Biff Sock Pow

Finding the humor in everyday life.

Archive for the tag “Pet Peeves”

From Here to Oblivion

Man wearing blinders

I have decided that in my next life, I want to come back as an oblivious person.

I am not currently oblivious, nor do I think I have ever been.  I have always been blessed (or cursed) with a sense of what is going on around me at any given time.  And even if that sense is not necessarily keen, it is adequate and keeps me from becoming a menace to those around me.

I have lived a long time and I have had many opportunities to observe oblivious people and I have come to realize that theirs is a charmed existence.  I used to think I was superior to oblivious people.  After all, I was cognizant of things going on around me and they weren’t.  Surely my consciousness of people, actions, and things around me gave me an evolutionary advantage over someone who was conscious of none of those things.

But now I’m not so sure.

I very often see people stop their shopping carts in the middle of the aisle to ponder a selection of beans or cereals or pita chips.  They not only park their carts in the middle of the aisle, the angle it or put it perpendicular to the aisle so that there is no way to get around them.  They are completely oblivious to the fact that no one can get around them.  In contrast, the other people, who are conscious of the situation, begin to get quite perturbed.  Their blood pressure rises.  Steam begins to come out of their ears.  But the oblivious person is … well … oblivious.  His (or her) blood pressure is just fine.  They are calm.  All is well in their world.

Today I was in the parking lot of a very busy shopping center and saw a lady stop her car in the middle of a busy aisle so that she could do something that required all of her attention.  I’m assuming she was receiving or sending a text.  Or looking at dog pictures on Pinterest.   Or swiping past potential suitors in Tinder.  But she just stopped her car.  Cars backed up behind her and in front of her (it was a bi-directional aisle).   She sat there for a good 4 or 5 minutes texting or Facebooking or whatever the heck it was that was so important that it required stopping in the middle of a very busy parking lot aisle.  Everyone around her was having strokes, aneurysms, and various seizures.  She, on the other hand, was quite calm and serene.  She did not even seem to hear the car horns blaring around her.

I very frequently see a group of people meet in a busy intersection in a store or at work and they will just stand there, conversing with each other, laughing, having some sort of reunion or another.  Meanwhile, they are blocking traffic from four different directions.  However, they seem completely unaware of the fact that they are blocking a busy intersection with their impromptu high school reunion, even while everyone around them is beet red and clutching their hearts, moments from expiring completely.

I have observed drivers on the busiest freeways in Dallas going a good 40 miles per hour below the prevailing speed on the freeway.  Other drivers are swerving around them and nearly having accidents avoiding this sudden road hazard that appears before them.  Horns are blaring.  Hand signals are exchanged.  Vital signs slip into the red zone.  But the turtle-like driver is calm, cool, and happy as a clam.

I have seen parents in a book store completely oblivious to the fact that their kids are running around unsupervised and being a danger to themselves and everyone around them.  The insensible parent calmly sips their grande Chai Crème Frappuccino and flips serenely through a magazine they have no intention of buying while their little darlings are climbing bookshelves, screaming at the tops of their lungs, and scattering books hither and yon.  The rest of the patrons in the bookstore (and the employees) are doing a slow burn and feeling their left arm go numb.  The parent, on the other hand, could not possibly be happier.

So which is better?  To be oblivious to everything and everyone around you and know true peace and serenity and contentment?  Or to have a high degree of mindfulness, attentiveness, and situational awareness and thus be in a state of constant stress, tension, and anxiety?

I don’t know about you, but on my next go round, I’m requesting that I be oblivious.


A Lot on My Mind This Morning


It is not unusual for me to wake up with weighty matters on my mind.

For instance, this morning I woke up with a 15 pound cat standing on my head with all four feet.

This happens sometimes.  I generally wake up in the morning laying on my stomach, my head turned so that the side of my face is on the mattress, and my pillow completely covering my head with only a little bit of an air gap to allow me to breathe.  This is my Fortress of Solitude.

Cats are nothing if not opportunists, so when they see someone with a pillow over their face, it is not in a cat’s nature to let“I dare not” wait upon “I would”.  No doubt he thought to himself, “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly” and quickly ascended to the throne.  However, he failed to take into account my patented Breathing Gap™.

I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps he was just trying to find a perch that afforded him a better view of the sunrise.  But if he could tell time, he’d have known that that was still a way away.


Glaring Error


Some of the greatest minds of the last hundred years have argued vehemently against the notion of Intelligent Design.  They have presented many cogent and well-reasoned arguments.  They have, using logic, proven to their own satisfaction that there could not possibly be an Intelligent Agent behind everything that surrounds us.

But I’m here to tell you that they are all wrong.  Every one of them.  Dead wrong.

How can I be so certain?

It’s simple.

How could anything but some Grand Designer create a world in which, while you are driving to or from work in the morning in winter, the sun shines directly into your eyes no matter which direction you are driving in, no matter what angle your sun visor is tilted, or how low or high you adjust it, no matter if you are driving up a hill or down?  The winter sun mysteriously pivots, turns, and gyrates in the sky so that it is always beaming directly into your eyes.

There simply has to be an Intelligence behind that.

Either that, or it is entirely possible that, during the winter months at least, I am the exact center of our solar system.

How Not to Excel at Your Job


You may remember from my last exciting post that our intrepid protagonist was waxing philosophic (i.e. babbling) about it being Wednesday.  Well, that was then; this is now.  Wednesday is so yesterday.  Thursday is trending.  Thursday is the new Wednesday.  And, using the tortured metaphor from yesterday’s post, we are now past the Continental Divide and we are trudging through Oregon (i.e. Thursday), even though we haven’t quite reached the Willamette Valley (i.e. Friday) yet.  But you can see it from here if you squint really hard and make binoculars of your fists.

But not to worry.  I am not going to continue to torture yesterday’s poor Oregon Trail metaphor.  It has suffered enough.  As have you, Dear Reader.  So, let’s move on, shall we?  The less said about it the better.

It occurred to me today as I sat in my taupe colored box at work struggling with uncooperative PowerPoint bullets … (“If I wanted pips, I would have chosen pips!  I would like a simple round bullet, please!”) … it occurred to me that there is nothing worse than inheriting someone else’s work.  I mean, we are all guilty of creating things we are less than proud of,  such as incomprehensibly complex spreadsheets that only we can understand (and that even we struggle with sometimes).  We create these Frankenspreadsheets ostensibly to make some part of our job easier, but in the end they end up taking on a life of their own and creating more work for us, because, in addition to our regular jobs, we now have to maintain and update this mind boggling Rube Goldberg contraption of a spreadsheet.  We get to the point where we are afraid to touch anything inside it because the cells and formulas are so complexly interwoven and interlinked that the slightest change will result in  an eye full of cells displaying the dreaded #VALUE! admonishment.

But there is something worse.  Much worse.

And that is …… inheriting someone else’s monstrosity of a spreadsheet because they did something selfish and inconsiderate like retiring or taking a better job. Worse still is having everyone in the company begin to refer to it as “your” spreadsheet.  No matter how many times I declare loudly and definitively that this is NOT my spreadsheet, that I would never create such a convoluted labyrinthine piece of garbage (not that I’m not capable of it), people still keep referring to it is Biff’s spreadsheet.  And, eventually, just like the tar baby in Southern folklore, you find yourself helplessly attached to this torturous piece of inscrutable codswallop.

So every time the Boss sticks his head into my taupe colored sensory deprivation chamber and says, “Hey, how soon can you have this month’s numbers cranked into your spreadsheet?” I am tempted to rear up on my hind legs defiantly and shout, “I am not an animal!”  But what comes out of my mouth instead is something more along the lines of, “As soon as I figure out this circular reference.”


That is the kind of biting retort that people say when they have mortgages and dependents and a looming retirement.   The only thing that keeps me going is the knowledge that someday this monstrosity of a spreadsheet will get passed on to its next victim.  I think that makes me merely a carrier for this virus-like spreadsheet.

And that’s not nothing.



Read More? I’m Out.



We no sooner vanquish something annoying about the Internet before the Internet strikes back and comes up with something equally or more annoying.

First there were viruses.  We got virus scanners.

Then there were popup ads.  We got popup blockers.

Now there is the dreaded “Read More” link in virtually every story.


It is so hard to find articles worth reading on the Internet any more.  There are literally tens of thousands (or more) new articles on the Internet every day.  Trying to sort through them all to find one that is actually interesting or well written or somehow relevant to our lives is tedious and time consuming and soul-sucking.  But then we finally see something that piques our interest and our eyes light up and our pulse quickens and we think, “At last!  Something worth reading!”  And so we click on it.

But alas!

What we are presented is a short lead-in paragraph followed by the annoying “Read more” button.  Now, I know why they do this.  Clicks equals dollars.  So if they can get you to click on their story twice rather than just once, then they’ve won.

But I don’t WANT to click twice.  It’s annoying.  I feel like I’m being manipulated and exploited (which I am).  And it happens so often that 99% of the time I don’t click on the “Read more” button.  I click on the little “X” in the upper right corner and I’m out.

Take THAT, you marketing parasites!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: