There are many laws that we are required to abide by, whether we like it or not. Here are some that are not requirements but have probably happened to most of us:

Law of mechanical repair

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch, and you will have to go to the bathroom.

Now, granted, I have never – nor will I ever – repaired a car. However, I know all about hands full of grease. I might have been pounding a lump of hamburger into submission. I might have just poured a handful of body lotion into my hands and begun to rub both arms or legs. That’s when, guaranteed, the phone will ring. The phone might have been silent all day long, but it will ring at that precise moment. It’s actually spooky.

Law of gravity

I teach young children about gravity and what happens in space where there is no gravity. What I don’t teach them is what happens when you are in a hurry, and you drop something vital to where you are going or what you are doing. Then, it rolls to the least accessible place in the universe, and you spend agonizing minutes searching frantically for it, because you can’t leave without it.

Law of probability

The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your action. Yep. Do something really dumb, and I can promise you, for a minute, the whole world will seem to be on the same page and looking at you. Do it in a classroom or office space with many workers, and maybe even the aliens in space will be watching you.

Law of random numbers

If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal; someone always answers.

Sometimes that’s not a bad thing. I remember one time when my daughter Anne Marie answered the phone, and it was a wrong number. We had been eating dinner at the time, and Anne Marie did not immediately return to the table.

When she finally did, I asked, “What kept you so long?”

“Oh,” Anne Marie responded, “this person was having some problems, and I tried to help.”

So, I guess some wrong numbers can come in handy. We never heard back, but I sure hope that Anne Marie’s advice was taken and did the job.

Variation law

If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now. Beware!

This is always true. It has happened to me many times. It doesn’t matter if I am in a line at the grocery store or in a car waiting at the drive-thru of a bank. Almost the instant I move (and, of course, another car immediately pulled into the space I vacated), the car or the person I had been waiting behind also moves. The line I moved to slows and takes forever.

Law of the bath

When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone will ring, the smallest child will cry or a chilling scream will arise and linger in the air. It’s probably why I no longer take a bath. Showers are my favorite now. If necessary, and it sometimes is, I can leap from the shower, wrap a towel around me and do what is necessary.

Of course, if it’s the telephone under those circumstances, it will be a telemarketer. If it’s a child crying, it’s because he or she got a scratch on their finger, and it bled one drop. If it’s a scream, it’s probably because someone forgot something in the oven. But let me not respond, and it will surely be a tragedy I could have prevented.

Law of the result

When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will! That exact thing happened to me recently. I was frantically pushing a button, which obstinately refused to move the machine I was trying to move. I want to assure you that I did not just do it one time; I did it many times. I was annoyed and frustrated.

Finally, a co-worker came into view. I explained the problem, tears in my eyes. Sympathetically, she also pushed the button. The machine moved. She did it lightly; she did it once ... and it worked. Why couldn’t she have struggled a little, too?

The law of commercial marketing strategy

As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it or the store will stop selling it.

I honestly try not to like any of the makeup I purchase. Of course, I apply it. I would frighten people should I go out in public without it. But I try to not approve too much of it. If I do, sure as shooting, the next time I visit the store, the clerk (if I can possibly find one) will tell me that the company no longer makes that product.

“We have a very nice replacement,” she will say. “Perhaps you’d like to try that.”

In desperation, I will. I will hate it and yearn for the first one, but it will never be made again.

Law of biomechanics

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

I cannot tell you how many times I have yearned for a good back scratching. And I have tried everything I can think of to satisfy that yearning – a fork, the trim on a door, a long-pronged cooking utensil (with care, of course). Sometimes it helps, but it never really satisfies. What I really need to do is invent a back scratcher that actually works. And think of the money I would make! Surely I’m not the only person in the world who likes their back scratched.

These are laws that I have seen in motion. I don’t always like them, but I can tell you that they are real, and they operate in most everyone’s universe. Be careful out there!


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