Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

The Fabric of Society

I’m sure it’s happened to you at some point. Or maybe you’ve been an innocent bystander and watched it happen to someone else. Or maybe you’ve been the culprit. This is the common scenario of how it goes down: you turn away for a moment; get distracted by someone or something, leave a little too much room in front of you, and the next thing you know you’re looking at the back of someone else’s head.

I’m talking about cutting in line. Jumping the queue. Butting.

I try to imagine what’s going through the perp’s mind when it happens. Do they realize what they’ve done? Do they think they are entitled to enter a line as close to the front as possible without having to start at the end like the rest of us? What’s odd is that when I witness it happen, people often don’t speak up. They most likely get this bemused look on their face or maybe shake their head and scowl, then mutter things under their breath. When it happens to me, I’m pretty vocal about it.

The act of lining up for something encapsulates civility and order, without which there is anarchy and barbarism. I’m sure the Vandals never felt like they had to line up for anything. The queue is something I hold near and dear to my heart. I’m pretty sure it goes beyond any sense of morality I possess. It must be ingrained in my British identity. George Mikes once wrote, “An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.”

As that about wraps it up, please excuse me. I feel compelled to go over there and start a line.


1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. felicity jane July 7th, 2009 8:01 am

    I understand your frustration Dan. Good news is you do get some people (like my hubby) who will call people out on it. It was totally awesome!

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