Universal Laws



  • If you play with anything long enough it will break. Murphy’s Law

  • Anything you buy will be in the sale next week. Emma Bombeck

  • When ripping an article from a newspaper, the tear is always into and never away from the required article. Alan Fraser

  • When you give a child a hammer, everything becomes a nail. Leo Kaplan

  • Every household has a box of odd keys.  None of them will ever be found to fit any lock.  Pam Brown

  • Preudomme’s Law of Window Cleaning:  it’s on the other side. Winston Preudhomme

  • However much a shower control may rotate, the degree of rotation required to change from ice-cold to scalding is never more than one millimeter.

  • Once you start buying first-aid kits you start having accidents.  George Mikes

  • The first piece of luggage on the airport carousel never belongs to anyone.  George Roberts

  • The less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in.  Lord Chesterfield

  • Gunter’s Second Law of Air Travel:  the strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of the coffee.  Nicholas Gunter

  • Any tool dropped while repairing a car will roll beneath the vehicle to its exact centre.  Murphy’s Law of Car Repair.

  • There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule.  William F Buckley

  • At bank, post office or supermarket, there is one universal law which you ignore at your own peril:  the shortest line moves the slowest.

  • Wood burns faster when you have cut and chopped it yourself  Harrison Ford

  • Nothing is so simple it cannot be misunderstood.  Albert Einstein

  • The easiest way to find something you have lost is to buy a replacement.  Rosenbaum’s Law

  • Anyone who says he isn’t going to resign four times, definitely will.  J.K. Galbraith

  • A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.  Charles Issawi

  • When you cat/baby has fallen asleep on you lap and looks utterly content and adorable you will suddenly have to go to the bathroom.  Anon

  • When all else fails, read the instructions.  Anon

  • It works better if you plug it in.  Sattinger’s Law


Highland Cow.


Some examples of correspondence sent to various departments of the Western Isles Council, Scotland.  There are serious problems of thinking in Gaelic and writing in English:


  • I am writing on behalf of my sink which is running away from the wall.

  • The toilet seat is cracked – where do I stand?

  • This is to let you know there is a smell coming from the man next door.

  • I request permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.

  • Our lavatory seat is broken in half and is now in three pieces.

  • Will you please send someone to mend our broken path. Yesterday my wife tripped and fell on it and she is now pregnant.

  • Our kitchen floor is very damp, we have two children and would like a third, so will you please send someone to do something about it.

  • This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broken and we cannot get BBC2.

  • The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.

  • The lavatory is blocked. #This is caused by the boys next door throwing their ball on the roof.

  • I want some repairs doing to my cooker as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.

  • Would you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.

  • Would you please send a man to repair my spout, I am an old-age pensioner and I need it straight away.

  • I awoke this morning and found my water boiling.

 From Not the Worst of Tom Shields.



Mrs Malaprop

  • His house was insulated at the top of a hill.

  • On a holiday in Pompeii: You know the place where the saliva runs down the mountain.

  • I went through it with a fine tooth pick.

  • He’s had two runs at the cherry.

  • The rose is always redder on the other side of the fence from here.

  • It was like a red herring to a bull.

  • He had another kick at the cherry.

  • Above and beyond the call of nature.

  • Her boyfriend does judo.  In fact, he’s a black dan.

  • She predicted bad weather because of all the icy-bars on the map.

  • She wanted to marry an edible bachelor.

  • The US senator who declared his opposition to setting up a nuclear suppository in his state.

Any more malapropisms?  Send them in to




You have two sides, one out in the field and one in.

Each man that’s in the side that’s in goes out, and when he’s out he comes in and the next man goes in until he’s out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in.

When they are all out, the side that’s out comes in and the side that’s been in goes out and tries to get those coming in , out.

Sometimes, there are men still in and not out.

There are two men called umpires who stay all out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out.

When both sides have been in and all the men are out (including those who are not out) then the game is finished.