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The secret to good Q-ing March 6, 2007

Posted by Rambling Man in General Bloggery, Ireland & the Irish.

It’s a dilemma that every one of us has faced ! It’s Friday evening and anxious to get the weekend underway, you pop into the local supermarket for a few essentials. Upon returning to the checkout area, you are confronted by utter carnage. Queuing and the orderly concept of same is entirely lost on Irish people.

I think a lot of it might stem from innocence on the part of some of the older members of our society. Enter the busy, determined little oul wan ! She arrives at the queue at the same time as you, trolley wheelie laden with items. She didn’t get a regular trolley because sure, she was only gettin’ a fucking tonne of a few “messages” ! With a seemingly cursory glance at the queues, she sizes up her chances while unknowingly you are just a sacrificial pawn in her cunning plans …You decide to stay where you are because these things even themselves out …

That’s how she gets you ! You persist with you original choice of queue and begin to get anxious when it beings to slow down. The three people in front of you have all got baskets and the woman at the top of the queue has scuttled off to pick up some sugar – she went to the till first, you understand, and then went to get the sugar while the counter assistant was beeping her groceries through … sure wasn’t the sugar near the checkout !

Meanwhile, the old woman is making steady progress through the hordes at her queue and you decide to nip over and join the end of her line – it’s moving more quickly after all. Then it happens – the seemingly brilliant strategist, the queue hopping, wheelie trolley toting oul wan gets to the front of your queue. And all hell breaks loose …

She has forgotten to get some dog food for her poor pooch so she scuttles off, oblivious, announcing where she is going at the same time as doing it … 5 minutes later she comes back with one tin of dog food (that you note wouldn’t feed a mouse) and places it on the counter – suddenly the checkout girl stands up and mentions that the oul wan has forgotten to weigh her 1 orange and she goes and does it for her. You look up and your old queue is flying ! However, you are next in line to the oul wan and don’t want to make the same mistake twice so stay put ! WRONG !

When the total is rung up, out come the tokens and coupons. First come the glasses, then the bag, then the purse, then the tokens … the coupons are taken care of and the purse goes back into the bag. It has just hit the bottom of the bag, when she realises that she needs the money that is in the purse so out comes the glasses again, up goes the bag and out comes the purse again. The cashier tells her the total. She rummages in her purse and then in the bottom of the bag and eventually holds out her palm with a huge pile of shrapnel in change before her … “Can you see what I have there ?” she says meekly to the cashier, who not having a adequately solid grasp of the woman’s dialect, looks at her as if she has three heads. You are so engrossed in the unbelievability of the situation that now you don’t care you are late for work – you just want to see this thing through !

Eventually, it all comes to a head and you offer to help the lady with her shopping by packing it into her wheelie trolley but she politely refuses saying she can manage herself ! And then to top it all off, the cashier starts beeping things from your basket through before the bloody oul wan has half her stuff off the counter …

You run for the door, transaction completed in the time it’d nearly take to circumbloodynaviagate the planet, thinking you’ll have to take a quick taxi back to work only for the said oul wan to have magically transformed into a merely semi-wretched oul wan who steals the cab from under your nose.

You make a note to self, as you trudge back to work in the teeming rain, that if your wife ever sees you do something like that oul wan, she’ll have you put in a home !


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1. Laurie - March 6, 2007

ah, i’m constantly getting in the wrong line. i remember flying into montreal one year and trying to go through customs…. we line-hopped about six times and every time we ended up in a line just our sheer presence alone somehow made that line come to a screeching halt….

2. (un)relaxeddad - March 7, 2007

Queues. Take a book, keep your nose in it, pretend yours is the only one. Or kiss your sanity bye-bye! Funny post!

3. Rambling Man - March 7, 2007

even though i know how to get stuck in the wrong Q, i can’t come up with a strategy to join the right one ! Sod’s Law i think they call it !

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