a resourceful neighbor called several locksmiths until we realized no one would come help me that morning.

After 45 minutes, I considered taking his ax to my garage door. Then he asked a good question: “Could it be the battery?”

Of course!

A spare 9-volt battery got the door to open and erased all my angst.

That was until the Polar Vortex, by far the coldest day in years! We were ready, well stocked with food, gas in the cars, and wine chilling in the fridge.

Then the heater decided to die.

“I have opened hotels for Marriott globally, hundreds of them over the years,” says Terry Smith, Vice President of Engineering for Marriott International. “And if you don’t know who Murphy is, you will learn it very quickly from me. That Murphy’s here and he’s alive and well.”

All appliances are given a life expectancy by the manufacturer. If the items wear out at the end of the life expectancy period, you win. If it breaks halfway through, you lose.

The laws of probability are on Murphy’s side.

We all are victims. That important phone call comes just when you’re stepping in the shower. Or that Thanksgiving dinner for 12 is derailed by a broken oven. Maybe you bought a fifth row seat to a play, only for it to be ruined by a Shaquille O’Neal double who bought the seat right in front of you.

We can stress over it or we can roll with it. “Nothing you can do,” Smith adds, “that’s good Old Murphy again.”

WTOP’s Randi Martin contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter and WTOP on Facebook.

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