Murphy's Law - Electrics
Most people will be familiar with Murphy's Law*, which is based on the adage 'If anything can go wrong, it will'.
This is especially true within the theatre and, indeed, anytime a live performance is being made. So, here - from experience - is Murphy's Law related to the electrics department.
- The only tool vital for a job will be missing.
- 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.
- After an access cover has been secured by 16 hold-down screws, it will be discovered that the lamp has been omitted.
- Any wire cut specifically to length will be too short.
- The availability of a replacement part is inversely proportional to the need for that component.
- An instruction booklet or operating manual will always be where it is supposed to be, until it is needed.
- After carefully rewiring a plug, it will be found that the cover has not been fitted beforehand.
- Any instrument when dropped will roll into the least accessible corner.
- When repairing a damaged lead, it will always be found that the connection that is examined first is fine.
- Interchangeable parts won't.
- The more innocuous a design change appears, the further its influence will extend.
- The probability of a dimension being omitted is directly proportional to its importance.
- Dimensions will always be expressed in the least usable term. Velocity, for example, will be expressed in furlongs per fortnight.
- All constants are variables.
- In any given computation, the figure most obviously correct will be the source of error.
- A decimal point will always be misplaced.
- The availability of a sound effect is inversely proportional to its significance in the show.
- In any given price estimate, cost of equipment will exceed estimate by a factor of three.
- Firmness of delivery dates is inversely proportional to the tightness of the schedule.
- A critical bolt will be too short, or just too long.
- If a rig requires n luminaires, there will be n-1 available.
- A dropped tool will land where it can do most damage. (Also known as the Law Of Selective Gravitation.)
- A luminaire or extension lead, chosen at random from a group having 99% reliability, will be a member of the 1% group.
- All extension leads will always be either four inches too short, or six feet too long.
- Probability of failure of a fuse or bulb is inversely proportional to ease of replacement.
- The only gels that burn out will be the ones that are no longer in stock.
- Cue sheets will always be in the wrong order.
- Radio mics will always be switched on, until they are actually needed.
- Any error that can creep into the timing will. It will be in the way that will cause most havoc.
- Murphy's Law was not propounded by Murphy, but by another man of the same name.
- Addendum to Murphy's Law: You never run out of things that can go wrong.