I'm told , but I don't know for fact, that us Brits are world experts at orderly queueing. We are so good, we plan to add it as an exhibition event at next years London Olympics, all can join in.
When I watch US films people at bus stops kind of "gather" then get on, but look at this picture of a British bus stop, nice, neat, orderly and everyone in their own personal space.
I am further led to believe that we are in fact, inventors of the queueing phenomena, of course in the days when "the sun never set on the British Empire" we were able to form gigantic queues around the world and with missionary zeal, teach the true order of Queueing.
Queueing in such an orderly fashion is bred into us from an early age, we are taught to form nice straight lines in the playground before being led into school and from that day on we are hooked. It would be safe to say if you start a random queue of people, 3 or 4 long, you are sure to get 5 or 6 strangers joining the line just because they don't want to miss out on whatever they are queuing for.
There are obvious downsides, look again at the top picture and how much room that queue takes up !!! Don't even think of trying to cross the road if it involves passing between the queue, they may assume you are "queue jumping" or not joining at the end, this will result in glares that will drain the life from you. We are of coarse British and more than a tut or stare would not be "cricket"
Thinking about it, on all Gods earth the only other queueing experts are ....
.....but I digress. We stand in line for drinks, buses, trains,cinema,rides,the bank,the doctors. We will queue for anything and everything but the rule is we maintain dignity at all times. If you are from the North of England you may well chat to those next to you in the queue, but experience tells me that down in the South queues are silent ?
There is a classic film clip that uses the queue to great effect. The Full Monty is the story of 6 steel workers from Sheffield who find themselves unemployed in bad times and in desperation form a male "Chippendale" style strip act. There rehearsals start of very reserved but mid way through the film they prove that Gloria Estefan is right "the rhythm is going to get you !" IN A QUEUE !!! (No stripping here !)
So am I correct, is the Queue something we Brits can claim to be Gold medallists in, or are your nationals waiting in line for a medal too ???
title image source penguin image source