In the normal order of affairs, when it comes to queues, pensioners are king. They’re the only ones who come prepared with the requisite amount of boiled sweets (preferably something in the realm of Werther’s Originals with the rustliest wrappers in the land. No, I’m not stereotyping. Werther’s are delicious). They can regale the young folks with endless stories of limited fascination from their youth. Oftentimes, they have the foresight to bring with them sticks for leaning on or even some variety of wheeled chair. If they’re especially savvy they might even have a motorised one, in spite of the technologically daunting nature of such contraptions.
Of course I’m being ever so slightly patronising with the tone of this thing. However, old people have been participating in such activities for sufficiently long enough that they’ve got the whole waiting around in line thing down. And then some. But there are times in life when the rules of the universe are subverted in a topsy turvy expression of the purest anarchy. Once in the very bluest of azure moons, queues can find themselves whizzing along and leaving poor pensioners behind in the dust. They whip along, punishing those who don’t have every single scrap of their paperwork to hand, tossing back anyone who displays the merest moment of hesitation like the indecisive fish they are.
So where is this horrific example of overly efficient queuing? The mythical happenstance that flies in the face of reason (as we all know full well that queues are the closest we get in this life to purgatory and if we are all good children who don’t hold irritating loud conversations or jump ahead we will be rewarded in Devon)? Well, I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t, nay couldn’t, actually exist but it gave all of you a deep sense of dread in the very pit of your stomachs didn’t it? What could be more Christmassy?