The Queue

The queue is both a means to an end and also a potential powder cake of explosive aggression.

Most queues exist for a short period of time and are hardly noticed when others have a life of their own.

The English are a nation of queuers. We seem to have a unconscious desire to form a queue whether possible. In fact I reckon that queues are a fascinating place to study human nature. I for one know the bad feelings that well in inside me if I spot a queue jumper, it really makes my blood boil. In general I am a gentle guy and certainly do not express my feelings in a violent way but to your average pusher-inner I have nothing but contempt.

So, your approaching the airport check-in desk and look around for a queue to join. Check in is not for an hour but the English have already started a queue. Other nations are milling about pretending not to be in a queue but you can rely on the English to have the queue setup and running right from the start, probably even if there was only a single person in it!

As a study in human nature then it can be quid revealing. So much body language, facial expressions and positioning comes into play. I am sure most people just react subconsciously and so not think about it much but there must be others like me that find them fascinating. I must be waste of my energies for sure but then I think of it as almost a sport.

I get the bus to work and back every day and therefore see queuing at least once a day when I return home. Yes I know I can be a bit irritable after a hard days work and a bit sensitive BUT some people! You can see then hovering around the queue waiting for a gap and then pushing in. There are three types I have observed:


They find a receptive person in the queue and engage them in conversation. After snaring their queuer they then shuffle round or otherwise position themselves into a ‘oh I was already here’ stance and then inject themselves into the queue as it starts to move.


The people who wait until the queue stars to file off and then pick a suitable recipient to lock eyes with. A smile and some charming remake or two maybe all they need to allow them a push-in opportunity.


These at the worst. As the queue starts to file off they move to force themselves into any gap. Typically there is an aura of total obliviousness to their actions as if we should all defer to their superiority.

Now I don’t want this to extend into a lack of curtesy since it is good that people are polite but the above behaviour is outside the boundaries of politeness.

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