Friday, 16 September 2016

Observing Life

As I go through life I normally look around me at the absurdities that surround us which make life such a wonderful tapestry of nut-cases and stupidity. Modern life is moving so fast that a lot of it doesn't make sense anymore.

Now I'm a reasonable man and never do anything that others might consider odd or unusual. Yet I notice that all around me people and society are acting in a most peculiar way.

Let me give you some examples, and hopefully, you will comment your views and tell me whether it is me who is absurd and a nut-case; or is it all the others.

Are you and I, dear reader, the only sane ones on this planet? I ask myself not sure whether there's anyone reading this or not.

A few days ago I had to go to the hospital. They were checking whether my sense of humour was still intact.

They have a new system there to register people as they come in. It's a lovely touch-screen monitor which invites you to touch the month you were born at, then touch the date, then the first letter of your surname. Having done this the screen welcomed me to my appointment and said that I would wait for 19 minutes before I'd be seen.

Why 19 minutes? I thought.

Why not 20 or 15? Why be so precise?

The precision of their prediction made me look at my watch and then go in the waiting-room. It took precisely 37.5 minutes before I was seen. So, whoever programmed that monitor not only could not predict throughput of patients properly, but also drew attention to a delay which would not have been noticed had they not drawn attention to it. Why not say: You will be seen soon, and leave it at that?

The waiting-room had about a dozen people waiting their turns to be seen. All of them, except one, was intently looking at their smart-phones. The exception was looking at a Kindle, so she was probably reading a book. But what did all the others find so fascinating in their smart-phones? Were they all reading their texts? Sending texts? Playing computer games? Or what? How many texts do people send and receive every day? What is there new in life that needs to be said in texts which was not said before smart-phones were invented? Suddenly we have a new means of communications and the world seems to be communicating with each other by saying nothing. Some smart-phone packages in the UK give you 1000 FREE texts a month. Can you imagine that? 1000 a month. That's about 30 texts a day. How many friends do people have to send them 30 texts a day?

A person I know has over 1000 "friends" on Facebook. That's more "friends" than real people whom I have met in my entire life!

I looked from the corner of my eye at the man sitting beside me in the waiting-room. He was looking at photos on his phone. He was flicking from one photo to another. Hundreds of them.

Talking of flicking ... I noticed that the woman with a Kindle licked her finger every time she changed pages on her Kindle tablet. New technology but old habits, I suppose.

Not to be out-done I picked up a book which was lying about and stared at the front cover. Every now and then I punched the book with my finger as one would do with a tablet or smart-phone. This un-nerved the other people in the waiting-room as they did not understand what I was doing. The guy next to me stopped looking at his photos and moved a few seats away.

Anyway, back to looking surreptitiously from the corner of your eyes. Wouldn't it be great if we all had two more eyes on each side of our heads by our ears? Just like a chicken? That way we could look sideways without turning our heads.

Personally, I'd prefer an extra mouth at the top of my head. That way I could put a sandwich under my hat and eat it without anyone noticing.

The waiting-room had plenty of notices around the wall. One of them said: BREAST FEEDING WELCOME HERE.

Now I don't know how you feel about that? Would you breastfeed in public?

Here in the UK there's a continuous debate going on about this subject. Every so often it surfaces when a woman tries to breastfeed in a restaurant, or waiting-room and she is told to move to the toilet or some other room out of sight. People are vehemently divided on the issue. Some feel it is the right of any mother to breast feed wherever she wants; others think it is a private matter best left out of sight.

About a year ago I was on a busy train and in front of me was a woman wearing a tank-top. Like in the photo below:

She had a small baby with her and when it started crying she pulled down her top revealing both breasts and then breast fed the baby. I did not know where to look - well, I did really; but you know what I mean.

Another thing that I've observed in life which annoys me no end, I don't know why, is men wearing their caps back to front. Like this:
Why do men wear their caps like that? The other day I had a workman doing some work at home. It was indoors all the time, so there was no need for a cap, unless he was concerned the electric lights would give him sunburn. Yet, he wore his cap back to front all day whilst doing his work. It annoyed me no end. I can't explain why. After he left, in order to face my own demons regarding this, I wore my trousers and my shirt back to front for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately, later on that day I fell off a ladder as I was pruning a tree. When the ambulance men came they nearly killed me trying to turn my head all the way round to match my trousers and shirt !!!

Oh ... another thing that annoys me with modern society is when you phone a large organisation and they keep you hanging on the phone. And it's not free - sometimes you pay a premium rate on those calls. They say: "Your call is important to us. You will be connected soon. You are number 998 in the queue. Due to excessive customer calls we are experiencing a delay on this service.

Yeah right ... Why can't they get more staff if there's such a long queue of customers?

And what's worse is when they play some dirge music whilst you're waiting. Wouldn't it be wonderful if you phoned say a Funeral Undertaker Business and they played "Rock Around The Clock"? Or if you rang a church and they played "I'm a believer" by The Monkees?

And what's worse than worse is when they tell you: Press 1 if you are a new customer. Press 2 if you want to renew your insurance policy. Press 3 if you want to change your insurance policy ... Press 79 if you're fed up waiting and wish to kill yourself !!!

Can you imagine if Catholic Churches had their message saying: Press 1 if you want to confess menial, small, white sins. Press 2 if your sins are a little more serious. Press 3 if your sins are of a violent or sexual nature. Press 4 if you are swearing under your breath right now ...

Talking of modern technology. Did you know that our church allows you to make regular monthly donations by standing order from your bank account to theirs? So there's no need to give money on Sunday when the collection plate comes round. I find it embarrassing telling the man I have nothing for the collection plate when he comes round. I'm even more embarrassed since I don't donate by bank standing order either.

What I do, in my mind, is that I start with a donation of £x; and every minute the priest goes on with his sermon more than 10 minutes I deduct a sum of money from my potential donation. So far the priest owes me £15.67

In summary, these were my observations of a crazy world we live in. I'd be glad if you'd comment on some or all of my observations. Or mention an observation of your own. Let's get talking.


  1. I have to say that I was out with some friends the other night (we've known each other since grade school) and one brought some photos from "way back when". One of the girls actually put her thumb and forefinger on one of the faces and spread them apart as if she were going to enlarge the image. We all burst out laughing.

    1. Hi Julie,

      Thank you for visiting me here and for your lovely story. I shall try this trick next time I am in a waiting-room and ask those next to me why the photo is not enlarging.

      We hope to see you visiting here more often.

      God bless.

  2. Yes to the smart phones! We are guilty of forgetting how to have a conversation. You could have gotten several medical histories and explanations of symptoms if those people had only put their phones down! I have a friend who reads books on her smart phone---talking about a tiny page AND she must get carpal tunnel with all that flicking required. As for the annoying music----VICTOR--YOU JUST HAD TO GET ME STARTED--DIDN'T YOU!

    1. There we are, Lulu, we agree on at least two things. The smart-phones and the music when they keep you waiting for a reply. But the worst pet hate for me, don't know why, is wearing caps back to front.

      God bless you my friend.

  3. Oh, my! You probably don't want to hear all of my complaints about this modern age!! I hate it when people sit around staring at the gadgets in their palms, pressing buttons, ignoring the people sitting/standing right in front of them. People don't even know hot to socialize and interact with one another anymore, especially, the younger generation. I think it is just plain rude. I don't like it when men wear their caps front to back, and there is this part of me that feels like adjusting it for them. I think it is absurd to even think of revealing private body parts in public, regardless what the reason. I detest facebook...I think it has the potential of a lot of good, but its propensity for evil overpowers it. I hate it when I get stuck on hold for extended periods of time being forced to communicate with an electronic gadget, instead of a human being...and yes, I agree, the music is deplorable. I like your suggestions a whole lot better!! Okay, so, I will step down from my little soap box! I think most of the world has gone mad, and the "normal" ones like you and me are now perceived as abnormal and strange!! Oh, well, we are in good company, right? LOL! Thanks for another great post, Victor. God bless you. :)

    1. Sorry...I meant to say, "People don't even know hoW to socialize", instead of "hot"...silly me.

    2. Hey Cheryl, I have found someone who agrees with me about wearing caps back to front; and a lot of other issues too. But it's the wearing of caps that really gets to me.

      As you say, the world seems to have gone mad all of a sudden.

      God bless you and your family, Cheryl.

  4. Victor... what can I say after I have tears running down my face from this hilarious post! Thank you for the refreshing insight and grand truth presented in this post! I too have been amazed at people whose whole lives are wrapped up in a 3x4" piece of plastic and metal. God help us all! I plan to share this writing with some friends of mine, they will appreciate it! Always a joy - literally - to visit with you, and your faith in our Lord a beautiful thing. Blessings to you today! :)

    1. Thank you SpicingUpIdaho for such kind and generous words about my writing. I am so happy that you enjoyed it and it made you laugh. Please feel free to share this with as many friends as possible and even encourage them to visit me too. Did you know you can download some of my humourous books FREE from my website

      God bless you and your family always.



God bless you.