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- Laura on Life -

Name That Force

October 14, 2009
Dysart Reporter


Laura Snyder

There is a phenomenon at work that we mere mortals simply do not understand. Some people call it Murphy's Law, but I think that it's more powerful than a law. It's more like a force. After all, a law can be broken. It's not a good idea to break a law, because one tends to spend a lot of time behind bars or earning the money to pay a fine, but, regardless, a law can be broken. Not so with the force at work that lets your car know when you have a surplus of cash. It's a force as predictable as the sunrise and sunset and as constant as the tides. My car is an inanimate object. It shouldn't "know" anything. But if it doesn't know anything, why does it blow a head gasket when a refund check finally arrives? Why does your hot water heater sacrifice itself to the powers that be only when you just cashed an overtime check? This phenomenon is not limited to automotive and appliance failures either. Somehow the universe knows when you've just raked and groomed your yard and sends, into your subdivision, a gale of tropical proportions that wasn't even mentioned on the Weather Channel. It blows down every loose limb and each tenaciously clinging leaf, thereby taking a days worth of yard work and flushing it down the porcelain pot.

How can it be that there is no name for this force? Could it be that, appropriately, there would have been a four-letter word in it? If so, then, if there were such a name in the past, people couldn't have used it in polite company. It would likely be turned into a verb eventually, and people would use it as if something "happened" to them. The *&%#@ Force would be turned into "I just got *&%#@ed!"

In the same way that this force makes it rain after you've washed your car and makes your kid's teacher sick on the one day he actually studied for the test, if you gave the force a name, it would immediately disappear. Life as we know it would be forever changed, but in a good way.

No longer would we be held captive by a force that makes you wear white only when a plateful of spaghetti is in your near future. No longer would your children be attracted to a just-mopped kitchen floor. The monster of irony would no longer show up on a pregnancy test the day after you and your husband decided to stop trying, If only the force had a name. All we need is a name, people! And the name can't be a four-letter word. Regardless of how much it deserves a four-letter word moniker, we must have a name that can be used anywhere, at any time. As soon as we have this name, we won't ever need to deal with this newly-named force ever again! We will turn this ornery force against itself!

However, once we have a name, we'll have to remember it, because if we forget it, the force will come back. It has probably happened many times. So here's the plan: We need to think of a name that we won't ever need to use; use it, even though it won't exist; and remember it, because if we forget it, that's when we're going to need it. Got it? Okay, let's get to work!



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