Murphy almost breaks the law

Murphy drops some buttered toast on the kitchen floor. It lands butter-side-up.

He looks at what he has done in astonishment, for he knows it’s a law of nature that buttered toast always falls butter-down.

He rushes around to the presbytery to fetch the priest. He tells the priest that he thinks a miracle has happened at his flat. Murphy won’t say what it is but wants Fr Flanagan to see it with his own eyes.

He brings Fr Flanagan into the kitchen and asks him what he sees on the floor.

“Well,” says the priest, “it’s pretty obvious what we have here. Someone dropped some buttered toast, and then for some reason flipped it over so that the butter was on top.”

Murphy smiles proudly. “No, Father, I dropped it and it landed like that.”

“Well,” Fr Flanagan says, “it’s certainly a natural law of the universe that dropped toast never falls butter side up. But it’s not for me to say if it’s a miracle. I’ll report the matter to the bishop, and have him send people around to interview you. 

An investigation of some rigour is conducted, not only by priests of the archdiocese, but by scientists sent from the Curia in Rome.

Finally the rulling comes through. It reads:

“It was certainly an extraordinary event that occurred in Murphy’s room, quite outside the normal run of the phenomena. Yet we have to be very cautious before ruling any happening miraculous, ruling out all possible natural explanations. In this case we declared no miracle. For it was possibly the result of Murphy, who buttered the toast on the wrong side.”

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