Murphy's Laws L


La Rochefoucauld's Law
It is more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.

Labor Law
A disagreeable law is its own reward.

First Law of Laboratory Work
Hot glass looks exactly the same as cold glass.

LaCombe's Rule of Percentages
The incidence of anything worthwhile is either 15-25 percent or 80-90 percent.
Corollary (Dudenhoefer) - An answer of 50 percent will suffice for the 40-60 range.

Lafayette's Reprisal
The squeaky wheel gets replaced.

Laird's Law
Toothache tends to start on Saturday night.

Lamb's law of car purchasing
If you buy your first new car in fifteen years, next years they will introduce a new model with twenty
seven new features never seen on a car before and the introductory price of the car will be eleven
hundred dollars less than you paid for yours.

Landlord's Dilemmas
1.The hot water heater pump that fails will only do so after 5:00 P.M. on Friday evening when every
tenant in the building is having a dinner party.
2.The next day , the only supplier in town that stocks parts for the pump tells you that the widget
needed to fix it is in a warehouse in Cleveland and the warehousemen there have been on strike for
seventeen weeks.
3.You are forced to buy a second rate heater and pump [sold only as a package] for six hundred and
fifty dollars, and have it installed by a plumber at double time rates on Sunday morning.
4.On Monday at 9:00:A.M. the strike is settled.
5.On Monday at 9:15:A.M. the hardware store owner calls and says he has found a box containing
thirty seven widgets on a shelf in his back room and he will sell one to you at the old price of ten

Langin's Law
If things were left to chance, they'd be better

Langsam's Second Law
Everything depends.

Lani's Principles of Economics
1.Taxes are not levied for the benefit of the taxed.
2.$100 placed at 7% interest compounded quarterly for 200 years will increase to more than
$100,000,000 by which time it will be worth nothing.
3.In God we trust; all others pay cash.

Larkinson's Law
All laws are basically false.

Larrimer's Constant
What this world needs is a damned good plague.

Larsen's Observations
1.Asking dumb questions. Is easier than correcting dumb mistakes.
2.He who hesitates is probably right.
3.When all else fails try the boss's suggestions.

Las Vegas's Axioms
1.It is morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money
2.A Smith and Wesson beats a royal flush.

The Last Law
If several things that could have gone wrong did not go wrong, it would ultimately have been better if
they had gone wrong.

de la Lastra's Law
After the last of 16 mounting screws has been removed from an access cover, it will be discovered
that the wrong access cover has been removed.
de la Lastra's Corollary
After an access cover has been secured by 16 hold-down screws, it will be discovered that the
gasket has been omitted.

Law of Late-Comer
Those who have the shortest distance to travel invariably arrive latest.

Law of Late-Comers
Those who have the shortest distance to travel invariably arrive latest.

Laura's Law
No child throws up in the bathroom.

Law of Lawmaking
Those who express random thoughts to legislative committees are often surprised and appalled to
find themselves the instigators of law.

Laws of Applied Confusion
1.The one piece that the plant forgot to ship is the one that supports 75% of the balance of the
Corollary - Not only did the plant forget to ship it, 50% of the time they haven't even made it.
2.Truck deliveries that normally take one day will take five when you are waiting for the truck.
3.After adding two weeks to the schedule for unexpected delays, add two more for the unexpected,
unexpected delays.
4.In any structure, pick out the one piece that should not be mismarked and expect the plant to cross
you up.
1.In any group of pieces with the same erection mark on it, one should not have that mark on it.
2.It will not be discovered until you try to put it where the mark says it's supposed to go.
3.Never argue with the fabricating plant about an error. The inspection prints are all checked off, even
to the holes that aren't there.

Laws of Computability as Applied to Social Science
1.Any system or program, however complicated, if looked at in exactly the right way, will become even
more complicated.
2.If at first you don't succeed, transform your data set.

Laws of Dormitory Life
1.The amount of trash accumulated within the space occupied is exponentially proportional to the
number of living bodies that enter and leave within any given amount of time.
2.Since no matter can be created or destroyed (excluding nuclear and cafeteria substances), as one
attempts to remove unwanted material (i.e., trash) from one's living space, the remaining material
mutates so as to occupy 30 to 50 percent more than its original volume.
Corollary - Dust breeds.
3.The odds are 6:5 that if one has late classes, one's roommate will have the EARLIEST possible
Corollary 1: One's roommate (who has early classes) has an alarm clock that is louder than God's
Corollary 2: When one has an early class, one's roommate will invariably enter the space late at
night and suddenly become hyperactive, ill, violent, or all three.

Laws of Fashion and Fads
1.Indecent 10 years before its time,
2.Daring 1 year before its time,
3.Chic in its time,
4.Dowdy 3 years after its time,
5.Hideous 20 years after its time,
6.Amusing 30 years after its time,
7.Romantic 100 years after its time,
8.Beautiful 150 years after its time.

Laws of Gardening
1.Other people's tools work only in other people's yards.
2.Fancy gizmos don't work.
3.If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
4.You get the most of what you need the least.

Laws of Government
1.If anything can go wrong, it will do so, in triplicate.
2.Things go right so they can go wrong.
3.Men and nations will act responsibly when all other possibilities have been exhausted.
4.Life liberty or property are not safe while the legislature is in session.

Laws of Institutional Food
1.Everything is cold except what should be.
2.Everything, including the corn flakes, is greasy.

Laws of Procrastination
1.Procrastination shortens the job and places the responsibility for its termination on someone else
(the authority who imposed the deadline).
2.It reduces anxiety by reducing the expected quality of the project from the best of all possible efforts
to the best that can be expected given the limited time.
3.Status is gained in the eyes of others, and in one's own eyes, because it is assumed that the
importance of the work justifies the stress.
4.Avoidance of interruptions including the assignment of other duties can be achieved, so that the
obviously stressed worker can concentrate on the single effort.
5.Procrastination avoids boredom; one never has the feeling that there is nothing important to do.
6.It may eliminate the job if the need passes before the job can be done.

Laws of Revision
1.The more innocuous the modification appears to be, the further its influence will extend and the
more plans will have to be redrawn.
2.If, when completion of a design is imminent, field dimensions are finally supplied as they actually
are, instead of as they were meant to be, it will be easier to start all over.
3.After painstaking and careful analysis of a sample, you are always told that it is the wrong sample
and doesn't apply to the problem.
Corollary - It is usually impractical to worry beforehand about interferences -- if you have none,
someone will make one for you.

Laws of Serendipity
1.In order to discover anything you must be looking for something.
2.If you wish to make an improved product, you must already be engaged in making an inferior one.

Laws of Telephone Dynamics
1.The phone call you've been waiting for comes the minute you close and lock the door and start
walking downstairs or when you have just comfortably immersed your entire body in a tub full of
2.Whomever you call will always have just left for the day, one minute ago.
3.You never get a busy signal when you dial a wrong number .

Laws of the Frisbee
1.The most powerful force in the world is that of a disc straining to land under a car, just beyond reach.
(The technical term for this force is "car suck".)
2.The higher the quality of a catch or the comment it receives, the greater the probability of a crummy
return throw. ("Good catch. . . Bad throw.")
3.One must never precede any maneuver by a comment more predictive than, "Watch this!" (Keep
'em guessing.)
4.The higher the costs of hitting any object, the greater the certainty it will be struck. (Remember: The
disk is positive; cops and old ladies are clearly negative.)
5.The best catches are never seen. ("Did you see that?" "See what?")
6.The greatest single aid to distance is for the disc to be going in a direction you did not want. (Wrong
way = long way.)
7.The most powerful hex words in the sport are: "I really have this down -- watch." (Know it? Blow it!)
8.In any crowd of spectators at least one will suggest that razor blades could be attached to the disc.
("You could maim and kill with that thing.")
9.The greater your need to make a good catch, the greater the probability your partner will deliver his
worst throw. (If you can't touch it, you can't trick it.)
10.The single most difficult move with a disc is to put it down. ("Just one more!")

Laws of Understanding
1.Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
2.No matter what goes wrong, there is always somebody who knew it would.

Lawson's Paradox
The average woman would rather be beautiful than smart because the average man sees better
than he thinks.

Lawyer's Rule
When the law is against you, argue the facts. When the facts are against you, argue the law. When
both are against you, call the other lawyer names.

Le Chatelier's Law
If some stress is brought to bear on a system in equilibrium, the equilibrium is displaced in the
direction which tends to undo the effect of the stress.

Le Pelley's Law
The bigger the man, the less likely he is to object to caricature.

Leahy's Law
If a thing is done wrong often enough, it becomes right.
Corollary - Volume is a defense to error.

Lee's Axioms
1.No books are lost by lending except those you particularly wanted to keep.
2.The book you buy today for $17.95 will come out tomorrow in paperback.

Lefty Gomez's Principle of Productive Procrastination
They can't hit it while I'm standing here holding it.

Lenin's Law
Whenever the cause of the people is entrusted to professors, it is lost.

Les Miserables Metalaw
All laws, whether good, bad, or indifferent, must be obeyed to the letter.

Levy's Eighth Law
No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

Levy's Laws of Research
1.To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.
2.Nobody notices the big flaw in your research until a reporter for the most respected professional
journal in your field arrives to interview you.

Levy's Laws of the Disillusionment of the True Liberal
1.Large numbers of things are determined, and therefore not subject to change.
2.Anticipated events never live up to expectations.
3.That segment of the community with which one has the greatest sympathy as a liberal inevitably
turns out to be one of the most narrow-minded and bigoted segments of the community.
4.Always pray that your opposition be wicked. In wickedness there is a strong strain toward rationality.
Therefore there is always the possibility, in theory, of handling the wicked by outthinking them.

Levy's Ten Laws of the Disillusionment of the True Liberal
1.Large numbers of things are determined, and therefore not subject to change.
2.Anticipated events never live up to expectations.
3.That segment of the community with which one has the greatest sympathy as a liberal inevitably
turns out to be one of the most narrow-minded and bigoted segments of the community.
4.Always pray that your opposition be wicked. In wickedness there is a strong strain toward rationality.
Therefore there is always the possibility, in theory, of handling the wicked by outthinking them.
Corollary 1: Good intentions randomize behavior.
Corollary 2: Good intentions are far more difficult to cope with than malicious intent.
Corollary 3: If good intentions are combined with stupidity, it is impossible to outthink them.
Corollary 4: Any discovery is more likely to be exploited by the wicked than applied by the virtuous.
5.In unanimity there is cowardice and uncritical thinking.
6.To have a sense of humor is to be a tragic figure.
7.To know thyself is the ultimate form of aggression.
8.No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.
9.Only God can make a random selection.
10.Eternal boredom is the price of constant vigilance.

Lewis's Laws
1.People will buy anything that's one to a customer.
2.No matter how long or how hard you shop for an item, after you've bought it it will be on sale
somewhere cheaper.

Law of Libraries
No matter which book you need, it's on the bottom shelf.

Law of The Lie
No matter how often the lie is shown to be false, there will still remain a percentage of people who
believe it to be true.

Liebermann's Law
Everybody lies; but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.

Liebling's Law
If you just try long enough and hard enough, you can always manage to boot yourself in the posterior.

Lilly's Megalaw
All laws are simulations of reality.

Lilly's Metalaw
All laws are simulations of reality.

Law of living
As soon as you're doing what you wanted to be doing, you want to be doing something else.

Lloyd-Jones's Law of Leftovers
The amount of litter on the street is proportional to the local rate of unemployment.

Law of Local Anesthesia
Never say "oops" in the operating room.

Locksmith's Dilemma
The probability of having someone close the safe and spin the dial while you have the back of the
lock off will vary directly with the square of the number of people you tell not to touch the safe while
you get something out of the truck.

Loehmann on Loss
1.If we lose much by having things go wrong, take all possible care.
2.If we have nothing to lose by change, relax.
3.If we have everything to gain by change, relax.
4.If it doesn't matter, it does not matter.

Loman's law of product design
If you can't fix it, feature it.

Long's Notes
1.Always store beer in a dark place.
2.Certainly the game is rigged. Don't let that stop you; if you don't bet, you can't win.
3.Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.
4.Always listen to experts. They'll tell you what can't be done, and why. Then do it.
5.If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion.
6.It has long been known that one horse can run faster than another -- but which one? Differences are
7.A fake fortuneteller can be tolerated. But an authentic soothsayer should be shot on sight.
Cassandra did not get half the kicking around she deserved.
8.Delusions are often functional. A mother's opinions about her children's beauty, intelligence,
goodness, et cetera ad nauseam, keep her from drowning them at birth.
9.A generation which ignores history has no past -- and no future.
10.A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits.
11.Small change can often be found under seat cushions.
12.History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a
crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most
people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable
pleasure from fiddling with it.
13.It's amazing how much "mature wisdom" resembles being too tired.
14.Of all the strange "crimes" that human beings have legislated out of nothing, "blasphemy" is the
most amazing -- with "obscenity" and "indecent exposure" fighting it out for second and third place.
15.It's better to copulate than never.
16.Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.
17.It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually
18.Never appeal to a man's "better nature". He may not have one. Invoking his self-interest gives you
more leverage.
19.Little girls, like butterflies, need no excuse.
20.Avoid making irrevocable decisions while tired or hungry.
21.An elephant: A mouse built to government specifications.
22.A zygote is a gamete's way of producing more gametes. This may be the purpose of the universe.
23.Stupidity cannot be cured with money, or through education, or by legislation. Stupidity is not a sin;
the victim can't help being stupid. But stupidity is the only universal capital crime; the sentence is
death, there is no appeal, and execution is carried out automatically and without pity.
24.God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. It says so right here on the label. If you have a
mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful
bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
25.Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil.
26.The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of
Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universe, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can
be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this
absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest,
and least productive industry in all history.
27.The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.
28.Everybody lies about sex.
29.Rub her feet.
30.Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.
31.Always tell her she is beautiful, especially if she is not.
32.In a family argument, if it turns out you are right, apologize at once.
33.To stay young requires unceasing cultivation of the ability to unlearn old falsehoods.
34.Does history record any case in which the majority was right?
35.Secrecy is the beginning of tyranny.
36.The greatest productive force is human selfishness.
37.Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss.
38.Expertise in one field does not carry over into other fields. But experts often think so. The narrower
their field of knowledge the more likely they are to think so.
39.Never try to outstubborn a cat.
40.Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.
41.Yield to temptation; it may not pass your way again.
42.Waking a person unnecessarily should not be considered a capital crime. For a first offense, that is.
43.The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: "Of course it's none of my business, but... " is to
place a period after the word "but". Don't use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a
period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.
44.A skunk is better company than a person who prides himself on being "frank".
45.Natural laws have no pity.
46.You can go wrong by being too skeptical as readily as by being too trusting.
47.Anything free is worth what you pay for it.
48.Climate is what we expect; weather is what we get.
49.Pessimist by policy, optimist by temperament -- it is possible to be both. How? By never taking an
unnecessary chance and by minimizing risks you can't avoid. This permits you to play out the game
happily, untroubled by the certainty of the outcome.
50."I came, I saw, SHE conquered." (The original Latin seems to have been garbled.)
51.A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain.
52.Don't try to have the last word. You might get it.

(F)law of Long-Range Planning
The longer ahead you plan a special event, and the more special it is, the more likely it is to go

Lord Falkland's Rule
When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.

Los Angeles Dodgers Law
Wait till last year.

Law of the Lost Inch
In designing any type of construction, no overall dimension can be totalled correctly after 4:40 p.m.
on Friday.
1.Under the same conditions, if any minor dimensions are given to sixteenths of an inch, they
cannot be totalled at all.
2.The correct total will become self-evident at 9:01 a.m. on Monday.

Louie's "IF" Rules
1.If it ain't no big deal, don't worry about it.
2.If you can't do anything about it, don't worry about it.
3.If it's someone else's problem, don't worry about it.
4.If it's easily fixed, it don't matter whose fault it was.
5.If it's done it's done, if it can't be undone--don't worry about it.
6.If there's no damage, don't make a project out of it.

Law of Love
A dandelion from a lover means more than an orchid from a friend.

Low's First Law of Management
Some people manage by the book even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what
Lowry's Additional Lie
I've never done this before.

Lowrey's Law
If it jams -- force it.
If it breaks, it needed replacing anyway.

Lowrey's Law of Expertis
Just when you get really good at something, you don't need to do it any more.

Lowrey's Law of Expertise
Just when you get really good at something, you don't need to do it any more.

Lubarsky's Law of Cybernetic Entomology
There's always one more bug.

Lubin's Law
If another scientist thought your research was more important than his, he would drop what he is
doing and do what you are doing.

Luce's Law
No good deed goes unpunished.

Lucy Van Pelt's Observation
There must be one day above all others in each life that is the happiest.
Corollary - What if you've already had it?

Lucy's Laws
1.The alternative to getting old is depressing.
2.No good deed goes unpunished.

Luten's Laws
1.When properly administered, vacations do not diminish productivity: for every week you're away and
get nothing done, there's another week when your boss is away and you get twice as much done.
2.It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground.

Lyall's Conjecture
If a computer cable has one end, then it has another.

Lyall's Fundamental Observation
The most important leg of a three legged stool is the one that's missing.

Lydia's Axiom
Nothing is as temporary as that which is called permanent.
Corollary - Nothing is as permanent as that which is called temporary.

Lynch's Law
When the going gets tough, everybody leaves.

Lyndons principal
The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlamp of an oncoming train.

Lyon's Law of Hesitation
He who hesitates is last.

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