Murphy’s Likelihood


The instant it happens, I’m reminded of one of Ernie’s more philosophical tweets:

It’s an inevitability of every friendship that you’ll one day see each other’s wangs. #cockwisdom

For me, that day is today. One minute I’m safely in a stall in the boys’ restroom, the next I’m standing back in Theo’s bedroom, pants down and čurák out.

The classic NES Konami pause jingle sounds.

Beta and Mini, sitting cross-legged on the floor, had been playing Super Smash Bros. before my untimely arrival, but now they’re frozen in place, gawking, jaws hanging open.

I yank up my pants, smile, wave, and say, “Hi, guys.”

The Konami jingle sounds again.

Beta and Mini unpause.

Mini wastes no time in asking the obvious: “Why did you show us your wang just now?”

“I think I dropped my phone in the toilet,” I reply.

“Is that a European thing?”

“Dropping phones in toilets?”

“No, peeing with your pants down.”

Beta glances sideways at Mini. “What’s wrong with a dude dropping his pants to take a leak?”

“Nothing. It’s just…unorthodox.”

“And you know this how?”

“Common knowledge,” Mini says. “Only freshly potty-trained toddlers making poo or high-school jocks about to get their knobs polished lower their pants in a public restroom.”

“Again, you know this how?”

Mini gets a far-away look on his face. “To quote Neil Peart, ‘the joy and pain that we receive each comes with its own cost—’”

“Okay, new topic, please,” Beta interrupts with a frown. He sets down his controller. “Jan, exactly how did you drop your phone in the toilet?”

I hang my head. “I forgot I didn’t have a shirt pocket.”

Beta smiles, amused. “Oh, Maurice Moss. What is it with you and phones?”

“I think I’m cursed.”

“Don’t beat yourself up over it,” Mini says. “Statistically speaking, you’re right on track. Murphy’s Likelihood.”

“Murphy’s Likelihood?”

“You’ve heard of Murphy’s Law, right?”

“Yeah.” I think for a moment. “That was the eighties movie where Eddie Murphy played a cop.”

Beta glowers at me, murderous. “Meanwhile, as I add Beverly Hills Cop to a VLC playlist titled, ‘all-time classic unseen eighties movies preventing Jan from ever attaining proper manhood…’”

“Murphy’s Likelihood,” Mini continues, “is an offshoot of Murphy’s Law. Where Murphy’s Law dictates that what can go wrong, will go wrong, Murphy’s Likelihood states that what goes wrong will occur sooner rather than later. Let’s say you get a new pair of glasses. The odds are high that you’ll damage them in some way at least once in the first year of ownership. The odds are even higher that you’ll damage them in the first half of said year rather than in the second half. Especially if you can only afford to replace your glasses once a year. That’s Murphy’s Likelihood.”

“But I don’t wear glasses,” I say.

“Phone, glasses, laptop, car—it doesn’t matter. You’re less likely to incur damage at the end of the term of ownership. It’s always at the very beginning so that you wind up having to use a damaged product for the remainder of ownership. It’s part of the universe’s ongoing cosmic stand-up comedy routine.”

“That sounds made up.”

Mini looks at Beta. “I’m not wrong, am I?”

“You’re not not right, is more like it,” Beta replies.

“Don’t be so double negative.”

“Good one.” Beta and Mini bump fists.

I shake my head. “Murphy’s Likelihood can’t be a real thing, can it?”

Beta glares at me. “Just ask anyone who’s ever dropped their new smartphone in the toilet the first day they got it.”

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Published by

Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.