Bring it back: Queues

by Chelsea Hughes

I know I know I know I know I know I know I know I know I know I know I know. Queues suck. Can you really think of anything worse than standing behind another person who’s standing behind another person?

Did you know that in some parts of the world, there are no queues? Don’t be mistaken, it’s not because they’ve found a more efficient solution.

Here’s a crowd of people in China waiting to use the same cash machine.

Please go to the back of the queue. What queue?

I like queues. They’re nice little devices for maintaining order in an otherwise chaotic society. But they’re more than that. They’re the great equaliser. It’s a little bit of communism in your everyday life. All you have to do is wait your turn and you’ll be served, unless of course you’re a dickhead with too much money and too little patience.

While everyone in a queue is created equal, queues themselves are not created equal. Sometimes queues are totally worthwhile because they’re exciting. They ultimately give you what you really really want, like tickets to see New Kids on the Block (and more specifically Joey McIntyre) in 1990 at Texas Stadium (is that too personal?).

Unfortunately, exciting queues are on the wane and detestable queues are on the rise. There are fewer queues for the fun stuff and more queues at the supermarket, the bank, in traffic, at the cafe, in airports, etcetc blahblahblah ugh.

So this week I want to bring back queues (the good kind). I want to see people waiting in line with a smile on their face, waiting patiently for that thing they can’t wait to have.

Queueing for joyride tickets at the Royal New Zealand Aero Club pageant in Dunedin

Not only do I want to bring back queues for joyride tickets, I want to bring back joyrides! Look at their faces. They’re on a pre-joyride joyride. Also, if their clothing is any indication, most of these people are private investigators.

Queueing for joyride tickets at the Royal New Zealand Aero Club pageant in Dunedin

Queueing for joyride tickets at the Royal New Zealand Aero Club pageant in Dunedin. Whites Aviation Ltd: Photographs. Ref: WA-12159-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22752635

Queueing for entry into the Glide Rollerskating Rink

When’s the last time you queued up to get into a rollerskating rink? NEVER, that’s when.

Rollerskating rinks were all the rage back in the day. People could hardly believe their eyes when such an amazing technology was introduced into society. By simply wearing shoes with wheels on them, people could be transported (or if your skating skills like mine: catapulted) from point A to point B in a matter of seconds. To put things in perspective: roller skates were to your parents what hover boards are to us. Except we’re never getting hover boards because Back to the Future lied to us.

The Glide Rink was the most exciting thing to happen to Kilbirnie since the bus depot.

Members of the public queuing for entry into 'Glide Rink' rollerkating rink, Kilbirnie, Wellington, including signage on exterior of building

Members of the public queuing for entry into ‘Glide Rink’ rollerskating rink, Kilbirnie, Wellington, including signage on exterior of building. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1960/1766-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30642330

Cars queued up along Branda Pass waiting for a tsunami, Wellington

Before colour televisions, people tried to entertain themselves with black and white televisions, which as we all know is boring as shit. So people jumped at any opportunity to queue up for things that sounded like fun (e.g. tsunamis). Ask anyone and they’ll tell you there’s nothing more fun than a giant deadly ocean wave.

With modern technology, we’re able to experience tsunamis en masse, but in the early years, people had to queue up for their tsunamis.

Cars queued up along Branda Pass waiting for a tsunami, Wellington

Cars queued up along Branda Pass waiting for a tsunami, Wellington. Further negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1960/1940-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/30664742

Queuing at the Gear Meat Company

People love their meat. They loved it so much that when the 1951 Waterfront Dispute threatened to cut off their meat supply, they formed a giant meat-getting line to ensure they had enough dead animals in their freezer to last them a while. As a vegetarian, the thought of a meat queue seems absurd to me. I would never wait more than 5 minutes for a carrot.

I’m going to be honest with you right now, the only reason I included this image was because it meant I could finally use the following pun:

See these people waiting for meat? They’re waiting in a bar-b-queue.

Queuing at the Gear Meat Company

Queuing at the Gear Meat Company. Negatives of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: 114/273/11-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22824660

 

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