What’s In A Line? Me!

standing in line

whose line“Whose Line is it Anyway?” Mine, and I’m standing in it! Makes no difference where I go, there I am—in some line. Bet you’re like that too. Why, at this very minute—you yourself are ON line (yeah, its a line). And if your server was slow, you saw spinning wheels going round and round while you waited to get on.

Lines are everywhere, like the ones on our face; “Try Cindy Crawford’s new anti-aging skin cream “Meaningful Beauty,” or on TV, “What’s my Line?” and even waiting on line “Please wait for the next available representative, your call really matters to us” —that’s why we’ve put you on hold for the last 12 years!

Sometimes, we are already in a line only to be told; “The line starts over there buddy.”

And then there’s always the wise guy who say’s, “Don’t get out of line.” Only, I think he means it!

Lines at DisneylandAnd then there is Disneyland (even with a fast pass!), the Post Office (where everyone wonders why people go postal?), or waiting in lines to use a restroom at sporting events and concerts (and if you’re a woman, you entered that line maybe as an acne-faced teenager, but you left the restroom as someones grandmother). And that’s only if you made it to the restroom at all.

Why, you might even have tried to sneak into the men’s room. But forget sneaking; why not just boldly walk in as my wife did—she was that desperate folks!

Even at home you hear; “Will you hurry up and get out of the bathroom—and give someone else a chance!” As you prance around like you were practicing to be on “Dancing with the Stars.”

You know, it must have all started back in school.

The P.E. teacher would put us in a line and pick two people (usually two neanderthals) to choose sides for games. If you were like me (the scrawny kid) you were always the last in line to be picked…only you weren’t picked, you were… just left…and you didn’t have a name either.

“You, skinny kid, the one no one wants, get over here. But don’t think you’re gonna play, you’re not gonna hurt our chances to win. So we are putting you in right field, no one will ever hit anything to you there.” Then everybody proceeds to hit everything there—even you, after the game…because you made so many errors and thus; cost your team the game.

Time for lunch (yes another line) and the same neanderthal you were bequeathed to during P.E. class now cuts in front of you. And worse, he demands a dollar from you for the privileged to now be—last in line. You pay. Why? Because you like living…and apparently being the last in line.school lunch

200px-Edward_MontaguNow you finally make it into the school cafeteria (5 minutes before the ending bell), only to make it to the counter just as they run out of pizza (your favorite lunch at school). That leaves you in line to become the recipient of the original cold WET and SOGGY sandwich—its a leftover. No doubt it was tucked into the freezer way back in the 17th Century—and quite possibly by the Earl himself.

Drama class. Your moment comes, your up stage, its your big scene, the one you’ve rehearsed a billion times (a billion and one, if mom had anything to say about it), the spotlight hits you, and you freeze. Looking offstage, in a blind panic, you scream—”LINE PLEASE?”

that's hedleyChewing gum in lineAfter a rough week in school you’ve finally made it to the weekend. So you head off to the theater (with what few friends you have left) to see “Blazing Saddles” and there, Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman), says to a big guy standing in line, “Chewing gum in line…hope you brought enough for everybody?” Of course you didn’t.

Oh this is not going to end well.

But oh boy… you’re getting your drivers permit!

Well, you may have been fifteen when you got in the DMV line. However, when you leave, you are a little old gray haired man, hunched over a steering-wheel with everyone honking at you because—you are doing fifteen miles an hour…in the fast lane!slow car fast lane

Yes, you are that guy. Way to go fella you have created a back-up (another line) in the evening commute. All because you’ve spent sixty-years (in one day) at the DMV…in another LONG line. Nothing like being a new driver.

You hate lines, and you wanna get even for having spent a lifetime in them. But how?

Go shopping. “But Paul,” you say “that means one more line!”

Well try this then. When you get in the never ending check out line, pull out a folding chair and a bell. Whip out a book, and begin reading. Upon reaching the register, tap the bell (Ping!). Close the book and lay this line on the unsuspecting checker…

“I never dreamed I’d ever be able to start and finish “Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” while waiting in line at the grocery store. Thanks for proving me wrong.”


38 comments on “What’s In A Line? Me!

  1. No one waits in line more than a homemaker/mother. I have often wondered how much of my time over the last 36 years of being mother/homemaker that I have waited in line. I bet if I got paid a nickel or a dime (inflation) for every minute I have waited in line I would be a rich, rich woman 🙂 Happy Tuesday

  2. When I was growing up in a semi large family, we use to hold our spot everywhere. Seat is saved and you couldn’t dare take it. But if you didn’t save it, it was up for grabs 🙂 I still try and do it now. Doesn’t work as well as it use too 🙂

  3. I was blind as a bat so I always got chosen last for any sport that required hand-eye coordination – I can still remember the feeling. Ugh. Great post – my least favorite line is the traffic jam!

    • Boy Jan can I relate to that. They would refer to me as four eyes, and it still didn’t help my ability to catch the ball. Evening traffic jams are the worst. Of late I’ve been benefiting from reading a lot of audio books with my ears.

  4. I hate standing in line and rarely do. I’ll just got to another place. I realize in New York that’s probably somewhat easier than many places, but they don’t say patience is a virtue for nothing. And I LOVE Harvery Korman. Those old Carol Burnett shows when they’d all laugh when they weren’t suppose to are the best. You’re writing is rockin and rollin by the way 🙂

  5. Restaurant lines are the worst. You are starving, then they expect you to stand peacefully and wait your turn. I’m always surprised there haven’t been any mass shootings there.

  6. I never realized how much you do stand in line until I come across this. So true on many levels, thankfully I don’t have to worry about the traffic near as much as you but everything else was spot on.

    • Thanks Gary. Frightening isn’t it? I think we have gotten to the point where we just enter lines and don’t see them as such—well, not until we collapse while waiting in one. Hey, thanks for looking in my Attic Gary.

  7. One of life’s major ball aches is, in my opinion, waiting in queues, or just generally waiting actually… but it could always be worse! And besides, I prefer circles

  8. I’m honestly generally fine with standing on line, although it will cause conflicts with my love, who’s from the midwest, and can’t fathom why someone would speak of being “on line”.

  9. Wow! You finished Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” while you waited in line, you’re fast. That book took me a whole summer to finish when I was in high school. 😉

    Seriously, you nailed it. No matter what line I get in – whether it’s at the bank, the grocery store or the post office – the other line ALWAYS goes faster. Thanks for the chuckle about a subject that adds lines to my forehead. 😉

  10. When you eat on a “fast food” chain in the Philippines (I have relatives there), the time waiting in queue is longer than eating the meals, which is crazy. Here in Hong Kong, they have a lot fewer workers than in the Philippines’, but they work a lot faster.

    And don’t get me started with the extreme traffic congestion in Beijing…

  11. The first thing I am going to do when I achieve world domination is eliminate all lines… except the really long line to get in and see me about eliminating other annoying problems… I can’t fix that one…

  12. Being from the Midwest, I have always considered standing ON line as typically the European (British) description of standing one-behind-the-other or IN line. For many years it was desirable for a TV newsperson or radio announcer to be from the Midwest because these people were without an “accent” and generally understood by a larger English-speaking audience.

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