Friday, January 19, 2007

The universe is not on my side this week

Yesterday I witnessed one of the most awesome ways to create discomfort ever.

Stand in a bus queue at peak hour. Get there early for your bus, so that all the people in front of you get on a different bus whilst you're still waiting. This leaves you at the head of the queue. But, and this is the genius bit, don't move up when they leave.

This would also work in a queue for a toilet. Or any number of things, really.

There's no reason to move up, right? The bus won't come any faster if you're standing next to the kerb instead of a metre back. The toilet won't vacate more speedily. And yet there you are, behind the head of the queue. And there before you, just the other side of this one person, is a vast empty space. But you can't walk in front of them in order to fill the space. You can't ask them to move up.

Tumbleweeds blow o'er the untouched terrain. The wind whistles through, unimpeded by people. And yet they don't move up.

It's been a long time since I saw so many people silently discomforted so effectively. Genius.

Onto other things.

The in-laws are over this weekend. My father-in-law and I have a relationship akin to that of North Korea and the United States, where we mostly keep things just on the polite side of hostile for safety's sake. We'll see how things develop. If you see a mushroom cloud over my way, my grand plan of Distracting Everybody With Alcohol will have failed. Tell my mother I loved her.


Anonymous Sarah said...

Ah, but lining up at the train platform in the underground rail system in San Francisco will just have people stepping blithely into that empty space in front of you. No manners, no pausing, just an ardent desire to get a seat on the train that doesn't set you next to the stinky guy or the strange-looking woman who is talking to herself...

20 January, 2007  

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