Len’s Law

Posted on February 1, 2014 under Storytelling with one comment

Ride on

We are all well aware of Murphy’s Law: anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Into the pantheon of phraseology, I would like to add my own: Len’s Law.  Buy something you have been putting off and within six months you won’t need it or will sell it.

The best example of this axiom is the purchase of a snow blower.  You have been shovelling your driveway, sidewalk and steps forever.  There was a time that this wasn’t such a big deal.  Actually, there was a time that one was very happy their neighbor didn’t own a snow blower.  When we were kids, we made lots of spending money shovelling people out after a storm.  Today, it is almost impossible to pry a young person away from a mobile device to do such mundane work.

But now, you are older.  Your joints creak and you spend more time talking about your ailments than you do about almost anything else, save the weather.  Now when it snows, you haul your arthritic body out of bed and reluctantly grab a shovel for what now has become a Herculean job.  Not so bad if it only snows once or twice each winter.

But then, you get the winter from hell and it seems that you spend all of your waking hours shovelling … and cursing.  Your spirit is finally broken and after years of thinking about it, you order a snow blower. You get the call from the supplier that your new toy has arrived… the day after the January thaw.  There is no evidence of snow, after three days of rain and +10 degree weather.   And you just know that it will not snow again this winter and possibly the next three.

People love living in the country.  They love the tranquility and the wide open spaces.  Most country folks have big lawns, sometimes a few acres or more.  You love the workout of mowing the lawn with a gas engine push mower.  Even though it takes several hours, you dismiss this because you are out in the fresh air and you absolutely worship the smell of fresh cut grass.

But over time, the chore seems to get tougher for reasons already explained.  You get one of those summers that it seems like the grass is growing just as fast as you can cut it.  You throw in the towel and finally buy a ride on mower.  “Nothing runs like a Deere.”  For the remainder of the summer there is an unprecedented heat wave and you never cut the lawn again.  And then your wife decides that she wants to move back to town.  You buy a mini home and put it in one of the parks.  The lawn is the size of a decent throw rug and you can cut it with a reasonably sharpened pair of scissors.

But my own personal favorite is home renovations.  You have always pined for a second bathroom in the house, having grown up in a family of ten with a single bathroom.  This will require an extension to your house that you can ill-afford.  You find several innovative ways to rationalize this purchase.

You have barely flushed the new toilet twice when you hear the ominous words: “This might be a good time to sell the house.”  Remarkably, despite a sluggish real estate market, your house sells quickly.  You never had the chance to enjoy the new part of the house and, of course, you never recover the cost of the renovation.

There is a corollary to Len’s Law: “If you want it to stop raining, buy an umbrella.”




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