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The Waiting Line

Posted Saturday, May 16, 2009, at 8:30 AM

City Folk Have All The Fun?
A few years ago, John Travolta starred in a movie called "Michael". Michael it turned out was one of God's archangels, and the movie featured several memorable lines with one of my favorites being "I invented standing in line".

We've all seen people standing in lines on the news now and then, and have likely spent some time waiting in a line for whatever ourselves. The last presidential election showed pictures of hundreds of people waiting to cast their votes, new movies can have lines several blocks long, and even stores can have a line of folks waiting to get in for sales and the like.

On a recent road trip, we happened to have the opportunity to visit a membership warehouse store that opens earlier for certain members. It turns out that folks that opted for the business membership get the the opportunity to shop an hour earlier than the general members. The unfortunate part of this story is that the business members probably outnumber the general members.

We were with a business member when we arrived at the store about 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled opening time. There were about 10 or 15 people in line when we arrived, and since I hate standing in line, we waited until we noted the line moving after the doors were unlocked to exit the car and head for the store entrance.

YIKES! I am apparently not the only person that doesn't like Michael's standing in line invention. As we heading for the door, so did about 300 or so other folks intent on getting in early and avoiding the rush... yeah right! I've seen more organization and less pushing and shoving at a cattle pen that at the door to the membership warehouse, and as you well know by now, I'm no cow expert!

If there had been some super sale on an item perhaps the waiting line's aggressive behavior could be understood, but there was no big sale. It was just a bunch of city folk in a hurry to get their shopping done and cutting in line to get in faster was a common complaint as I heard several folks say... "I was here first".

City dwellers I come in contact with seem to have a very different set of priorities than me. Pushing and shoving to get into a store is pretty low on my list of things needing to get done expeditiously, but I have to admit that it's nice to have a set of rules to get the job done... even if the general population doesn't follow the rules now and then.

I guess standing in line is kinda like speed limits... following the rule seems to be only a suggestion unless someone is there to enforce the rule. It seems that common courtesy and general safety are not as important as we like to think when we speed down the highway or force our way in a line. Rules are made to be broken is a common phrase I've heard over the years, so go ahead and break the rules all you want... payback will not be required unless someone catches you and you painfully discover that breaking rules occasionally has consequences... at least in this lifetime.

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Michael is definitely of the Government. He deliberately invented waiting in line, and without noticing, invented the 'Big Bang' theorem, which is caused by all the car doors being slammed shut at the instant the store doors are unlocked.

Isn't it nice, this slower pace of life, where one can take the time to hold the door open for another?

In Messiah. Arley

-- Posted by Navyblue on Mon, May 18, 2009, at 3:55 PM

Not sure if "Herd Mentality" applies more to cows, sheep, chickens, ducks, alpacas or people.

During my previous life, required to routinely attend public meetings, sporting events/concerts and other "thangs" which naturally attracted large crowds of people and their vehicles, I learned a few things.

Often, saving something to read and arriving early with paper, magazine or book in hand, is a winner.

No traffic going in, no lines, no pushing and shoving.

Can't arrive early, stop for a cuppa and fresh apple pie (NO SUGAR ADDED) and walk in without lines a little late. This works best when you have guaranteed seating and you arrive with bout ten seconds to spare.

Save enough of the reading to allow delay in leaving, so you can walk out without any elbows thrown, find your ride in a near empty parking lot and drive away on empty streets.

At most, you arrive home a few minutes later than leaving in the mob, swapping paint in pushing for the exits and filling the air with smoky comments.

At least, your blood pressure and irritability remain under control. And you get some of that reading finished you never have time for.

-- Posted by HerndonHank on Mon, May 18, 2009, at 7:42 PM

Sceptre said... I usually start coughing loudly, and then announce in a loud voice, "I'll never go to Mexico for a vacation again."

Good One... at least right now!

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Tue, May 19, 2009, at 6:27 AM

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