Chicken Little Rides Again

All right, I got a bit melodramatic with my little laptop failure last week. But all told, I’d rather have my pride hurt than my computer. And yes, I’m putting together a better backup system (as opposed to nothing at all, a system which proved to have just a few minor shortcomings).

It doesn’t help that I’ve anthropomorphized what is really just a tool. It has ceased to be a machine, and it’s become Murphy. I mentioned once before the primary origin of the name — the similarly Titanium-encased RoboCop (which, incidentally, is being revived in a new comic adaptation based on Frank Miller’s original screenplay ideas for the lackluster RoboCop 2) — but the name actually has a secondary, more personal genesis.

A couple of years back, my youngest daughter was trying to describe how the elastic in her socks was failing. That being a particularly difficult concept for a then-two-year-old to convey, she just made up a word for it: Her socks were “all murphy.” I have no idea where she came up with that, but she was absolutely convinced that “murphy” was the right word for “particularly lacking in the appropriate level of elasticity” — and the rest of us clearly understood what she meant — so it entered our family lexicon.

In any case, her digital namesake (or that of her substandard socks, anyway) is doing much better now. And my stress level is much reduced.


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