#877 Getting in a line just before it gets really long

Say goodbye to the next hour of your life

The worst lineups of all time include:

Airport security. Plastic bins, loafers, keychains, and laptop computers fly in all directions in the maddening chaos of the airport security lineup. People are getting the beepdown and guards are tearing through suitcases looking for Terrorism, while folks jostle about awkwardly, emptying and refilling pockets, the whole place smelling like sweaty feet.

The bank at lunchtime on Friday. Hey, even if you’re just trying to get at the ATM, chances are good you’ll get stuck behind someone making four or five deposits.

Wherever you get your driver’s license renewed. Toss some mugshot photos and a few eye exams in the mix and that lineup will just wrap around and around and around all day.

Some people are still waiting in this one

The bathrooms just after a movie lets out. How bad does it feel when the lineup is long enough that it reaches right up to the inside of the bathroom door but no further? And you’re the person who opens the door to find a bunch of fidgety folks wedged in that little Bathroom Lobby with their arms crossed and their faces all scrunched up. It’s just a sardine tin of quiet, anxious, heavy-bladdered folks, man. Not a great scene.

Post-Christmas Returns line. This one is the worst of all. Honestly, you may as well just keep that novelty wine bottle opener and ice cream maker at this point. Just give up, go home, and drown your sorrows in a big bottle of Merlot and a bowl full of warm, runny ice cream.

So yeah, there sure are some terrible lines out there. Sometimes you beat them, sometimes they beat you, but one thing’s for sure — it’s a great feeling when you enter one of those classically long and winding lineups just before it gets long and winding.

Yes, when you’re first through the maze of velvet ropes, when you grab the empty handicapped stall in the corner, when you get the new line at the DMV with the lady who just came off her break, well — doesn’t it sort of feel like you bucked the system or solved a mysterious riddle of life?

That’s when you can hardly believe your luck. You look back at the poor souls waiting and you just smile sadly, because you know you’ve been there before and you know you’ll be there again.

But this time you won the game, you’re riding high, and you’re feeling so completely


Add it to your pile

Photos from: here, here, and here

20 thoughts on “#877 Getting in a line just before it gets really long

  1. When I was a kid, my family went to Disney World, where Splash Mountain had just opened. We passed it several times, but each time the line suggested a multi-hour wait, so we gave it a miss. But mid-afternoon, we saw that there was no one in line. An employee informed us that the ride had been closed for an hour or so, and they had literally just opened it back up about 30 seconds before we walked by. There was no one ahead of us! Cool!

    1. My family and I went to Splash Mountain completely off-season….not only was there not a soul in line, but when the ride was over, there was STILL nobody in line, so we didn’t even leave our seats…the guy just pushed the button again….and again. We went three rounds without getting out. AWESOME!!

  2. Great read. But having worked at a bank for most of my adult life, I can tell you that noon on Friday, while busy, is not the worst time. About 3:30 on Friday, when all the factories let out for the weekend, and all their uneducated dolt workers come in with paltry $600 weekly checks for making shobby American products…that’s the worst time to be in line at a bank.

  3. I think it’s funny when the line doesn’t matter because everyone has to take a numbered ticket, but they still wait in line anyway. Then somebody will come in who’s not used to the system and just wait in the line, until they call a ticket number and by then, another three people took tickets without them noticing.

  4. We went early to the medicentre the other week. You usually go in, grab a number and wait your turn to see a doctor.
    However, this time we arrived before it opened and were waiting in the corridor with about 6 other elderly people. A nurse came out the door and handed the basket of numbers to one of them.
    All of a sudden there was a huge arguement between these old women over who was there first and who deserves to get the first number and all this – They were terrible! one even yelled OH SHUT UP! at the other. My partner and i were left shocked and numberless!

  5. Quote: When you grab the empty handicapped stall in the corner.

    I am handicapped and 88% of the time I have to wait. I hate to be in there will people peeing around me, looking at me, smelling the ammonia in the air.

    But for me the best part is when they come out from the stall. They look down to see me and the look of guilt on their face, sometimes embarrassment if other people look at them especially in a crowed bathroom, makes me feel.


  6. During a movie, the minute the interval starts I get up and run towards the exit like a crazy person. Works every time.

  7. What’s also a really bad line? The canteen line at the start of recess on a tuesday or friday. they are the worst coz at our school theyre the days they sell yummy drummy rolls and cheesies. but what’s awesome? being let out 5 minutes early from 80 min. RE period and being allowed to go to the canteen before anyone else :D !

  8. As a kid, we used to test-run the P.N.E. roller-coaster for free…no line ups at all, and ’round and ’round we’d go; new car, no problemo, fearless and Awesome!

  9. Great story, well…maybe not, but Primark is the worst shop for queuing, especially the bigger shops in busy places, so one day I was in primark, all I wanted was some tights and other little bits and was looking for the queue thinking, is it really gonna be worth the wait? So as I was making my way to the tills when suddenly masses of people started making their way in the opposite direction and you could just hear two people screaming at each and everybody in the shop was watching, so me, not being particularly interested in watching people squabble, took full advantage of the empty queue. It was Bliss. (Until when making my way home later I found an ambulance parked outside the store)!

    Awesome :)

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