Column: Murphy’s law

Tim Eggerding

Tim Eggerding

By Angela Loiacono

If anything can go wrong, it will. This is the phrase commonly known as Murphy’s Law, and its illogical effects have now become my favorite excuse. Murphy’s Law is a great example of the irony that lies behind every unexpected outcome. It’s the one thing you can blame for that time you expected everything to run smoothly, and it all just goes wrong. One reality we all must accept is that sometimes things just go wrong, and we have to deal with it. Everyone must come to understand that life isn’t fair and things may fall apart at the worst of times – so have a sense of humor about it.

Murphy’s Law had power over my entire weekend, so I thought I would give a little disgruntled tribute to the phrase that affects everyone now and then.

Support the Daily Illini in College Media Madness!

Help the Daily Illini take back the top spot in the College Media Madness fundraising competition! See the current ranking here.

learn more
donate now

From the time I got in the car to the time I arrived back in Champaign, Murphy was hovering over my head, plotting and scheming. Things will always go wrong when you really don’t want them to. But trust me it’s not the end of the world – it’s just Murphy’s Law.

I embarked on a ski trip last weekend in hopes of a good time and some relaxation. Of course, on the one weekend in which I have to drive for six hours there is a horrible snowstorm affecting every possible route from here to Wisconsin. And of course, as I take my third run down the hill, I injure my back. A nice ambulance ride and hospital stay followed. Just as I was thinking to myself that skiing was easy, Murphy and his law had to prove me wrong.

I would just like to state how much Murphy’s Law is overly prevalent and unwelcome. Murphy’s Law may be comparable to the proverbial angel on one shoulder, devil on the other. Just when you think everything will run smoothly, a pitchfork gets thrown into the plans. It’s just like how everyone comes to college swearing on the Bible that they won’t gain the freshman fifteen. Well, guess what? Somehow it always works out that it rains the day you want to go running outside. It’s like Murphy is embodied in this little man who watches over you and conjures up a plan to mess things up.

According to The Desert Wings, a military publication, Capt. Edward A. Murphy coined the phrase. The phrase originated at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949, when Murphy was working on a project. One day while he was working, he discovered a problem with the wiring and cursed the person responsible saying, “If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.” Ever since, Murphy’s Law, as it was called, has been a common phrase among several countries.

Some believe that this seemingly innocent law might be the handiwork of some evil practical joker. Hell, maybe it’s God punishing us for all the little white lies we’ve told. But really it’s just a fun way of blaming a phrase for the irony of life. Otherwise, there really isn’t an explanation for grabbing a pen as you run out the door on the way to a Scan-Tron final. Just think about it – how many times have you gone to get the gallon of milk out of the refrigerator after you’ve eaten chocolate chip cookies, only to find out your roommate put the empty carton back on the shelf?

My personal favorite is running late and discovering that the place you put your keys every single day was not where you put them yesterday. Sure, lots of things happen by weird coincidence or accident, but it’s a lot more fun to blame a phrase than your own stupidity. So, the next time you miss class because for the first time in your life you forgot to set your alarm, you’ll have something to blame for it.

Angela Loiacono is a sophomore in LAS. Her column appears Fridays. She can be reached at [email protected]