Mr. Murphy and Me

Okay, folks., i am resurfacing my Murphy’s Law posts and thought for those of you who have not read my posts of how Mr. Murphy and i developed a relationship beginning over 43 years ago might appreciate them.

i was on a deployment to the Western Pacific as the Current Operations Officer on the Commander, Amphibious Squadron FIVE staff in autumn 1979. i received a package at the Subic Bay Naval Base before we left for a Hong Kong Christmas (undoubtedly the best Christmas i ever had away from family). i decided to wait until Christmas day to open my gifts received in the family package.

On Christmas Day, i opened my gifts. My Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Pipey (James) Orr had sent me a “Murphy’s Law” desk calendar. i was delighted after reading the first several days.

The staff would meet in the staff wardroom every day at 0800 except when in a liberty port or during a holiday routine. The commodore would sit at the head of the table. The chief of staff would be to his right and the operations officer would be at his right. The other officers would find the seats to their liking and the enlisted staff members would sit in the remaining seats or stand behind those seated.

The commodore would receive the status and updates beginning with the operations officer and continuing clockwise around the table, ending with the chief of staff comments, followed by the commodore’s thoughts on what had been reported and any news he wished to depart to to the entire staff.

Mike Peck, a lieutenant commander like me, who was our “tacron” officer and responsible for air control during squadron operations, and i conferred and decided we would sit next to the chief of staff and thus be the last ones to make a report since all of the staff who wanted to seem important sat where they could be one of the first to speak, by the time it got to Mike and me, there was nothing to say. Pete Toennies, a lieutenant and the UDT advisor assigned to staff for the deployment, recognized what we were doing and started to sit with us.

As i was reading my daily Murphy’s Law calendar entry in mid-January, i realized many of the laws applied to our staff. i was also beginning to feel a bit guilty about n1ot saying anything at the morning message meetings. The next day, i began reading my daily laws to the commodore and the staff. It was a big hit. The daily reading became a part of our message meetings until i left the staff in August of 1981 to become the weapons officer of the USS Okinawa (LPH 3).

As i began to read the daily calendar, i cut it out and taped the law onto my notebook sized yearly calendar. i filled up about a dozen of those calendars with Murphy’s Laws.

My Uncle Pipey (James Orr) passed away in 1990. i suspect he was the originator of my Christmas present. Aunt Evelyn continued to send them until dementia kept her from doing so. Their daughter, my cousin as close as a sister continued to send them for several years. Then i began to order them for special family and friends until they quit selling them about four years ago.

For a number of years, i would pull out my old calendars and post a Murphy’s Law. i did this in several ways. i missed them.

So, for you all of you, i once again give you a daily Murphy’s Law. They may not be daily, but they will be regular.

For today:

Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

2 thoughts on “Mr. Murphy and Me

  1. A Murphy’s Law, from personal experience:

    There is nothing more satisfying that having someone take a shot at you, and miss.

  2. Murphy’s law became my bible along with the addendum of a giggle because along with a daily dose of Murphy’s Law there should always be a giggle 🤭

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