Milo Yield: Sometimes, Murphy’s Law gives you a much-needed break
Sometimes I think Murphy — you know, the guy who invented the law that if anything can go bad it will — decides it’s time to reverse his law and take pity on folks, like me, who are absolutely and totally mechanically inept.
Let me explain. Last week, the air compressor that my son-in-law, Poe Laris, gave me a dozen years ago decided to shoot craps on me. It has worked perfectly, and, in fact, less than a week before I’d aired up a low tire on my pickup with it. But, this time when I plugged it into the electrical plug-in, nothing happened. Nothing! Nary a “putt” or a “whine” or a “growl.” Silence.
Next time I went to town, I stopped at the farm supply store and priced new air compressors. They cost several hundred bucks, and one the size of my old one cost more than $500. When I saw the price, I decided that I might find someone to fix the old one for less.
Well, the next day, I decided to just try the old compressor again. Before I plugged it in, I banged it hard on the garage floor a couple of times. Then, “Bingo!” When I plugged it in, the old critter rattled to life like nothing had ever been wrong with it. Go figure.
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But, that’s not all. After the cold snap, when the weather warmed up above freezing, I noticed that my secondhand refrigerator in the garage — the one I use to store my eggs for sale, cool my liquid refreshments and bottled water, keep my vaccines in, keep my fishing worms alive and freeze bottles of ice in the summer — had quit working and the ice in the freezer had melted and dripped down onto all my eggs-in-cartons.
Darn the luck! Now, I’d have to keep my eyes open for another used fridge.
Well, lucky me, my good friend and neighbor, Harley Ryder, happened to have a used fridge he wuzn’t using sitting in his basement. We agreed on a price and I told him as soon as the ground got solid again, I’d come to his place and get the fridge.
So, on the day I wuz to do the deed, I emptied the old fridge of everything and left the door open for it to dry out. Voila! After a few minutes, I heard the fridge compressor kick on and, lo and behold, it started freezing again like it nothing had happened. Guess it just needed a vacation from work.
I took the opportunity, since the old thing wuz empty, to wash it and clean it with hot, soapy water. I even vacuumed off the coils in the back. It needed a thorough cleaning badly.
Afterwards, I put the eggs in new cartons, repositioned a couple of shelves to accommodate my refreshments better, and put in a couple of plastic gallon bottles of water to freeze into ice. That wuz several days ago and the old fridge is still purring like new.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank “Mr. Murphy” for taking pity on me. I hope he didn’t just set me up for a couple of expensive disappointments later on this winter. I told Harley to cancel the sale, but not to sell his used fridge. I might need it later.
A city friend of mine asked me what I thought he needed to defend his home.
I suggested a 9 mm, a couple clips and a box of shells. A few days later, he sent me a picture of an open-end wrench, two paper clips and a box of sea shells he’d gathered at the beach on his last vacation. He wanted me to tell him how to make it work and explain why it would protect his home and family.
For once, I wuz at a loss for words. But, I wrote back and told him, “Put all that stuff in a box on a shelf, lock your home and hope you’re lucky.”
Thanks to a kindly Missouri reader for e-mailing me these “Undeniable Facts of Life:”
1. Don’t educate your children to be rich. Educate them to be happy so, when they grow up, they will know the value of things, not the price.
2. Eat your food as your medicines, otherwise you’ll be eating your medicines as your food.
3. The one who loves you will never leave you because, even if there are 100 reasons to give up, he or she will find one reason to hold on.
4. There is a big difference between a human being and being human. Only the rare few really understand the difference.
5. You are loved when you are born. You will be loved when you die. In between, you just have to manage!
6. If you just want to walk fast, walk alone! But if you want to walk far, walk together!
7. The best six doctors in the world are: sunlight, rest, exercise, good food, self confidence and friends. Maintain them in all in balance and enjoy a happy life.
Recently I’ve been ending my column with “bumper sticker” wisdom. So, here’s a couple from the Geezer Shop: “Young at heart. Much older everywhere else.” “I don’t think about dying … it’s the last thing I want to do.” And from CafePress: “I’m speeding because I have to get there before I forget where I’m going.” “I don’t exercice because it makes my coffee spill.” “I’m retired. I was tired yesterday and I’m tired again today.” “At my age, happy hour is a nap!” “Goodbye tension. Hello, pension.” And finally, “Live each day like it’s your last. One day you’ll get it right.”
Enuf wisdom for one column. Have a good ‘un. ❖
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