Tag Archives: murphy’s law

Murphy’s Law

You’ve heard it before:

If something can go wrong, it will

It’s Murphy’s Law.  And as an optimist, that isn’t my attitude about most things.  Today is Veteran’s Day, a holiday from work, and so my husband and I set off for the movie theater to watch Interstellar.  We are not frequent movie watchers–it takes uninterrupted, focused time to watch a movie.  But we do enjoy movies when we make time for them.  I knew going in today that this movie was a long one (three hours long), so I settled in, hoping it would be good enough to keep my attention.  Right from the start I liked the young character…Murphy.  A ten year old girl whose brother teased her about being named for Murphy’s Law.  Her father (Matthew McConaughey) assures her that Murphy’s Law is a good thing:

anything that can happen, will happen

And so I was enjoying the movie, it was building to a critical juncture at about two hours in…when the fire alarm in the movie theater went off!  The movie stopped, the lights came up, and the loudspeakers asked everyone to exit the building.  My first thought was, oh no…I really want to see how the movie ends!  People poured out the exits, wondering how they would see the ending of the movie.  Most people seemed to think it was likely a false alarm, no one seemed particularly worried about fire.

As we walked back around to the front of the theater, we could smell smoke.  Lots of people were milling around, not sure what to do about the incomplete movie.  Asking some theater employees, we found out that the Icee machine had gone up in smoke…and we could smell the resulting burn.

We looked up and saw two police car race up the driveway with sirens sounding and lights flashing.  Not long after, fire trucks began to arrive.

fire engine

It was clear that there was no active fire, so the firefighters went through procedures to clear the smoke and ensure the theater was safe.


It was clear that it would take a while for this to happen, so after being reassured that our ticket stubs would be honored to see the movie at a later date, we headed off to enjoy the rest of our day off…without knowing how the movie ends!

at the theater

It was definitely a Murphy’s Law kind of moment.  And when I ran into a couple of my students who had also evacuated from their movie, I found myself thinking about how the fire drills we have at school actually served them well in this situation.  They knew about evacuating, they were calm and matter of fact about seeing the fire engines and firefighters…they put their drill experience to use.

Don’t tell me what happens in Interstellar, I’ll be heading back to the theater later this week to see it…even though I’ll have to start from the beginning again!  This three-hour movie is turning into a five hour event for me…it better be worth it.  Murphy’s Law at work!