Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Queue Tip

Why do people queue-jump? More significantly, why do people queue-jump when I happen to be in the queue they are jumping into? Even worse, why does the person in front of me leave the queue in order to get something they’ve forgotten, then automatically assume that I’m happy to let them back in? This is a serious problem we face in modern day society, but is entirely academic unless one has actually succeeded in joining a queue in the first place.

Such was the dilemma the other day in W.H. Smith’s where I was picking up this month’s copy of The Oldie. Ironically, it was because of an oldie that I was prevented from joining the queue for the till. She was a very wide woman with an even wider suitcase which, together, caused a major blockage in the magazine aisle. Mrs. Oldie kept yelling at her oldie husband – who was blocking the other end of the aisle – to ask whether she should join the queue whilst he read a magazine he’d found. But neither of them could make up their mind so stalemate ensued, with me stuck in the middle eying the other customers enviously who all had a clear passage to a selection of enticing queues.

It occurred to me recently that there is something seriously wrong with the whole etiquette of queuing. Someone once said that it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich writer to enter the kingdom of God. This also applies to joining queues. I find it unfair that one can be queuing at a till for several minutes, only for the customer behind to suddenly jump sideways into a parallel queue at the very moment another till becomes free. There should be a rule dictating that, regardless of the number of operational tills at any one time, a single master-queue must be formed where everyone waits to be served by the next available sales assistant.

I have attempted on a number of occasions to introduce this policy into society by strategically positioning myself at the centre-most point between occupied checkouts in order to entice other customers to form one big happy queue behind me. Unfortunately, I generally find myself being completely ignored by such customers who proceed to form their own queues at any till which takes their fancy. Subsequently, this results in me standing in the middle of the shop making strange groaning sounds whilst flapping my magazine at people erratically like someone on day release from the local mental mansion.

Opinions from Electric People on potential solutions to the current queue crisis are gladly welcomed, as well as ways on how to apply a bit of polite etiquette without looking like an escaped lunatic.

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Porn in the Game

Electric Writer: Porn in the GamePink decided recently that our relationship needed some “excitement” injected into it after the fiasco of the chocolate egg situation last Easter which apparently suggested I had a “lethargic” attitude towards her weight. She ordered me to arrange something and so I took it upon myself to find somewhere near the sea.

Being near water is very important for Cancerians, such as myself, as it creates a sense of calm and wellbeing in an otherwise insane universe. After considering the embarrassing episode on the Isle of Wight ferry a couple of years ago, I decided to play it safe and stay on the mainland this time.

I found this nice period hotel in Bournemouth called The Norfolk Royale. Four stars, 50 quid a night with breakfast and dinner included. Pink was especially pleased as it had a spa and sauna. Such places are not my cup of tea primarily because of the funny looks I get, the reasons for which remain a mystery to me. So I was glad to discover that the hotel also provided Sky satellite television along with a movies-on-demand service which one could order by simply pressing a button a remote control.

Whilst Pink pampered herself downstairs by the indoor pool, I decided to search for one of these movies-on-demand. On finding the remote control, my search turned into a megascale hunt for the actual television itself, which I eventually found hidden in a secret cupboard next to the tea-making facilities.

Technology has never really been my forte, and I eventually found myself engaged in a battle of wits with the super-intelligent television which seemed to be some kind of bastard offspring from The Forbin Project. Each time I tried to select a menu in the “on screen hotel information guide”, the television went somewhere completely different of its own choosing, and seemed more interested in offering me a range in its “exclusive adult entertainment” section.

I also noticed that it continued to scan through the digital information on its own, even when I wasn’t touching the remote control, as though it was collating data with other like-minded televisual life forms. In the end, I gave up and switched off the set altogether and just read my book instead.

When the time came to check out, I was shocked to find that the telebeing had added a day’s worth of “adult entertainment” to the bill. I tried to convince the receptionist that I’d had nothing to do with this, but she just rolled her eyes, nodded and charged me anyway. Pink remained silent throughout the entire episode and didn’t say a word to me for the entire journey home.

Next time, not only will I look for somewhere on the mainland to avoid embarrassing ferry moments, I’ll also look for somewhere with no movies-on-demand facility. Or preferably no television at all.