Monday, December 14, 2009


Fifty-four years ago, C. Northcote Parkinson set forth the law that today bears his name: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”

That’s the explanation for why college students pull all-nighters just before a term paper is due, regardless of how many months they’ve had to do the work. Or why half the construction workers at any given job site always seem to be completely idle.

Parkinson also formulated a second law that states: “Expenditures rise to meet income.” Which means that no matter how much money you make, you will always feel like you’re losing the Rat Race.

Had Mr. Parkinson been with us last night, he could very well have observed yet another law in action:

“Consumption of potato latkes always rises to meet the available supply.”


For obvious reasons, I call it Parkinson’s Law of Latkes. And it explains why, even if you fry up a whole lotta latkes, there never seem to be any left over...

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