Join The Far Queue

We used to queue in Australia. So much so that the title for this blog entry is actually the punch-line for an Aussie joke. Its where the shop assistant tells you to go when it’s really busy and he or she can’t possibly help you.

These days we’re American so we get in line, but indulge me for the duration of this blog (like you usually do). It will always be referred to as queuing on these pages.

I went to the supermarket this afternoon to gather supplies for La Weekend. Just across the road we have a brand new and poorly designed shopping area, where the queues curl around the aisles and everyone gets in the way of everyone else.

I waited patiently in the multi-checkout 10 Items or Fewer* queue. There were three possible checker-outerers; it was a spin of the roulette wheel. I had no control over who I would get.

So, would it be Tess, the smart-aleck Emo chick with a tiny metallic skull on the choker around her neck; like a cat’s bell? She would process my groceries quickly. Or would it be Garth, sort of a munted version of E of Eels fame? Nobody and nothing is cool enough for him. He’s the acknowledged top gun scanner and bagger of the market, even quicker than Tess. Both these kids always ask “Do you have Flybuys?” with a hint of condescension and boredom that I enjoy. I don’t take it personally. On the contrary I share their contempt for the very notion of customer ‘reward points’.

No. It was Kelly of the Vacant Stare. Lost somewhere between My Little Pony and working out which Super Fund she should go with. Kelly doesn’t really know what an artichoke is. Not really sure what a leek is either. In fact she is uncertain about anything that doesn’t have a barcode on it. I get to her checkout just ahead of Garth’s customer and just behind Tess’s. I leave after both these customers are long gone.

As always, the Far Queue is a state of mind, not an actual place.


Mr T.

*Thank You Clive James

0 thoughts on “Join The Far Queue

  1. Queues are a vital part of acclimatising to London life. When I flew out of Heathrow recently, the queue to get into the departures area extended out of the aiport. It used to amaze me how zen Londoners were about standing in queues but now I am too.

  2. I have heard wags suggest that all this queuing started when Londoners learnt to queue for rationed items during WW2.

    The queue is, of course, a sign of civilised society at work, which is why the queue-jumper is a barbarian.

    However there is always a sneaking suspicion I have that I am being a docile chump when queuing up for anything. But that’s my socialist ratbag part talking. By which I mean, the priveleged don’t queue. And unlike some, I don’t wish to join the priveleged, I just wanna see ’em join the queue.

    Like I said, I’m a socialist ratbag.

    Good to hear from you, Mrs Moz

  3. Each society to their own I think in terms of queuing. In Italy, there is a pretence at queueing which is never sucessfuly realised as it always descends into push-and-shove. The locals cheerfully push in as a matter of course and it is all very civilised. I joined in with gusto and enjoyed the fact that I could push in and it was OK. I enjoyed it a bit too much actually but I blame my Chinese bloodline for that.

  4. Well the Chinese know how to queue, especially if their hair goes awry – but that’s a rather weak pun that I chose not to resist.

    As usual Mrs Moz, you’re a provoker of thought and discussion. Hope you’re working on that opus. A question that requires no answer because we just might share a dose of Chinese superstition about such things…

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