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Praise Murphy

by Nat Torkington
Sep. 9, 2002

I think it was Dave Winer's Scripting News where I first saw "Murphy willing" in print. The phrase must have stuck in my head, because I just had a brainstorm ...

The phrase Murphy willing (as in I'll ship version 1.0 on Monday, Murphy willing) is God willing with a tip of the hat to the Murphy of Murphy's Law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong). I've had my fair share of exploding drives, file corruption, and programmer (i.e., my) stupidity that conspire to make me miss deadlines. I can easily believe that the old whitehaired guy in the sky who screws with our lives is called Murphy.

So what other religious phrases can we adapt to Murphyism? Well, obviously when Monday comes around and you do manage to ship 1.0, you should Praise Murphy!. And if you find yourself in management or some other messy situation, you should ask yourself What Would Murphy Do? (the answer might be: Murphy Would Read The F.... Manual).

Don't be the last on your block to get a Murphy Saves bumpersticker. Ask your friends, Have you accepted Murphy as your personal savior?. I haven't read enough of the Book of Murphy yet to know whether Murphy died for my bugs, or because of them. I'll keep you posted ...

(Servant of Murphy)

Nat Torkington is conference planner for the Open Source Convention, OSCON Europe, and other O'Reilly conferences. He was project manager for Perl 6, is on the board of The Perl Foundation, and is a frequent speaker on open source topics. He cowrote the bestselling Perl Cookbook.

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