Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Obvious Man

Bleedin' obvious, innit ?
  [vote for,

Bewildered by your latest purchase ? Baffled by new technology ? Embarrassed by your inability to connect two devices ?

No need to worry ! Send for Obvious Man !

"Help me, Obvious Man ! My new mobile phone won't make calls !"
"Have you put the SIM from your old phone in it, and charged the battery ?"
"Oooooh ! Thankyou !"

"Obvious Man, I can't connect my Blu-ray player to my TV !"
"Do you still have the box it came in ?"
"Yes, here it is."
"Ah look, in this plastic bag is the cable you need."

"Tell me what to do, Obvious Man ... I can't get a picture on my TV from my new laptop !"
"Hmmm ... you didn't listen to your eight year old son when he told you that your TV doesn't have an HDMI input, did you ?"
"No, I didn't ... is that bad ?"
"Yes, because he's forgotten more about PC and AV technology than you'll ever know. Do you know what "complete numpty" means ? Well, that's what you are. You'll need to buy an adaptor box."

"Why won't my movie play, Obvious Man ?"
"Because that's a Blu-ray disk and you only have a regular DVD player."

Wherever witless dolts are staring in slack-jawed dismay at something utterly beyond their comprehension, there you'll find Obvious Man, wearily pointing out the stuff you could have discovered for yourself if you knew how to use Google, and hadn't (yet again) wrecked your router setup preventing you from accessing the internet. Tired, somewhat brusque, and with patience strained to the limit, Obvious Man will be there at any time, be it Christmas lunchtime, late on Saturday evening, or first thing on New Year's Day after a late night of revelry; just call Obvious Man - who will be absolutely delighted to drop everything, leaving their food to go cold on the table, to spend an hour driving over to your house and either fix your problem in a bit under three minutes, or tell you that you've bought the wrong thing, or need an extra component, and if you'd bothered to ask someone who knew what they were doing, instead of trying to bluff and bluster, or listening to a shop assistant with a room temperature IQ instead of your own child who in a couple of years will be the next Elon Musk, all this could have avoided. Again. Just like last year.


Obvious Man is assisted on his adventures by his trusty sidekick, Turn-it-off-and-on-again Boy, who carries a selection of useful tools, some spare fuses, and Obvious Man's trademark baseball bat, which is used when a more vigorous form of tuition of the product user is called for.
(Thanks to [zen_tom])

8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

9 tips to appear smart in business meetings. https://thecooperre...ear-smart-meetings/
Ignore 10. [doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

"Hello everybody, just want to say how happy I am to be stepping in as CEO of this great company." https://goo.gl/images/inD1by
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

"I hope my tenure here will make this great company's founder proud." https://goo.gl/images/8XMLK1
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

"Just want to get the obvious out of the way. We all know my predecessor left under controversial circumstances, but I'm not going to address allegations that he was, shall we say, a little handsy with his female coworkers." https://goo.gl/images/WGJJhE
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

"I also know the first suggestion for his replacement ran into some problems early on." https://goo.gl/images/4gQxjJ
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

"With that being said, I'd like to thank the head of the book keeping department... https://goo.gl/images/nifER4
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

...send a shout out to all our interns this year... https://goo.gl/images/QLpvP1
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

...and to the head of corporate legal." https://goo.gl/images/sHKMzo
[doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019]

Fog Lights Off Fog_20Lights_20Off
"Numpties" [8th of 7, Jan 05 2019]


       Each and every appearance of Obvious Man represents a failure of technology.   

       "My mobile phone won't make calls!"
Yes, that's because it's not sufficiently well designed to wake up, ask you what phone number you want, and take things from there.

       "I can't connect my Blu Ray player to my TV"
That's because neither the player nor the TV have sufficient intelligence to say hello to eachother and figure out a way to communicate.

       "Why won't my movie play?"
Because the technology is so unbelievably primitive that devices can only handle particular formats and communications protocols, and lack even the machine equivalent of a hamster's intelligence.

       The most advanced thing I own is a laptop computer. It can re-tint 10 million pixels of an image in an instant, but it can't talk to my TV and it can't even display a word of text without five layers of fucking software to tell it how.   

       Seriously, when we started inventing electronics, did everyone just say "fuck it, this'll do."?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2019

       Actually, yes. They did.   

       They were so pleased to get something - anything - to work at all, even a little bit, that they stopped development right there and went off down the pub.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

       Let me guess.   

       On boxing day "obvious man" (aka [8th]) suffers a major influx of inquiries about their gifts from perplexed family members, posts thinly disguised rant in halfbakery to let off steam.   

       Is your family really this bad [8th]?
Skewed, Jan 01 2019

       I've an old PlayStation with some light guns in the loft.   

       I might just box them up for my nephew next year as a retro/collectibles gift, just for giggles, could be fun watching him try to work out why they won't work with his TV.
Skewed, Jan 01 2019

       // On boxing day //   

       "Boxing day" ? HAH ! Oh, what joy, to be left undisturbed until the 26th ...   

       Christmas bloody Morning, more like. Three pleas for help on Christmas day, two more on Boxing day, then constant harassment every day since. Including this morning. New Year's Day. Not early by normal standards, perhaps, but early by The Morning After New Year's Eve standards.   

       // thinly disguised rant //   

       Not sure where the "disguised" bit comes in ...   

       // to let off steam. //   

       More as a socially-acceptable alternative to a series of drive-by shootings.   

       // Is your family really this bad [8th] //   

       You have no idea ...   

       // fun watching him try to work out why they won't work //   

       ... until he designs a work-around for the lack of a scanning raster dot, at which point you should start to worry.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

       Let me guess, [8th], because I think I can see where you're going wrong.   

       When a perplexed relative asked you how to get their mobile phone working, what you failed to say was "You need to deactivate the security clamp by popping it in the microwave for 30 seconds", did you?   

       Sturton does undisclosed electronic things for undisclosed government departments, and is really quite a whizz when sober. However, once he'd explained to my cousin's niece Eltheria how to replace an American-style USB connector with a British 13 Amp plug, requests for advice dried up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2019

       // I can see where you're going wrong //   

       Oh, so can we. We should have taken a katana with us and introduced it as "Mr. Sharp. Yes, this is Mr. Sharp. Because he is. Mr. Sharp doesn't have many friends ... if fact he doesn't have any. And he's not in a very good mood, because he was woken up too early today. As were we. So, you know, it's not very likely that Mr. Sharp is going to want to be your friend today either. Have you seen the movie Kill Bill, by the way ... ?"
8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

       Thumping the television on the top with the side of a clenched fist was once the commonly accepted solution to most problems. Wonder if there is a contemporary version of this universal solution? Pushing the end of a straightened out paper-clip into the tiny hole on the back? Where there is no hole, we suggest drilling one. (using the special kit, complete with exact location diagram only we can supply) Also wonders if this would repair any of 8th's numerous defects, where repeated applications of the fist on the head technique have clearly failed.
xenzag, Jan 01 2019

       //Thumping the television on the top with the side of a clenched fist was once the commonly accepted solution to most problems.//   

       Don't know why, I've tried it before, my kettle still didn't work.
Skewed, Jan 01 2019

       Try turning the gas on.   

       // a contemporary version of this universal solution? //   

       We have established by experimentation that thumping the owner of the product rather than the product itself greatly reduces the incidence of fault reports.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

       //Try turning the gas on//   

       What kind of rube do you think I am, I know the TV doesn't run on gas, it uses a wood burner.
Skewed, Jan 01 2019

       Fine, fine ... just turn the gas on anyway without lighting it, then just wait and see what happens.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

       It's fairly obvious, because you're still wearing your underpants outside your trousers.
8th of 7, Jan 01 2019

       //did everyone just say "fuck it, this'll do."?//   

       Commercial engineering is a never-ending process of exactly this.   

       Basically, you do engineering for a bit, then you say "fuck it, this'll do", and then you sell it to someone.   

       Lather, rinse, repeat.
Wrongfellow, Jan 02 2019

       How is he not named Captain Obvious?
Voice, Jan 02 2019

       Captain Obvious (WKTE) merely points out things that are obvious; Obvious Man's special power is that he can fix things by actually doing something which is entirely obvious, not just pointing it out.   

       Also, Captain Obvious doesn't harbour grudges, isn't bitter and twisted by his experiences, or nurse a deep-seated festering resentment against the total arseholes who call him at stupid times and ruin his holiday.
8th of 7, Jan 02 2019

       Mr Obvious' trusty sidekick Turn-it-off-and-on-again Boy suggests taking up some light shepherding in a remote and hard-to-reach location over the festive period. Or at least sticking to similarly out-of- touch variations of the same story for the duration.
zen_tom, Jan 02 2019

       Antarctica would be favourite ...   

       Physically being a long way away is good, as is being in a location with poor or nonexistent telecoms service. However, rather like nuclear waste, if not properly disposed of problems just pile up, meaning that eventually there is a much bigger problem, or sequence of problems, to be addressed.   

       Since numpties don't learn from their mistakes, after their first Epic Fail they continue (if unsupervised) to do imbecilic things.   

       A typical reaction is "My soundbar doesn't work. The shops are open again now, so I think I'll go and buy a big jar of honey and pour it in to the ventilation slots. When I lost my voice, honey helped. Maybe it will make the soundbar able to talk ..."
8th of 7, Jan 02 2019

       Oddly, at my place of employment the network servers are being rebooted to deal with a slowness issue. Turn it off and turn it on Boy to the rescue!
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2019

       A comfortable living is still there to be had for anyone willing to learn the dark arts of turning things off and then back on again.   

       We'll all be in trouble once the machines figure out how to do this for themselves.
zen_tom, Jan 03 2019

       //just turn the gas on anyway without lighting it, then just wait and see what happens//   

       OK, it's been two days, was something supposed to happen yet?
Skewed, Jan 03 2019

       No, not yet. Now, try lighting some candles ...
8th of 7, Jan 03 2019

       "...and Tautology Boy!!!"
hippo, Jan 03 2019

       A tautology ball would be a good event to organise.
xenzag, Jan 03 2019

       //Turn-it-off-and-on-again Boy,//   

       ...and his dog Reboot?   

       I work with internet stuff and find myself constantly telling people to turn down the genius when troubleshooting systems. Start with the stupid and work your way up. For instance, if there are racoons in the building, let's start there. Are they chewing on cables? Are they peeing on the routers? What are they doing there in the first place?   

       Come to think of it, no matter what the problem, I'd eliminate the raccoon factor first. This goes for medicine, aerospace or investment banking. "The patient's been showing signs of leptospirosis, salmonella and giardiasis, all diseases carried by raccoons. Let's start there."   

       If racoons aren't involved, fine, move to step two. Is it plugged in? Etc.   

       But seriously, people do tend to troubleshoot according to their level of expertise. Over- troubleshooting is an actual thing.
doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019

       // Start with the stupid and work your way up. //   

       If you want to start with the stupid, begin in the boardroom ...   

       // I'd eliminate the raccoon factor first. //   

       There's your mistake, right there.   

       Raccoons are intelligent, dextrous, social and highly adaptable. They don't ask imbecilic questions, issue ill-considered and counter-productive Führer Direktives, or randomly rearrange reporting responsibilities at critical stages of major projects. This makes them superior in almost every way to the majority of senior mangers.   

       Top Tip: Fire the managers, hire the raccoons. They only chew cables and piss on routers because they're bored. Give them a plush office, a chauffeur-driven car, and an endless succession of big dinners and all will be fine. Leptospirosis, salmonella and giardiasis, while unpleasant, have low mortality, and raccoons - unlike Sales & Marketing Directors - rarely carry rabies.   

       // people do tend to troubleshoot according to their level of expertise. //   

       ... when they can spare any mental capacity from, for instance, operating their lungs, or awarding themselves huge, unmerited bonuses.   

       // Over- troubleshooting is an actual thing. //   

       True, but often the result of thinking you have more understanding than you actually do, another noticeable trait of senior managers.
8th of 7, Jan 03 2019

       //Top Tip: Fire the managers, hire the raccoons.//   

       There are two ways to rise to the top in management of any company. Graduate from Harvard Business School or follow these 9 easy steps. (link) I know there are 10 shown in the list but I'm hard pressed to see how saying "I wish I were dead." in a business meeting will propel you to the top. The other ones are proven strategies though.   

       NOTE: Doing a quick search of raccoons in business suits, there are too many pictures on the web for this to not have some validity behind it.
doctorremulac3, Jan 03 2019

       Due to the colouration of the fur on their faces, raccoons bear a striking resemblance to dwarvish bandits; hence their preponderance in occupations such as accountancy and corporate law, where a lack of moral principles is actually an asset.
8th of 7, Jan 03 2019

       Does he have partners in a Fix-it Justice League like Percussive-Maintenance-Man, Seemingly-Futile Effort-That-Somehow Fixes-It-Woman (she who invented blowing on Nintendo cartridges), and Captain Kluge (secret identity of Jerry Rigg)?   

       Personally when I call in for tech support, I hate being asked stupid tech support questions like is it plugged in and only after running the gauntlet of pre- scripted Obvious Man solutions finally getting elevated to someone with some tech background. While I understand the need, I am reasonably competent to handle the basics.
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2019

       That sounds entrely reasonable.   

       Arrayed against them would be an appropriate group of enemies; Christmas Lights Man, The-cable-does-go-in-if- you-push-it-really-hard Woman, Miss I-don't-need-instructions and Uncle Why-do-they-have-to-make- these-things-so-complicated ...   

       As to tech support ...   

       "Hello, we're getting very poor downstream noise margins on our ADSL line."   

       "OK ... do you have a filter plugged into every phone socket ?"   

       "No, because it's a dedcated line with only one NTE".   

       "Oh ... " (pause as the conversation has gone off script). "Can you open Control Panel please ?"   

       "I don't have Control Panel, but I can start YaST if you want, or run config from the command line."   

       "Errr" (second long pause) " What version of Windows are you using ?"   

       "I'm not using Windows."   

       "Oh ... what are you using ?"   

       "SuSE Linux 13.1"   

       "Oh ... oh dear ... OK, I'll put you through to second line support, please hold ..."   

       Absolutely true. Not nicked from XKCD or anything, really did happen.
8th of 7, Jan 03 2019

       They are both small furry mammals with long tails, but racoons are amoral little scavengers and therefore infinitely more likeable than cats, which isn't difficult.   

       // They’ve heard someone say ‘do x when thing does blah’, so they try that first regardless and whether it worked or not, they tell others about it, and soon it spreads. //   

       We know of someone who fitted a very simple yet brilliantly effective immobilizer to his car; he ran the circuit to the starter solenoid through a relay linked to the interior lamp. To start the car, you either opened a door, or turned the interior lamp on with the 3-way switch. Left in the "always off" position, the car could not be started.   

       His fiancee, who became his wife, was shown how this worked.   

       Several cars later, long after the modification had been superseded by a proper alarm/immobilizer, she still aways turned the interior light on before trying to start the car ...   

       It is indeed how religions start ...
8th of 7, Jan 03 2019

       //"Errr" (second long pause) " What version of Windows are you using ?" // Next time, try saying "uPVC, except the back bedroom which is timber-framed."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2019


       This is the only hb posting in which the word numpities exists.   

       Sp. fixed.
8th of 7, Jan 04 2019


       Okay then. Congratulations! You are the first halfbaker to ever type the word numpties on this site.   

       No we aren't. There is a certain amount of Prior Art.
8th of 7, Jan 05 2019

       //Now, try lighting some candles//   

       OK done that, now what?   

       We had to go to the shops for the candles but that was alright because it was beginning to get a bit muggy in here anyway, so we left the windows open while we were out, was aired out nicely by the time we got back.
Skewed, Jan 05 2019

       <Muttered cursing/>   

       We'd have gotten away with it, too, if it wasn't for you pesky kids ...
8th of 7, Jan 05 2019

       //No we aren't. There is a certain amount of Prior Art//   

       Nope. Rewriting history, although common, does not negate the fact that you sir are the first person to write "numpties" here.
What's that old saying... oh yeah, the truth will out.

       Nah nah na numpties.
It's like part of your legacy now.

       Sorry I noticed.   

       "the numpties who are only vaguely aware of their surroundings." ... [drew], Feb 11 2002.   

8th of 7, Jan 05 2019

       hmmm, that did not show up on my initial search. Curious.   


       "That is correct, and the Emperor is most displeased with your apparent lack of progress."   

8th of 7, Jan 05 2019


       "Oh, very clever, Worf. Eat any good books lately?"   


       That annotation insults and demeans Klingons, incidentally something which only suicidally stupid people do, usually just the once.
8th of 7, Jan 06 2019

       ...says the Trek character quoting Wars references.   

       resistance is futile, you will be as I decide, influencing my decisions would be wise   

       ...yes, I am bat-shit crazy. I can admit that now. It changes nothing. I didn't make the crazy. I just live in it...   

       ...and navigate it.
Klingons are a minor annoyance.


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