The Queue

In North America they call it a line-up. In England they call it a ‘queue’, and they are very serious about it. So serious in fact, that queue rage affects 47% of Britons. That’s right, violent, passionate anger bubbles up inside nearly half of the British population when someone does not adhere to the rules of forming a neat line with their bodies.

I have a friend. We’ll call her Jane.

Jane experienced queue rage first-hand on November 24, 2011 whilst shopping at Sainsbury’s in Maidenhead, Berkshire. What started off as a harmless prank on a complete stranger turned into a trip to Slough’s Wexham Park Hospital intensive care unit.

If you are at Sainsbury’s doing your weekly shop and have waited in line for more than 20 minutes to pay, and the frantic, frazzled, middle-aged woman in front of you has unloaded all the groceries from her trolley and then remembers that she needs eggs for a birthday cake for her (soon-to-be) seven year-old son and she goes off in search of them; and you (in your harmless, pranking sort of way) decide to put all of her items back in the trolley (and then push it over to where they keep the trolleys) and then you unload your own shopping trolley… when the middle-aged woman returns (confused and angry) and asks ‘where the hell are my groceries?’ and the grocery check-out lady points at you, don’t tell the frantic, frazzled, middle-aged woman that you have an identical twin that likes to pull pranks, just like this one.

In my experience (and by ‘my’ I mean ‘Jane’s’) this isn’t a good play. The woman will definitely kick your legs out from under you, and then sit on top of you until you see stars (not like George Clooney, more like flashes of light).

In my experience, (Jane’s), if you are at Sainsbury’s (or anywhere else), it is best to just form a neat line behind people with your body. You should just wait your turn, get comfortable, and read Heat magazine whilst your Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food melts on the conveyer belt. Because being in a queue at Sainsbury’s is much more comfortable than being in traction in Slough’s Wexham Park Hospital, according to Jane.


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