Murphy’s Other Law

In honor of St. Paddy’s Day, it only seems fitting to pay tribute to the great Irish philosopher and noted lawmaker, Murphy. Now, I don’t know anything about his history, family life, or how many pints of Guinness he could drink before he had to relieve himself, but I am familiar with his laws.

One that I seem intent on proving and reproving multiple times daily is the famous, “Whichever lane I move to will immediately slow down, and the one I left will immediately speed up.” This law applies not only to traffic, but supermarkets, department stores, and public restrooms—any place where lines are formed. A nice addendum would be, “If you’re in a hurry, don’t follow Russell.”

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the Chief Justice who presides over the court of Fictioneers is the honorable Peppermint Patty Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the avatars of all the kangaroos in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Court click here.

copyright - Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
copyright – Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

March 17, 1886

After not seeing another human for six months, a mountain man stopped by today and invited me to a party at his cabin.

He warned me there would be plenty of whiskey and heavy drinking. I assured him that as an old sailor, I’d emptied many tankards of rum.

Then he mentioned there would likely be some fighting. Whereupon, I shared stories of past brawls and melees.

Upon leaving, he informed me his parties often concluded with people having sex. I fought to conceal my excitement.

“What should I wear?” I asked.

“Nothing fancy,” he replied. “It’ll just be the two of us.”



57 Comments on “Murphy’s Other Law

  1. That’s going to be some party. I know I’m not invited, but just in case you have to give back-word, please tell him I’m washing my hair that night. Whenever it is. Good one, Russell.


  2. ha ha. Was that you driving ahead of me today? No wonder I was stuck in traffic 🙂
    I hear things about sailors…may be the narrator will be OK at this party.


  3. Dear Murphy,

    I’ve got to quit getting behind you in the lines at Walmart. Of course when there are only two checkers for twelve lanes…But then it gives one time to watch the freak show, doesn’t it?

    I think your narrator might be wishing for a spot in that line. Didn’t expect that ending…glad I’d set my coffee down. 😉


    Peppermint Patty


    • Dear P.P. (you like how I abbreviated that?)
      I’m glad you brought that up about the 12 lanes and 2 checkers. It’s a conspiracy I tell you.

      And you know who owns most of those gas stations in Walmart parking lots?? “Murphy” Oil of course. (not me, but that other Murphy) What a coincidence.

      See you in the slow lane,


  4. I share your fate in the lines. Maybe we shoud drive side-by-side on the highway one day, people behind us would pay us to get off the road.
    That said, funny story. Maybe he likes the party, who knows.


    • I’ve seen truckers do that. It’s not as impressive when your driving a dinky little foreign car.

      I’m thinking our guest is figuring out an excuse to cancel at the last minute.


  5. Russell, that last line made me laugh for at least a minute straight. Actually, I’m still laughing. 🙂 Wonderful story. Happy St. Paddy’s (Week).


  6. Well, did you go for it? After all you hadn’t seen another human in six months and you were all alone with your stamp collecting kit, warm milk, and multiple viewings of Mr. Johnny Carson. What’s that? What did you say? No, this is one story where there isn’t any role reversal!


    • Let’s just say this is one of those stories where the reader is left in suspense. He did have a lot of nice things to say about my stamp collection.


  7. See? i KNEW you’d be writing about Perry’s misadventures again. What in the world, man?
    If I had been drinking something I would have spewed, it was so funny! Thanks, Russell. 😀


  8. Hahaha! This was brilliant! Why don’t I ever get invited to parties like that?!


  9. Talk about lonely. I bet not even ghosts come near that cabin. I think he’s gone over the edge. Looks like he’s past lonely and well into looney. Drivers here would love lines. Here they come from all directions and even take to the sidewalks. Hilarious, Russell. 😀 — Suzanne


    • I’ve heard the driving was crazy in India.
      Like Grandpa always said, “If you don’t like the way I drive, stay off the sidewalk.”


  10. Ah, Russell, the old ones are the best (present company excepted).
    But you told it so well, sir, that I might drop by myself…


    • Yeah, that’s joke’s been around a while C.E., but it appears most of the folks here hadn’t heard it. I’m sure the mountain man would welcome you with open arms.


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