Murphy’s Law (and Clues About Murphy’s Identity) Revealed

Murphy’s Law reveals- I’m a lug-nut short of a full set…

Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong, it will.

I’m a positive thinker. I haven’t really believed in Murphy’s wisdom, after all:


Whoever he is, he must relish the opportunity people like me provide. It just gives him the chance to show off and rub my nose in my non-belief.  Honestly, I think “he” is a “she”,  cause in my opinion she’s a bitch!

Listen to her…”So you think you can ignore my law, eh?” (Hey, maybe she’s Canadian too?)

You’ve heard the expression- a few cards short of a full deck?  Well, after a day of crazy catastrophes I have that one beat.  Murphy decide to show me a thing or two today, and as a result, I’ve been informed by a professional that I’m “a lug-nut short of a full set”.  What’s a full set?

For those of you who don’t know, a standard wheel has 5 lug-nuts. I was once like you…blissful in my ignorance, but all that’s changed…

Today was going to be great.  It’s the first day of my “super-extravagant-gift-to-self-adventure-of-a-lifetime-European-painting-trip”.  You ask,” Hasn’t she done this before?”.  Well, as a matter of fact, yes.  But this time it’s different.  This time I’ll be gone for almost a month and visiting 2 different countries with two different groups. We will be in Dordogne, France and Southern Spain (God willing and the creek don’t rise).  After today, I am knocking wood and invoking every good luck turn of phrase I can think of so as not to jinx myself.

I have spent the last 5 days singularly focused on organizing my trip: planning ahead, packing, reserving, sorting, bagging, rolling…basically operating under the assumption that with more planning comes more control…right?  My hope being,that catastrophe can be better avoided if I’ve prepared well. Can you already hear Mrs. Murphy?  “Mmmmmhmmm, rightie-o…” (yup, defintely Canadian.)

I woke up this morning feeling ready…everything was done and I was thinking positively that this day would go well.  I was done with planning and just needed to load and go, or so I thought.


I had to clean up my studio, deliver paintings to Seacoast Gallery for my display there, and then get to the airport.  The studio clean-up went smoothly, I washed and used a lot of water to clean all my palettes, and make it tidy to await my return.

Feeling good about myself, I headed downstairs to the main floor and heard noise on the way…water dripping noise…which led to the discovery of an overhead flood raining down from the ceiling underneath my studio!  I dropped everything and ran for towels and a bucket.  Really?!!  Today?!!  Something was obviously leaking, but on today of all days?!  I didn’t need this.  The bucket and the towels at least dealt with the immediate problem.  I called my sweet hubby, put him on notice to take care of getting it repaired,  Problem dealt with…I moved on.   I’m a positive thinker, remember?

2 ½ hours till my ride to the airport.

Next up: delivery of paintings to the gallery.  I did not want to leave this to the last minute, but today was the soonest I could hang my work for a new display.  Six paintings needed to be transported, labeled, inventoried, priced and hung on the wall. For those of you who don’t know it, displaying your artwork is hard work!

Time was tight, so Mrs. Murphy took the wheel.  I missed my exit on the highway and that mistake turned my 25 minute drive into 45 minutes. I took some deep breaths and tried to stay focused.  As I pulled up to the gallery, I drove into a parallel parking spot…ok, I admit it was not my best parking job. In the process, I bumped the curb with my tire and heard a huge bang…I had blown a gaping hole in my tire right there in front of a bunch of spectators!  Really?!  Today of all days?.  My deep breathing turned into something resembling Lamaze, and I felt myself break into a sweat.

1 Hour 30 minutes till airport time.

I am such a girl. I have no idea how to change my tire, but I do have AAA .  Forever to be known as “the best $75 dollars I’ve ever spent.”  While on the phone with AAA, I received an offer from a very nice guy to help me change the tire.  Since I was pressed for time, I took him up on it.  My knight in shining armor was actually wearing khaki pants.  He was nice guy…an artist…who was very willing and seemed confident.  Certainly he would be my champion in the battle with Mrs. Murphy!

Our first step: finding the spare tire.  This was surprisingly difficult and might have been my first clue.  After unloading the whole truck, all 6 paintings, and 3  suitcases to the curb, we still couldn’t find it.  Finally I looked under the back bumper. Voila! (I’m practicing my French here…) There it was! Our 2nd task: Finding the jack and lug wrench (yes, I now know the difference). The mystery of the lug-wrench wasn’t solved for another 5 minutes, and believe me I was counting the minutes!

Once we removed a cup holder the mystery was solved, but our 3rd task remained: releasing the tire from under the car.  Somehow that tire was secured underneath the car…Sir Lancelot wanted to use the lug wrench to unscrew something and proceeded to insert it into an opening next to my trailer hitch…WROnG!!!  Sparks flew! Electrical noises ensued, and my knight just about lit up like a Christmas tree!  I could imagine his heart stopping and needing CPR due to electrocution… it was about this time that I decided we might want to leave this job to the professionals.  I thanked him and we parted with his heart still beating, and mine pounding a bit faster….I still had a whole wall of paintings to hang!

1 hour and 15 minutes to blast off…

The good news is that with offers from friends to lend a hand and encouragement from fellow Seacoast Guild members (thanks Roberta,Woody, and June!) I hung my paintings more quickly than I have ever hung 6 paintings in my life!  I did my paperwork and pricing as if I was on Ritalin.

AAA came and changed my tire while I was taking care of business.  When done, the tire technician came into the gallery and had some good news and some bad news.  The good news was that I was ready to roll in time to catch my plane.  The bad news:  I’m a lug-nut short of a full set.  Now do you think he was talking about me or my tire?

Just goes to show that Murphy’s law is not to be trifled with, and that all the planning in the world can’t anticipate everything.  However, a little positive thinking can win out in the end.  Friends to keep you smiling along the way make a huge difference too.

The fact that I’m sitting here and on my way to France despite everything proves that a little planning can help you keep on keepin’ on…even if ur a lug-nut short of a full set.  😉

Rebecca Zdybel
Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor
Art Lessons in all media
Myrtle Beach, SC

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Author Rebecca Zdybel

Artist, Instructor, Art-Travel Instructor - Spread Light, Share Love, DO Art! Rebecca Z Artist (Rebecca Zdybel) is an artist and instructor in Myrtle Beach, SC. She blogs and teaches locally and internationally. Sign up for her blog, classes, workshops, art travel tours, or see her work at

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