Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden

Luck’s Fickle Fate

I really should keep up the writing, but it’s problematic. As a rule communicating sour disheartenedness is to be avoided. No-one likes sissies. Once again I bent over backwards to achieve something only to meet the fickleness of fate. Murphy squared: even what can’t possibly go wrong, it does. I tend to explain these things with a degree of predestinedness. Which – I was told – is complete bollocks. Yet I can’t help but resignedly accept that although statistically zero probability is not impossible, miracles only happen to others.

Also, apply Morton’s fork here.* The more you think like this, the worse it gets. However, merely knowing that is of little help. (I couldn’t care less if it’s platitudinous. Clich├ęs happen to be true.)

* “To Apply Morton’s Fork is a phrase that was used for centuries to describe a situationwhere a person has no choice whatsoever. Very few people know the expression these days as the american equivalent (Catch-22) has largely replaced it, but it is about time it made a comeback and we started to use it again on this side of the pond. During the late 15th century (long before Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22) John Morton (1420-1500) was the Archbishop of Canterbury and a minister in Henry VII’s government. His job was to raise money for the king in the name of ‘loans’ from the English nobility, and he used what he called his ‘fork’ as a method of finding out if a person had spare money to lend the king. It went something like this: Morton claimed that if a person looked obviously rich, then they would have enough money to loan to the king. If, on the other hand, they appeared outwardly poor, then Morton reasoned they were not spending their wealth on themselves and were probably hiding something from him. Such folk must have money stashed away and therefore (you guessed it) would have enough hidden wealth to give money to King Henry. God help those who didn’t pay up.”

– Albert Jack: Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep, Penguin Books, 2005

Luck’s Fickle Fate