Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Q is for queue !


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

10 comments:

mybabyjohn said...

This is Canada checking in....we are more creative than a straight line with spaces here. We huddle, we form split lines all headed for the same destination, we form ragged groups spread out all over the place and still, somehow, we manage to know "who is next". Very important to know "who is next". Last week at the deli counter there were shopping carts and humans all pointing in different directions and all looking expectantly at the deli case. The girl behind the counter said, "who's next" and the lady beside me said "she is" nodding to me and she was dead right. Oh yes, and sometimes we chat and sometimes we don't. It all depends on if that nutty old lady with the fuzzy white hair (me) starts talking to someone.

Tara Tyler said...

ha haha! you can have that one =) we have to put up ropes to keep our hordes in line.
happy q day!

Better is Possible said...

Funny post! Us west coast Canadians could learn a lesson or two on this from you Brits.
I'm a new follower and I'm enjoying your blog!

M.J. Fifield said...

That scene in the Full Monty is hysterical. I love that movie so much!

Michelle Teacress said...

In the US, if we want straight lines, we've got to have them roped off, otherwise it's a bit clumpy and shovey. I would thouroughly enjoy participating in a gold medal British queue.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

It's a shame they don't teach kids how to stay in single file in school anymore. Or maybe they do, but then stuff like holiday shopping the day after Thanksgiving destroys all logic and common sense we normally have. You're right. Brits are the champs of queuing!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Very clever post! I especially enjoyed the analogy with the penguins and the scene from the Full Monty! So glad you gave queuing the attention it deserves! Julie

Crystal Pistol said...

"the true order of queueing" cracked me up!

JPooley said...

I had to block an attempted queue-jump yesterday in a clothes shop. I could see in the corner of my a boy of about 14 approaching from behind but not slowing down to join the back of the queue so I waited for the moment he was about to overtake me and then stood right in front of him. He stopped, taken aback. I think he got the message; the queue is here for a reason so get to the back!

Plain Jane said...

I hate it when the people behind me keep bumping into me. It will not make the line move faster, I promise! How I wish for those British lines with the personal space intact.

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