• Murphy was an Optimist
  • March 1998
    PEP Pioneers
    Second Wind
    Torrance, California
  • Dear Friends

    Since we celebrate St. Patrick's day this month, and because of the kind of day I had yesterday, I thought I would devote this message to Murphy, mythical philosopher to whom many humorous quotations are attributed. These are known as Murphy's Laws. Some of my favorite Murphy's Laws are the following:

  • Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
  • When something goes wrong, it will go wrong at the worst possible time.
  • Anything that can be misunderstood, has been misunderstood.
  • Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.
  • Attempting to correct a situation that is going bad, will produce worse results than letting nature take its course
  • .
  • Optimism indicates that the situation has not been clearly understood.
  • The probability of something happening is in inverse proportion to its desirability.
  • If everything seems to be going well, you have overlooked something.
  • If it is possible for more than one thing to go wrong, the thing that will go wrong is the one that will do the most damage.
  • Left to themselves, things always go from bad to worse.
  • Nothing is lost until you begin to look for it.
  • The chances of a piece of bread landing buttered-side down increases in direct proportion to the value of the carpeting.
  • You can't tell how deep a mud puddle is, until you step in it.


  • Well, let me tell you what happened yesterday. My computer went down and couldn't be fixed. My fax machine broke. And an important slide set I needed returned, got lost in the Canadian mail. Things seem to always run in threes. But, in spite of all, I remain an optimist. I think from now on I will follow my hero, famed pitcher Satchel Paige's aphorism, "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you."

    Have a Happy St. Patrick's Day. Ill be in touch next month

    Your friend,
  • Thomas Petty, MD