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April 17, 2014

The cruelest month of all

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — It has long been said that April is the cruelest month of all. However, given our recent winter, the cruelest month designation might well be open for debate this year. 

There are no doubt those who would willingly nominate one, if not all of the winter months. And who would blame them? The winter was tough. But we must say, now that we are beginning to get out a bit more, April really hasn’t been anything to brag about. In fact, on what appeared to be a rather nice day from inside proved to be less so as we attempted to enjoy the fresh air from the back porch. We suspect it was the pile of snow that still lingered at the bottom of the back steps which soured our opinion as to how pleasant the back porch really was.

But our first experience did not deter us. Last week we decided while waiting for a ride to a meeting at Bassett we would sit on the Red Rocket at the bottom of the steps and enjoy a bit of the morning sunshine. What we had not counted on was the gale blowing with unnecessary intensity down the driveway. Fortunately our ride was on time. Of course, April still has time to shed its cruelest month designation. But if you ask us, it had better get cracking.

Last week while checking to see if the mail had arrived we encountered a package between our front door and the storm door that we did not recognize. It was in an UPS express envelope with a return address of Deluxe Great Lakes in Great Lakes, N.J. Not only did we not recognize Deluxe Great Lakes, we thought the express envelope was odd, especially when we discovered the label stated it was “UPS 2ND DAY AIR.” We could not imagine receiving a package from an unknown shipper which was sent 2nd day air from New Jersey with a notation of “Extremely Urgent” on the envelope.

We briefly considered calling the police and asking if they might open the package for us just in case it proved to be problematic. However, we thought that might be a bit much and instead hit upon the idea of checking out Deluxe Great Lakes online. Much to our chagrin we discovered it was the company from which we had ordered new checks. Had it just said “Deluxe” we suspect we would have known instantly what was in the package. It was the “Great Lakes” that threw us.

We were even more puzzled when a few days later we received another package in the mail which we immediately recognized as being yet more new checks. When we opened this package we discovered half of our check order which was a duplicate of half of what we received earlier. We decided to call Deluxe and see if there was some rational explanation for all of this. What we learned is that one part of our order was returned to the company as it was damaged in transit. The decision was then made to re-do the order and ship it, at the company’s expense, express UPS. The company had destroyed what was returned to them and told us to destroy the duplicate set of checks which we had received in the mail. And while all is well that ends well, we trust the next package we expect to arrive shortly will prove to be less problematic even though we realize in the scheme of things the check debacle is relativity minor.

Yet the whole episode did remind us of the various issues addressed in an e-mail we received a while back entitled “Unchanging Laws - the Real Truths!” It detailed a number of seemingly indisputable laws including:

“Law of Gravity - Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

Law of Probability - The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

Law of Random Numbers - If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

Variation Law - If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now (works every time).

Law of Close Encounters - The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don’t want to be seen with.

Law of the Result - When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

The Coffee Law - As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.

Murphy’s Law of Lockers - If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Physical Surfaces - The chances of an open-faced jam sandwich landing face down on a floor, are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

Brown’s Law of Physical Appearance - If the clothes fit, they’re ugly.

Wilson’s Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy - As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

Doctors’ Law - If you don’t feel well, make an appointment to go to the doctor, by the time you get there you’ll feel better. But don’t make an appointment, and you’ll stay sick.”

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