Monday, 8 November 2010

Queue Nation

On my usual commute I saw an interesting advert for a tantalising sale which was imminent in an adjacent building. The sale promised "Low, low prices", and a "Crazy bargain inferno", so I felt compelled to join the amassing souls as I was assimilated into their collective and was assigned a position in the current queue.

Two hours later and our meagre queue was already gathering steam. Looking behind me I could not see where the queue came to an end; I could only speculate on it's length at this point, but it was probably as big as a community meeting to discuss the council's controversial zoning laws. Little did I know that by the end of the day, we'd be looking at thousands of shoppers.

As time went by, the queue began to take on a community of its own. Small businesses were seizing the opportunity to deliver cheap takeaway food to this captive audience. Slang terms rapidly began to evolve in order for us all to be informed of major events up and down the queue. Words sprung up such as "Top-n-bot" for wanting to purchase a matching set of clothing from the sale, and "Scuzzbog" for someone who would knock you to the ground and step on your tongue to get the best bargains. Before long, this sophisticated system would serve as an effective communication tool to keep us all abreast of the latest in-queue news, gossip and developments. One woman nearby went into labour, and we all had a whip round to buy her a nice card and a bunch of flowers from the store when it opened.

Our queue was becoming mighty indeed. With its own thriving community and a budding economy, the queue was becoming an altogether different beast. The MPs in Westminster were starting to get slightly nervous by our numbers, with one backbencher trying to invoke marshal law in order to get our queue off the streets. Nearby high street stores were beginning to complain that prospective customers had not been able to get through their front doors for the last fortnight. In order to show our peaceful intentions, the musicians amongst our number sang some soothing melodies throughout the night to quell their hostility. This seemed to quench their anger for the timebeing.

Mere days after this, the queue began to bustle with news of a much larger queue far away in Eastern Europe. The other queue had started in Russia as people queued up to receive their winter fuel handouts, but had unrooted itself and started to drift across the continent. In an effort to learn more, we sent out scouts to intercept them. This proved to be a fatal mistake as this merely confirmed our existence to the foreign queue, and word got around that they were headed this way, hungry for discount prices.

Mass panic ensued as we began to stockpile our resources ready for a potential conflict. We collected several million pounds in funds, and used this to arm ourselves with a vast amount of tent poles from the nearby Yeomans store. We also amassed the largest amount of pocket lint ever seen in the Western world.

Before long, the foreign queue appeared. Their numbers were more horrific than we could have possibly imagined; nearly 200,000 strong by this point as they'd been gathering stragglers across Belgium and France like a ravenous Katamari. We only amounted to half of that amount in the most generous of estimates. An uneasy silence broke out as the two queues stared at each other, unsure of what would happen next.

Slowly, the more daring members of their society began to shoulder their way into our queue, barging their way in and turning their noses up at anyone who dared to mutter "Excuse me!". In this brutal, sickening display of rudeness, the outsiders stepped up their takeover as more and more of them broke off and tried to integrate with us, like jamming a broom handle into the stump of a recent amputee. This devastating attack started to sever our communication lines and isolate small pockets of our resistance into manageable, bite size chunks. Before long, our utopian society was being split up before my very eyes. I lost some good friends in the conflict; friends I'd held for nearly 12 months. I saw one woman barged out of the queue entirely, and I could only watch in horrified awe at the brusqueness of the offending gentleman's demeanour over his actions. It was speculated that that woman was doomed to float around the infinite wastes of Main Street until the day she died.

My only hope is that future generations find this communication and understand the atrocities that were committed here. Please learn from the mistakes of your forefathers and never accept the contaminants of the foreign queue. Do not take their presence lying down; stand up and fight against- oh, the store has just opened! BRB...