the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley

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the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley

Said when something ends poorly or differently than expected, despite preparations for success. It comes from Robert Burns' poem "To a Mouse," which itself is a play on the proverb "the best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray." ("Gang aft a-gley" means "go oft astray" in Scottish vernacular.) I always thought our marriage was stable and that we'd be together forever. I guess it's true what they say, though—the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley. A: "I've been working on this project for six months, and now, right before it's due, they tell me they want something completely different." B: "That's rough. The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley, I suppose."
See also: aft, gang, men, mice, scheme
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The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft a-gley. Butcher Tommy Burns found that out the hard way.