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IN LINE (2016)

Published: April 19, 2016

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I really don’t know anybody who likes to stand in line so I guess I am in good company.  There seems to be a peculiar quality to the American psyche and that is we seem to form lines easily like lemmings following the leader off a cliff.

I guess it would be easier if I could pick the best line, say at the bank or the grocery store or in the men’s room at half time at a Penn State game.  I always seem to pick the line that on the surface looks like it will move quickly but never does.  There always seems to be a wrench in the machinery. 

At the bank the line I choose is usually based on what I see the person in front of is carrying ( by the way this is usually a Friday afternoon which is very busy but only two tellers are working}.  If the person in front of me is carrying a small envelope, which I suspect is a payroll check, I get behind them only to find that they need to check several balances, they do not do business with this bank and argue over a check cashing charge, need to have their home information up dated or just want to chat about nothing really important at all.

At the grocery store I look for the line with people pushing the smallest amount for groceries.  Invariably, they have at least one item which needs a price check or does not correspond to the coupon submitted causing another argument.  The part that really gets me is when the final tally is announced it is then, and only then, that we start to look for our checkbook in our purse, begin writing the check and of course need to find our identification which of course in in another wallet or purse.

Finally, we get to the men’s room.  Men, need I say more.  We are trying to take care of an urgent biologic function and as you get older the urgency increases.  We forget about the impressive aroma of the room and simply want to get to the trough.  The guy in front of me always seems to have stage fright and takes an eternity to get things started.  This is a delicate social situation for a man because you can’t just blow your horn and scream “the light turned green step on the gas” (by the way never get behind a father and his toddler son unless you are wearing Depends).

This is why I don’t gamble.

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