I have never, ever understood the need to obfuscate
code in production.
The code in question wasn't deliberately obfuscated; it was more a matter of code written at 0300h, two hours after my last cup of coffee. While I'd be even harsher on deliberately obfuscated "real world" code, I've never seen it. (I'm just a lucky guy, I guess.)
Remember, kids: always come back to your code with a critical eye. The butt you save may be your own.
Personally, I see nothing wrong with obfuscation, golf, and so on. I appreciate the skill needed to pull it off, and the challenge a good obfu provides to those trying to unravel it (for recreational purposes, of course). I've nothing against a debate on obfu's merits and demerits; I just don't want to inadvertently become the bannerman for the "anti" side.