Saturday 5 September 2020

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.

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. ...of course we don't do odd and unusual things, it's just all the others!

  2. Yes, I agree on what you wrote! : ) My daughters nurse their babies but they would feel the same way, they have a nursing cape they put on when nursing. I don't like the hat thing either, ugh. And phones. Why do people think they have to constantly be on them? And why do people think they have to get right back with people all the time? In our family unless it's important, there are times we get back and that's that, we're all trained that way but I do see my husband tempted in business to get right back so to speak. When it's after hours to me, they can just wait unless an emergency. Another thing that get's on my nerves is the lack of respect a younger person can have for someone old enough to be their mom or dad in what they address us as...I do not like being called by my first name by those younger ones. I wasn't raised like that and it's so insulting especially when one of my daughters brings a date over and the guy pulls that. (One mark against the poor dude) lol

    Flip flops are another peeve of mine. At least flip flops for weddings or church. Drives me bonkers. And the way people dress to eat out, what in the world? They are wearing clothes we would wear to weed the flower beds! lol Eew. It's just kind of gross, the way they slouch around everywhere! rofl

    Oh well, there's my engagement! Haha!

    And no, I would never, never do a thing to ever get on anyone's nerves...ever. ; )

    God bless you Victor! : )

    1. Very good points you raise here, Amelia. Thanx.

      1 That woman on the train just pulled down her top revealing all as if it was OK. I did not mind, of course, but what if I had opened my shirt? Would she have liked that?

      2 As for hats the other way round! I think they are trying to make a statement. The statement is that they are stupid.

      3 Like your husband, I too answer business calls and e-mails straight-away. It is expected of you these days.

      4 I too don't like being called by my first name; especially from youngsters still in their diapers. They phone trying to sell me something, or call at the door, and think they're being friendly by calling me by my first name.

      5 And flip-flops. Especially flip-flops with socks. Typically English. Or men in shorts in church. Men should not wear shorts in church. Or ladies should not wear revealing short dresses, or low cut fronts in church. I find such women distracting in church. When I look at them I get a sharp elbow in the ribs. Difficult to pray with such pain!

      God bless, Amelia.

  3. You're so funny Victor! lol But yeah, it's true. It's not breastfeeding, it's respect for others, women can breastfeed but cover up a bit, yes, it would be like my daughter's husbands going on the bus with something personal showing for their convenience and expecting others to just not be concerned a bit. On phone calls, I can sympathize, but yeah, sometimes yes and sometimes no...I guess I think of a doctor, when he's with a patient he doesn't get right back unless it's an emergency. I'm a real stickler. lol I'm sure you have good sense on it all, hubs does too but sometimes he needs reminding not to jump quite so quickly for nothing. : ) Flip flops with socks, oh that must be so striking! lol Oh and for pity's sake no need to pray in pain. *big smile* Of course I don't think ladies should ever wear revealing clothes anywhere in public. Most of them know just what they are doing.

    Thanks for the insightful replies, truth with some humor! : )

    1. It's good to laugh, Amelia. Laughter is happiness.

      God bless.

  4. One thing that does drive me nuts are those automated answering machines where I have to listen to all the choices, and hope I choose the right one regarding my call. I just wish a real person would answer the phone!
    As for the breastfeeding, I did this with both my kids, but was always extremely discreet about it. There are ways to do it right!
    Blessings, Victor!

    1. Yes Martha, there are ways of doing breastfeeding discreetly and right. These days it seems that some women/ladies do it as some form of defiance. There was no reason for the young woman in the train to act that way.

      I also agree with you regarding the many options on phone calls. By the time the automated machine has gone through all the options I've forgotten why I rang in the first place or who it is I am phoning.

      God bless always.

  5. The lack of real people is a problem. Computers talking to you. My bank only has machines and they are quiet. I like people who can help others with their issues. Way too much automation these days.

    1. Indeed, way too much automation. In shops, banks, car parks and the whole of society. I agree Bill, life is not getting any easier.

      God bless.

  6. AMEN to the backwards ball caps. I've even seen young ladies adopting that 'look.' Oh my word, Victor. You're getting better and better at pointing out those things that bother us, but we've been too busy to notice -- or afraid to say so. I was laughing so hard at these voice-mail scenarios.
    I don't know if I'd call mine 'annoyances' but I wonder what rocket scientist decided to do away with automobile bumpers ... and hood ornaments.

    1. Agreed, Mevely, about the car bumpers. These days they are made of plastic and the intention is that they absorb the shock; whereas the old metal chrome bumpers made the passengers feel the shock more. As for the hood ornaments; these have been taken off because in an accident with a pedestrian the ornament used to injure the flying passenger badly.

      As for phone answering machines and automated machines ... I have programmed my machine to answer other machines. When a company I phone says Press 1 for ... Press 2 for ... and so on ... My machine replies ... I'll see your 2 and I raise you another 3 ...

      God bless. Keep smiling.

  7. We had the computer check in thing at our doctors office but they went back to checking in with a person because people had so much trouble with it!
    I don't like the backward cap either.

    1. Yes I noticed, some people ignore the computer check-in and go straight to the receptionist.

      God bless, Happyone.

  8. I often wonder the same as you - what are people DOING when they incessantly scroll on their phones? I would get bored very quickly.

    I like your suggestions for upbeat songs businesses should play for your listening pleasure while you are on hold. I would much rather listen to the Monkees than a funeral dirge.

    1. It has become like an epidemic MiM. Wherever I go I see people tapping and scrolling on their cell phones. The screens are too small, so they can't possibly be reading a book like on a Kindle. Some are possibly listening to music, or looking at photos. Or texting inane comments to each other.

      The Monkees were real fun.

      Thanx for your visit, MiM. God bless.

  9. Dearest Victor,
    Oh, there are numerous nuts around us; I agree on that!
    Those that invent the automated calling system are big nuts, it goes round in circles and takes up our precious time.
    Waiting at a doctor's office is the worst. Having to sign in and filling out a book full of questions; which you repeat annually anyway. Why can't they save them?! Then again after a very long wait, inside another assistant starts over with asking the very same questions for putting them into her computer screen... Looks impressive they think? Had an appointment at 10:15 and left at 11:30 so that makes you furious about their 'just have a seat, you will be called in just a minute...' Those are strange minutes - overweight and heavily obese minutes I would say!
    Oh, at times you really want to speak out loud to some nuts for shaking them up. Or doing something. Guess your tapping on the magazine caused them to look up; but doubt if their thought process was 'on'... if EVER!
    Yes, we're all living in this kind of world but often it is not a better one.
    Worse than those caps, being worn in a stupid reversed way, are pants with their crotch near the knees. I always fantasize about a sudden fire alarm or some siren, that would make them run. They would not be able to! They'd trip inside their sagging pants and fall to the ground...

    1. You're funny, Mariette. I can imagine people tripping inside their sagging pants as they run from a fire.

      Life is getting very weird and we should see the funny side.

      God bless always.

  10. I think most of us have become used to the automated answering machines but they are so annoying aren't they. I always worry about what number to press.

    Of course in these present times of Covid 19 you can be waiting on somebody answering for even longer lengths of time!

    All the best Jan

    1. By the time the machine has gone through all the numbers I have forgotten the options available.

      God bless you, Jan.

  11. While i fed my babies wherever they were hungry, i covered us both up, or went to another room if i needed to. It's just polite.

    One thing i do not understand is all the cars lining up in one lane and leaving the other lane empty. It's as if they are all lemmings, having to follow each other. If i can, i get in the other lane, and i do not understand why they don't.

    Anyway, i like to bring my own books to appointments, although a Kindle would be nice.

    1. As you say, Mimi, "it is polite". Today, I think people reveal their breasts as a sign of defiance.

      God bless always.



God bless you.