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​Was the Seagull Airstrike a Case of Murphy’s Law or Karma?

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I saw something unforgettable when I was about 12 years old that I immediately recognized as a clear example of Murphy’s Law. During my college years, I learned about karma and have secretly wondered since then if that’s what it was, instead. Murphy’s Law is a principle of life that means “everything that can go wrong will.” Well, at least eventually, it will. What is karma? A great definition is that you get back what you give, sometimes immediately, whether good or bad.

The memorable event happened to my mother, who is well-loved, partly because she has never pretended to be an angel. To be clear, she is pure diva but not the kind that sings. And she hates dogs and other animals. We had an adorable pair of pet ducklings who loved us and all but mom loved them. Mother made us get rid of Samantha and Steve after they grew up. So, back to the story, here is what happened.

Bird Droppings

I was traveling with my family on a ferry boat from the mainland to Galveston Island, Texas. We were on vacation. My brother, sister, Dad, and I all got out of our station wagon (a car that was sort of a precursor to the SUV). We walked around, looked in the water for dolphins, and went to the upper deck.

My mom, who is usually the life of any party, refused to get out. The seagulls were out in full force, like a small cloud above us. There had to be at least 100 birds flying overhead, eating bread people were tossing to them at the back of the ferry. Mom was worried they would poop on her, if she got out of the car. It has always been important that her hair look just so.

When the ferry ride was almost over, we all got safely back in the car with no mishaps. That’s when it happened, and we all saw it.

My mom, who was smoking a cigarette, had the window open about 4 inches. She hooked a single joint of her index finger over the window. As soon as she exposed that tiny part of her finger, splat! A huge bird crap hit exactly on her finger and through the crack in the window. My mother was hilarious as she repeatedly cried “Ewwww!” and tried to find a way to clean off the bird poop. She couldn’t run upstairs to the bathroom because it was time for all the cars to drive off the ferry. We sympathized but mostly laughed.

Murphy’s Law or Karma?

I thought it was a poetic Murphy’s Law moment that day. But I don’t know. I’ve actually concluded that Murphy’s Law is mostly myth. Could have definitely been karma, though! One thing I know without a doubt is that karma takes a dump on me anytime I dare to behave badly. Things go pretty smoothly, otherwise, like a ferry boat on calm waters. 


 

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