Now I’m old and decrepit i’ve given up queues. Life, or the time still remaining to me is far too short to waste any of it standing in a line of people just…queuing. I can imagine some ingenious researcher getting a group of nine or ten fellow students to stand in a public place one behind the other and make like a queue. I’m willing to bet in ten minutes or so the line would have increased as passers-by tagged on to the queue.
We had a day out with the grandchildren at a seaside park recently and what struck me was not the swings and roundabouts, not even the exorbitant prices charged to go on the various rides, but the queues. And people are prepared to wait patiently in a queue for a water splash when there is notice telling them they will be there for at least an hour. (There’s a holiday job going here for some enterprising lad or lass who offers to stand in line keeping a place in the queue for a family of five who have better things to do with their time!)
Watching people queue is hardly a spectator sport. I mean I can enjoy watching a random selection of humanity performing some activity, skating perhaps, or diving or playing football or cricket, but watching people queue makes watching paint dry look like a real intellectual pursuit.
I’m now at the delightful stage of retirement when I am no longer ruled by the clock. There are very few things I have to do at a particular hour. I still have things I must do, things I want to do and things I enjoy doing. But none of them are time-critical. And it’s great. As I said, I have given up queues. If I encounter a line of more than six people waiting for some service, I come back later. In half an hour the queue will be shorter or not exist at all. Or I go to another shop. One of the few exceptions I would make is queues for buses. If there are six or seven people waiting at a bus stop, it is likely to mean there is a bus due soon. At least you can have a moan to fellow-travellers about the inadequacies of public transport.
So avoid queues, avoid the tedium, the wasted time, the aches in your legs and back from standing in one place for a long time. Think, is whatever it is you may get at the end of the wait really necessary? Do you really want that ice cream or those fish and chips you are queuing for? Why not walk a little way and find another ice cream van that doesn’t have a queue? Why not go to another fish shop where the chips are just as good but you won’t have to wait for them? It’s worth doing, believe me.
STOP STANDING IN LINE – NOW