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 Fr. Flannagan to see it with his own eyes. He brings the priest 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,” Fr. 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 rigor is conducted, not only by priests of the archdiocese, but also by scientists sent from the Archbishop in Dublin. The final ruling was negative, however. It read:
“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. For it possibly resulted from Murphy’s having buttered the toast on the wrong side!!”
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