Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encourage here, too!
The ruling force of my life is The Law of Sod: if anything can go wrong, it will. My problem with today’s prompt is the absence of the comedic element. Sod’s Law applying, no doubt the more that I wrack my brain to find a funny memory, the less able I shall be so to do.
It’s ironic really. I am, after all, a twin – and how often they turn up in Shakespearean comedy, not to mention lesser farce. Can I think of one single occasion where humour has resulted from the earlier splitting of an egg. Don’t be daft. I can dredge up misery and I can serve it up for laughs, but that does not make it a comedy of errors.
It was only when considering today’s prompt that I learned that Sod’s Law has three parts. Let us discuss:
Oh my, this Part might be termed “The Scope For Slapstick” or “Life’s Battles With the Inanimate.” I do have problems with the inanimate…
Example from A Life
November, 1978. I can be accurate about this as the Bread Strike is a matter of historical record. I would make bread rather than queue for it… Bowl made ready and sieve at hand, I reach for the canister of flour on the pantry top shelf. Sod enters the room and the canister topples from the top shelf and out of my grasp, striking me with a full 3 kilo mass on the head and knocking me back on to the floor on my bum, The lid, naturally, is not fixed tight and yours truly is covered in flour, top down.
There is, of course, no spare flour after the mess has been cleared, it all hit the floor. Sod and I end up companionably in the bread queue, as the shop has sold out of bread flour (See Sod’s Second Law)
That permanent sense of impending doom? Yes, it’s Old Sod hanging over your shoulder, with his foetid breath clouding your nostrils.
Example from A Life
Sod is oft present in the workplace.
A manager gives leave for higher level study on day release. He rearranges workloads to allow you a day off each week once the course begins. That manager is meanwhile replaced with a new one, who clearly finds the notion ludicrous – she does not rescind study leave but insists that a full workload is carried. Sod rubs his hands with glee while you gibber and balance your Saturday and Sunday working with the need to read course texts.
Concurrently, Sod naturally cannot keep his nose out of your private life and arranges for a particularly unpleasant Divorce to screw up your studies with further stress and assorted unpleasantness. You sit looking at blank paper and cry when you should be writing up assignments. Sod does the Happy Dance, stage left.
Is that enough for Old Sod? Nah. He takes an interest in the classroom too… he’s like that. Interested. Too damn interested. Now he arranges for your Databases Module to be assessed on Project Work only and he thinks it would be fun for you to have to tackle a project in a subject area that you not only hate but also have no knowledge whatsoever of – Sports Records. He tosses you your assignment, to produce a database for The Olympics. Old Sod is giggling with glee, while you consider the option of giving up on your MSc., this late in the game (See Sod’s Other Law)
Next day, your not-so-wonderful new boss suggests that you would like to take on a new Business re-engineering project, additional to your current workload. The offer is made, Mafia-like, on account of the fact that it would look great on your CV. Mind you, so would that MSc.
Tell me about it! This is the one that gets me every time. It appears always that the more trouble I take to ensure that something goes well, the more it seems intended to fail.
Example from A Life
This part of Sod’s Law seems mainly to be prevalent in my kitchen. This may be simply because of the amount of time that I spend there and the importance that I place on serving great food to the folks that I love. You may guarantee that anything thrown together on whim, without benefit of a recipe and with uncertainty regarding methods and temperatures… that, that will turn out beautifully. Try to plan a celebratory meal, or a special cake and take care over it, and everything goes tits up. Every.Single.Time.
Our first Wedding Anniversary? An ambitious vegetarian feast featuring char-grilled halloumi and asparagus with a beetroot salad. It’s New Year’s Eve and we are 1,500 feet up in the Southern Uplands and there is a snowstorm. Just as I am laying the table, the power goes off. It’s New Year. In Scotland. A Mega-holiday. The roads are blocked and the power workers cannot reach us. We celebrate our anniversary under the duvet (no great hardship) but all the time Sod is working against us. How were we to know that we had a pumped water supply? No electricity = no water. We spend what was to have been a romantic weekend, trying to thaw buckets of snow for flushing the toilet… and being thirsty. Bottled water is supplied to the village unbeknownst to us, but the Council miss our address as our house is set back away from the road and the snowplough advancing in front of the water lorry piles so much snow across our drive that nobody can get in or out.
What a jolly jape, dear Sod.
Life would be dull without you, I suppose.
Come to think on it, I suppose it is an example of Sod’s Law in effect, that I should have a twin and yet fail to achieve a comedy of errors for my reader’s benefit…