Friday, 16 September 2016
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:
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:
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.