Murphy’s Law – Fear and loathing in Boston

Joel Murphy

Over the past two and a half years, I know that Murphy’s Law has become your bi-weekly source of awesomeness. Like the great athletes or entertainers, I always bring my A-game to this space. Every time I deliver a new column, you are all forced to seek medical attention due to the fact that your sides have just been split with laughter. No matter what is going on in my life or how I am feeling, like the philosopher Dwayne Johnson once said, I always “just bring it.”

However, I must admit, this week I am having trouble summoning the motivation to deliver you the top-shelf wordsmithing you have grown accustomed to. It seems like outside forces are convening all around me to keep me from having the wherewithal to produce a quality column this week.

What has me down this week? Well, several things actually …

First and foremost is today’s date – January 31st, a day which, for me, lives in infamy. For weeks, I have been looking at my calendar with dread, knowing that this day was approaching. You see, today is the one-year anniversary of the day that Boston, the city I live in, was the target of a diabolical terrorist attack.

A sinister group of fear-mongers, intent on bringing Beantown to it’s knees with terror, went around the city putting up devices resembling Lite-Brites that featured the likeness of the Mooninities from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. And, upon seeing these small, harmless-looking Lite-Brite-like devices, the citizens of Boston acted the way any group of sane individuals would – they made panicked 911 calls and the city’s bomb squad was called in to destroy the devices.

I still struggle to feel safe in the city. If I even catch a glimpse of the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim on my television set, I break out in a cold sweat. Today being the one-year anniversary of the attack is forcing me to relive that horrible day. It was a struggle to pull myself out of bed this morning.

However, on any other year, I could find solace in the fact that my birthday is only three days away. As many people get older, they begin to dread their birthday, but not me. I have always enjoyed a day devoted to celebrating the fact that I was born – especially since I get presents and ice cream cake. But, this year, the National Football League decided to schedule the Super Bowl on February 3rd, meaning that I will have to spend my birthday avoiding douchey, arrogant Patriots fans celebrating their inevitable joyless victory over the New York Giants in a game I couldn’t care less about watching.

This isn’t the first time that the NFL has pulled a stunt like this. Perhaps feeling threatened that the XFL had used February 3rd, 2001 as the launch date for their far-superior and much more extreme football league, the NFL pushed the Super Bowl back a week the following year and the New England Patriots victory over the St. Louis Rams was held on February 3, 2002. Still living in Maryland in 2002 and not yet overwhelmed by the copious amounts of media coverage that is devoted to the Patriots, I didn’t mind having the Super Bowl held on my birthday in ’02. However, this year it really irks me.

I’m planning on skipping the Super Bowl altogether this year. I figure I will take advantage of the fact that everyone else in Boston will be glued in front of their television set (or hiding under the beds, still fearful that the Mooninites are taking over the city). Since the streets will be empty, my fiancée and I are planning on going out to dinner and a movie without having to worry about the normal Sunday crowds.

Unfortunately, checking the movie schedule only added to my depression this week. While I was looking for showtimes for There Will Be Blood, I couldn’t help but notice that Meet the Spartans was number one at the box office this past weekend, making $18.7 million in it’s debut. So, just when I thought that Cloverfield‘s success might send a message to the movie studios that audiences want unique, clever films, the morons of America once again ruined it for everyone. So, instead of the dawning of a new golden age of cinema, we will instead be treated to Meet the Cloverfields sometime in 2009, a movie which will probably star Carmen Electra and will likely feature lots of wacky, outdated pop culture references, like Dr. Phil berating the Cloverfield monster for being too fat (the monster will most likely respond be eating Britney Spears – then farting).

With any luck, the return of Lost tonight will be enough to get me out of this funk. But, considering that ABC finds new and exciting ways to annoy me each season (last night’s Pop Up Video-style version of the season three finale being a prime example), I’m not counting on it.

So, I apologize for not being able to muster up my A-game this week. But please take comfort in the fact I still put more effort into this column than Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer put into Meet the Spartans.

Keep your chin up and we’ll meet back here in two weeks. I promise to return with your regularly scheduled dose of awesomeness.

Random Thought of the Week:
The new James Bond film will be called Quantum of Solace. I can only hope this means the film somehow involves Scott Bakula.

Joel Murphy is the creator of HoboTrashcan, which is probably why he has his own column. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact him at

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