‘Tis a Miracle indeed
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 round to the presbytery to fetch the priest.
He tells the priest that he thinks a miracle has happened round at his flat.
He won’t say what it is but wants Friar Flannagan to see it with his own eyes.
He brings Friar Flannagan 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.”
“No, Father, I dropped it and it landed like that.”
“Well,” Friar Flannagan 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 it’s a miracle. I’ll report the matter to the bishop, and have him send people round, to interview you, take photos, etc.”
An investigation of some rigour is conducted, not only by priests of the archdiocese, but by scientists sent from the Curia in Rome. The final ruling is a negative, however. 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 have declared no miracle as it possibly resulted from Murphy’s having buttered the toast on the wrong side.”v