Murphy's Law

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

“Only 71 shopping days left until Christmas!” shouted the overbearing salesperson on the television to me the other day. “Have you thought about your loved ones yet?”

Gee, to tell the truth, I haven't. With what—2 months, 1 week, and 4 days left until Christmas, I thought I ought to get past Halloween and Thanksgiving before I go out and brave the onslaught of desperate last minute Christmas shoppers on November 27.

But you may be wondering why I'm even talking about a holiday that is still 2 months away. I'll tell you why: everyone else is! Granted, I wouldn't go jumping of the Brooklyn Bridge if all my friends were doing it, but I figured that talking about Christmas would be a little safer.

Although my yultide spirit may seem a bit early, my experience has shown has been that if Madison Avenue hasn't in some way mentioned Christmas by August 1, we had better check the skies for incoming missiles. In fact, I've seen Christmas commercials as early as June (CLEVERLY disguised as “Santa vacations in the Bahamas,” or “50% off all Genuine-Acme Artificial X-mas Trees with Acme Fake-Sno Frosting,” to even “Remember: Avoid the Christmas rush, and mail your X-mas cards early this year”). Madison Avenue sure has a penchant for reminding people the exact date it falls on.

Why Madison Avenue would even do such a thing is beyond me, as the average person can remember the date of which Christmas falls on. I can. And I'm sure you can. And anyone who is old enough to talk tell you what month Christmas is in. And some of us can even remember why we even have Christmas. It is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God (I do wish to point out that it is my belief that Jesus is the son of God. If you believe differently, fine, the Constitution allows for that, but please don't write me letters saying that I'm forcing this Jesus thing down your throat. I'm not, Madison Avenue (in a perverse sort of way) is. Thank you for your understanding that I am in no way preaching to you).

And this behavior is dangerous in two ways. One, it tends to alienate people (such as me). Some people who are Christians believe that it is over-commercializing Christmas and taking away the real meaning of Christmas. Athiests believe the oppisite; that all this commercializing is jamming an unwanted religeon down their throats. And Jewish people are left out in the cold. They get eight days of “Happy Chanukah, from the staff of WSLZ-13” (hopefully Haunaka is spelled right), and the rest of us get three months of intense Christmas-izing (personally, I think that Madison Avenue should commercialize Haunaka. It's twelve days long, gifts are given on each day (which means that it lasts twelve times longer, which means twelve times more gifts, which means profits that are twelve times larger …), and then they could be sued by Jewish groups for Anti-Semitism and all this commercializing be all over with).

Secondly, if this trend of reminding people of Christmas earlier each year keeps up, it will soon wrap around the calendar, until eventually, people will end buying Christmas gifts for the 1997 season, start buying for the 1998 season, and it will be only 1993. Stores would no longer see any reason to take down the Christmas decorations, and there will be a severe shortage of full-time Santa Clauseseseses(eses…?). Then some liberal will sue Madison Avenue for trying to form a state religeon (Christianity, for that is where the holiday came from, for those of you who are interested in trivia), and same liberal will be lynched by a mis-programmed Teddy Ruxpin (mis-programmed by Madison Avenue, of course), and the top-ten song for the current week will be “I want Santa's Love” by Gold Tinsel Sleeze. Have I gone overboard on this? You decide.

Now, to change the subject here, you may have noticed that my column has been changed from “Conner's Corner” to “Murphy's Law,” which I like better. “Conner's Corner” sounded too much like a second hand shop to me, but “Murphy's Law” seems to fit my column better. And for those of you who never heard of Murphy's Law, it goes like this: If anything can go wrong, it will. If nothing can go wrong, it most certanly will. Remember: Murphy was an optimist.

And have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


I'm not one for Christmas. It's over commercialized to say the least and it's starting earlier and earlier each year. And least you think I'm griping about having to overextend myself financially every December, think again. I've been like this since I first wrote about this in November of 1981 in a column.

I'll date myself and say I was 12 years old at the time, I was in 7th grade and the column appeared in the middle school newspaper.

At least I'm consistent.

Also, as mentioned in the column, this is the first column (at least in college) that it appeared under the heading of “Murphy's Law.” Before that it had the rather lame name of “Conner's Corner.” The editorial staff at the Atlantic Sun finally took my suggestion for a name.