Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Muncie Boyhood-Murphy's Law and a Stapler

“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

That’s known as Murphy’s Law, and it’s true of many things. 

You never have a flat tire in the garage…nope, it will obviously happen on the interstate highway.  And, then, it won’t happen when you’re dressed in jeans and a work shirt.  No.  Rather, it will only happen when you’re dressed up in a nice suit.

If you drop a quarter on the kitchen floor, it will automatically roll under the stove.

The guy in front of you will only hit the brakes when you look down.  BOOM!

If one tiny chicken bone is left in the pot of chicken & noodles, It will end up with it on my plate.  FACT!

And, if the seam of your pants rips from front to back, it will only do so in public, and in a crowd.  EXPERIENCED!

I’ve officially ripped out my pants four times…every time in front of a group.

Event One

Sometime late in my high school career, I attended a Fairlawn Church of Christ youth group event at Prairie Creek Reservoir.  Often I would have driven myself, but thanks to Murphy and his law, I had decided to ride with the group in the church vehicle.  So, when I bent down to catch that softball someone tossed my way and I heard (and felt) that seam tear in my jeans, I had no choice but to retreat to the back of the Chevy 15-passenger van.  I resigned myself to social self-seclusion.  I was sitting dejected on the rear seat when I was rescued by one of the girls.  She handed me her hooded sweatshirt and I tied it around myself; then returned to the festivities.  Problem solved.  I may have looked like a giant teenage baby with a cloth diaper, but I still managed to hit a homerun or two in the softball game.

Event Two

I’d gone off to Williamstown Bible College in West Virginia, and each spring and fall, the ministry students traveled to another city to participate in a week-long “campaign.”  In the spring of my second year, we held a campaign at the Lindberg Road Church of Christ in Anderson, Indiana.  On the last night of the event, after all the official programs were over, the whole crew gathered at a local family’s home for a party...a local family with three teenage daughters.  At this point, I’m twenty years old…and still enough of a kid to enjoy hanging with all the teens.  So, there I was in my gray dress pants…my fairly old gray dress pants…out in front playing basketball.  The ball went up.  The ball went down.  I bent over to get it.  RIP!  Front to back!  There I was, undies to the wind, in front of all the guys…and more importantly, in front of all the girls.  Luckily, I had an extra pair of pants in the car, so I jumped in and slipped the extra pair over the ripped pair and returned to the party.

Event Three

After college, I returned home to Muncie and involved myself with the college-age group at my home church.  Among the many various activities was an annual bus trip to Chicago for a seminar.  It was March.  There was snow on the ground.  It was a long bus ride, and we stopped at a rest area along I-65.  Now, before I go on, you need to know that all of the luggage was piled up in the back five rows of the bus.  It was just thrown in there in no particular order.  Anyway, the whole group of passengers…goofy college boys and cute college girls…, well they all piled out to go take a leak.  Boys being boys, and snow being on the ground, a snowball fight naturally ensued.  I bent over to get me a good frozen missile when I heard (and felt) the opening of my rear window.  RIP!  Front to back!  I quickly retreated to the men’s room and sent a friend to retrieve my suitcase.  Of course, people started to ask: “Where’s Mike.”  My friend, being the honest guy he was, replied: “Oh, he ripped his pants out, so we’ve gotta get his bag for him to change.”  Of course, my return to the bus was met with more than one giggle and snicker.  My face was as red as my frozen butt.

Event Four

A couple of years later and I’m all grown up.  I have a full-time job slingin’ bearings at Bearings, Inc at the corner of Liberty & Willard streets.  I spent my days answering the phones and helping customers at the counter.  There were eight or nine of us in the branch plus a constant flow of customers.  A guy came in and asked for something we had in the warehouse.  I headed back to get it.  It was on the bottom shelf, so I bent over to get it.  RIP!  Front to back!  My fanny was in the breeze again!

So, I called to the warehouse guy:  “Hey Terry!  Can you help me out?”

“What do you need?” he replied.

“I’ve ripped my pants out.  Can you take this up to the guy at the counter for me?  Just tell him that I got tied up with something back here, so I asked you to take care of him.”

“Sure,” he says with a sneaky grin.

I grabbed a stapler and headed to the bathroom.  He grabbed the stuff and headed to the counter.

A few minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom with a pair of pants that you couldn’t get through the security gate at the airport to find an office full of sneaky smiles and a guy at the counter that was belly-laughing.  The information was too good for my warehouse guy to keep to himself. 

I overcame the embarrassment within a few minutes, but sitting at my desk was precarious the rest of the day.  There is a great reason that clothing companies do not use staples to make trousers.

So, take it from me.  Murphy’s Law will guarantee that if you wear your pants until they are threadbare, the butt seam will split at the most inopportune time.  Of course, maybe it wasn’t Murphy’s Law…maybe I was just a clothing dork.

No comments:

Post a Comment