I’d almost forgotten about Sod’s Law until the other day when I overheard it mentioned down at my local. It’s one of those pubs where I like to chill from time to time, in order to immerse myself in all things human; that and the fact the barmaid has a nicely rounded bottom and discusses music with me. I can’t remember the exact context of the conversation, but it definitely involved reference to the might law as undisputed fact!
I can’t imagine any of my close friends or family referring to the law in question – it just seems like a foreign language for them. Fitting nicely with ‘to be quite honest’ or ‘to tell you the truth’, and not far removed from ‘you and who’s army?’. In other words – a colloquialism that rolls off the tongue without much thought, but speaks thought-provoking volumes about the one whose tongue it rolls off.
Anyway – back to Sod’s Law. Knowing well my passion for language, for Christmas this year (2014) my dad bought me a copy of ‘Brewer’s Dictionary of Modern Phrase and Fable’. This is what it has to say: Sod’s Law: Essentially the same as Murphy’s Law, but dating later (from the 1970s). And regarding the revered law of Murphy: Murphy’s Law: If anything can go wrong, it will. If a slice of bread and jam is dropped on the floor, it is bound to land jam-side down.
For the strict religious adherent, the great Law of Sod definitely holds sway. And so verily it comes to pass, that when driving down narrow lanes with few passing places, such a believer will encounter maneuvering difficulty after maneuvering difficulty – time and again having to both reverse and curse simultaneously! He will almost feel jinxed with the situation – so often does it occur. And the odd time it does not – he will hardly notice, so engrossed is he in his sad sodding story.
Whereas, on the other hand, a wryly smiling sodless believer in a kind and benevolent universe, (as some of us are), whilst negotiating the self-same lanes, hardly ever has to reverse, and marvels at meeting car after car at just the right passing place! Is this all just scientifically blind chance and co-incidence? I really don’t think so. That is not my experience. So I have decided it’s time to re-define Sod’s Law as follows:
Sod’s Law is the law of Simple Overt Denial Signals. (S.O.D.S.)
Simple – because adherents are generally not complex in their belief; Sod’s law to them is just a simple fact of life.
Overt – because this law is in no way occult or hidden- rather it is plainly evident for all to see.
Denial – because believers have generally built their lives sadly around not getting what they want – thus denying the natural right of all human beings to innocently prosper, when right effort is put forth.
Signals – because these thoughts, beliefs and values, like signals, are constantly being emitted from the core of our being – effectively making our lives, in one way or another, either a pleasure or a misery.
It is my belief that the law of Sod does indeed exist – just as much as its opposite – which roughly speaking we might call: the Law of God (or Good). And hereby, like in any court of law, I rest my case!