Archive for May 14th, 2007

Murphy Was An Optimist!

Monday, May 14th, 2007

Murphy’s Law says “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

Even if your town has gone 143 days without measurable precipitation, it will rain or your parade (or backyard party, wedding, family reunion, etc.) And if it doesn’t rain, you’ll have hail, locusts, or a dust storm. Worse yet, the disaster that befalls you may turn out to have been both preventable and man-made (like forgetting to turn off the timer on the lawn sprinkler.) For more reasons not to plan your event anywhere except a climate-controlled ballroom, please read my entry for March 12, 2007: “The Inconvenient Truth About Outdoor Events.”

However, just because you are indoors doesn’t mean Murphy will go bother someone else. At my first event this past Saturday – a festive afternoon gathering in the lobby of a high-rise condominium – beautiful piano music was supposed to fill the air. Unfortunately, no one had remembered to turn off the Muzak. And the only person with a key to the canned music was – of course – someone who leaves the building at 5PM on Friday and doesn’t return until Monday. So, the baby grand was in a perfect spot, and the piano tuner, decorators, and caterer had all done their jobs. Everything was ideal, except that there was one music source too many. Live piano competed with Memorex strings and the guests were the losers.

No such problem marred the evening event – a wedding reception at a local country club. In fact everything went splendidly, right up to the stroke of 11PM. That’s when the air conditioner turned itself off. Somebody, it seems, forgot to re-program the system. By the time the glitch was caught and rectified, the damage was done. The dancers – including the bride and groom – were miserably hot, and what had up ’til then been the “perfect” night ended on a down-note. Once again, a “little” thing – easily overlooked – became a big problem.

Of such tiny oversights are party disasters made. When the event is yours, becoming a nit-picky detail freak pessimist is not necessarily a bad thing. Never blithely assume that things will turn out all right or take care of themselves. Opportunity knocks but once – Murphy, however, comes back again and again. Only your obsessive attention to the “little” things will keep him from crashing your party.