Friday 3 October 2014

Sod's Law

Many years ago, I drafted a law that has continued to rule my life ever since. This was 'Sod's Law'. I am aware it is not the most elegant of titles but it seems the most apposite. "The co-operation of factors which are random and fortuitous operates in inverse ratio to the urgency of the need". To wit: When you have no need of a taxi, three plying for hire will pass you in as many minutes - or fewer. When you are desperately late and it's raining there is no sign of a 'For Hire' from where you are standing right up to the distant horizon. My most recent example pertains to a cancelled hospital appointment. I was to see an Opthamologist some Wednesdays ago. This appointment was cancelled and no replacement offered. I went to the department, I telephoned it and the appointments office for the whole out-patient system many times and got absolutely nowhere. Made robotic by the need to have a problem with one of my eyes resolved, came a day when I spent the whole morning on the phone, an automata with a dialling finger. Finally, I came upon a human who was familiar with the situation and was able to tell me that the person who made appointments was not there but would be in the next day. Noting in my diary to provide sustenance and water for the next day's waiting time I went down to pick up the post which had just arrived. You have guessed correctly: there on the mat was a letter from the hospital offering me an appointment in a few day's time:that wouild be Sod's law in triplicate. Examples come avalanching out so fast the old man in the archives is barely able to keep to his feet. You, too, will have experienced the toothache that goes as you ring the Dentist's door bell: the longed-for invitation that arrives just after you have committed to selling flags on a windy winter street for some charity you didnt even catch the name of. Sometimes it is possible to reverse the effect or create a solution which defeats the letter of the law without actually, criminally breaking it. During the scarlet swimsuit holiday, the Guru and I took a public ferry to an island opposite the bit of coast we were staying at. We drove five miles to the little emabarking port and left the hired car to bake itself in the sunshine. While lunching by the harbour, having a need for a comfort stop I encountered a lady who was staying at the same hotel. She and her husband had come in the hotel's private yacht. When offered a ride back on board with them, I demurred, saying we couldn't because we had left the car at the harbour. Reporting this to the Guru, he looked at me as if I had come from out of Space. "Blow the car," said he, "I will walk back on my knees, if necessary, to get it." While he froze with with hot embarrassment and tried to stop me, I went back to the lady and rescinded my polite refusal with an even politer acceptance. I have now totally lost the thread of where this fits with Sod's law. I think I may have been trying to say that having denied the co-operation of factors offering the Guru and me the unique chance of a voyage on a delightful private yacht I was able to restore the situation and comply with the Law after all. I need some sea air to clear my head. Bore da

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So happy you've spotlighted that phenomenon. It's been stalking me for ages