#173 When you walk straight through one of those empty winding lineup things

Don’t get me started on airports.

Look, I love flying as much as the next guy but sometimes it feels like we’re grunting cows being poked from pen to pen. Check-in, customs, and security mean lines up the yin yang and through it all we’re papery flurries of passports, boarding passes, and carry-on bags.

That’s why it’s heaven when you’re scrambling through a Known Lineup Zone (or “KLZ” for short) and you come across an empty line in its place:

1. The roller coaster after the rain. Thunderstorms scared your fellow families away from the Looping Vortex of Doom. But when the skies clear it’s time to make your move for first sit on slippery slick seats. If you’re super lucky, you may even get that once-in-a-lifetime solo ride, where it feels like you own the amusement park. Funnel cakes for everyone!

2. Using a pay phone anytime. Anybody else remember pay phone lineups? Anybody else have to get their mom to minivan over to the mall after seeing Ace Ventura for the third time? Anybody?

3. The really popular restaurant at the really unpopular time. Good luck getting into The Cheesecake Factory on Friday night. But Tuesday at 11am? Booth time, baby! Same goes for your office cafeteria before the stir-fry rush or McDonald’s for a sneaky midnight shake.

4. Going to the bathroom in the middle of the movie. Sure, its terrible missing a dream sequence or chase scene, but at least you avoid the sardine tin of heavy bladders after the show.

5. Anything at the airport. Like we said this is the holy grail of KLZ victory. Nothing compares to the thrill of seeing a barren security or customs line, with just a tired old man waiting for you there on a stool, like he suddenly got lost in a world of neon pizza signs and magazine racks and just sat down.

Yes, it’s a beautiful moment skimming through Known Lineup Zones with no lineups around. You can almost pretend the pillars and red velvet ropes were set up just for you so you can smile and wave to your adoring fans as you pull off a dream move like a VIP.

“Can I have your autograph?” they’ll scream, pushing markers and notepads at you with their tiny hands. “Of course,” you laugh back, personalizing every one and taking care to give high fives to all the babies. They’ll scream and applaud and yell questions as you parade through the lineup with ease.

“So what does it feel like?”

“And how would you describe it?”

“Tell us in just one word!”


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Photos from: here and here