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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

April 4th, 2008 (08:14 am)


4:34 am -- Kylie catches a cab and, as it wends its way into the city, listens in silence to Rush Limbaugh's (?) commentary on "feminists -- I'm sorry, but I think what they mean is 'lesbians'" who "rant" about "moving beyond the gender binary" -- "you've got to have way too much time on your hands to come up with something like that." There is no traffic at 4:34 in the morning, but no traffic is too much traffic when you are listening to Rush Limbaugh.

4:47 am -- Kylie arrives at the Downtown Crossing Borders. It is cold and raining. She is the first person there. Kylie twirls her rainbow umbrella and feels silly.

4:49 am -- A Doritos truck arrives at the 7/11 across the street. A stockboy begins unloading the truck.

4:50 am -- Kylie attempts to make a post to LJ from her cell phone, to alert her readers to the fact of the Doritos truck. Kylie's cell phone refuses to upload said LJ post, even after repeated attempts. Kylie's readers breathe a sigh of relief.

4:57 am -- The first other Julie-waiter shows up -- a slightly popeyed man in a Red Sox jacket. He, like Kylie, is surprised to find that no one else bothered to get there before 5 am. He shifts from foot to foot a lot and explains in unnecessary detail that he is picking up a ticket "for a friend". He also explains, five or six too many times, that the reason no one is here is that the trains don't start running until 5, but that as soon as they start running there will be floods of people. Kylie likes him and wishes he would go away.

5:07 am -- A hot dyke and her female friend/partner show up. Kylie does the knowing-smile-of-recognition thing at the dyke.

5:15 am -- Listening to the conversation between the dyke and her friend, Kylie realizes that the dyke is not actually a dyke, but a man. So much for the knowing smiles of recognition.

5:20 am -- The guy-who-is-not-a-dyke turns out, unsurprisingly given the situation, to be a.) gay and b.) a Broadway buff. Kylie and the non-dyke get into a reasonably enthusiastic conversation about Broadway-related matters. Mr. Red Sox Jacket Who Is There For a Friend initially attempts to participate in the discussion regarding Sondheim, but as the conversation moves on to Bernadette Peters, Patti LuPone, Bebe Neuwirth, Beth Leavel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and David Hyde Pierce, his face falls in increments as he realizes that he doesn't have the faintest clue what we are talking about. Mr. Red Sox Jacket gets out his iPod.

5:27 am -- More people join the line. Kylie learns from them that the tickets that are being passed out are for families rather than individuals, at a maximum of four people per ticket. She also learns from these people that the tickets are to be numbered. Kylie calls λ and wakes her up, entirely unnecessarily, to tell her she can come to the signing on her lunch break after all, and also to tell her that she, Kylie, will have the NUMBER ONE ticket to see Julie Andrews. λ murmurs congratulations in a muzzy voice.

5:31 am -- λ calls back. "What time is it?" is her first question. "What did you say before?" is her second question. Kylie explains again. λ is more excited the second time around.

5:40 am -- The line grows steadily.

5:43 am -- Two people attempt to jump the line by standing on the other side of the door. Kylie gives them a death glare, and pointedly yells to all newcomers that "The line starts over there." Eventually the line-jumpers repent and move to the back of the line.

5:57 am -- A flock of seagulls joins the line, causing its numbers to balloon abruptly by several dozen. Kylie thinks this is unfair, as seagulls will find it very difficult to turn the pages of the book with their beaks.

5:59 am -- The seagulls fly away. They are not serious Julie fans.

6:01 am -- Mr. Red Sox Jacket Who Is There For a Friend moves to the back of the line. He gives a rather garbled explanation of why he is doing this. Kylie deduces that he does not want to be known as the guy who showed up at 5 am for tickets to a Julie Andrews book signing so that he could be second in line. Poor man.

6:03 am -- Bruegger's Bagels opens. Great excitement in the line. The non-dyke does a tap dance and sings, in his best impersonation of John Barrowman, an improvised song about how he loves coffee because it warms up his hands.

6:15 am -- A seagull attempts to cut ahead of Kylie in the line. Kylie aims a sharp kick in its direction.

6:19 am -- The non-dyke's friend loses her mind completely and begins yelling "I AM A PIRANHA! YAYAYAYAYAYA!", laughing hysterically all the while. Kylie is pleased to note that someone else is the first one in the line to fall prey to Juliemania-induced insanity.

6:23 am -- An old man wanders by and asks, as several other people have done, "What's the line for?" "Julie Andrews is signing her new book," Kylie replies. "Who?" the old man asks. Kylie laughs, and then stops upon seeing his puzzled look: he is serious. "Sound of Music?" Kylie tries. The man shrugs. "Oh," he says, and wanders away. Kylie exchanges nervous glances with the non-dyke and attempts to adjust herself to living in a world in which there are people who do not know who Julie Andrews is.

6:25-6:45 am -- The line is well around the corner by now, and employees are starting to arrive. At this Borders, there is no specific employee entrance; all the employees have to come to the front door, buzz, and wait to be let in. Kylie invariably mistakes the employees for people who are trying to jump the line, and singes them all with the death glare.

6:51 am -- Two guys show up and hang out at the other side of the door. They are clearly line-jumpers. Kylie shifts from foot to foot and eventually decides that this is no time to be polite. "Are you here for the Julie event? Because the line starts back there," she calls, perhaps a trifle more loudly than is strictly necessary. "I just want a coffee," comes the aggrieved reply. Kylie regards the man suspiciously. She is not sure she believes him. There is plenty of coffee at Bruegger's Bagels.

6:58 am -- An employee of Borders comes to the glass doors, peers out, and then proceeds to stare at the line for two full minutes while conferring with someone on a walkie-talkie. This employee is a sadist.

7:00 am -- The revolving doors open. The orderly line suddenly turns into a mob.

7:00:02 am -- Kylie pushes through the doors, but other people are going in the non-revolving door and she is losing time. She looks around wildly for the ticket man. He is not where he should be, he is not right next to the door, WHERE IS THE TICKET MAN. She sees him. He is about three feet away. She moves very quickly towards him, noting peripherally that the man who said he wanted a coffee is in fact going to get a coffee. Good man. Kylie is first in line, she is ahead of the crowd, she is going to get the number-one ticket --

7:00:09 am -- Some fucking bitch darts around Kylie, runs past her, and snatches the first ticket out of the man's hand. Kylie is incensed. Said fucking bitch was eighth in line and showed up a half an hour after Kylie did. She has long orangey-blond hair that looks like she attempted to tame it with a clothing iron and Kylie wants to tear her orangey-blond hair out of her skull. SHE CUT ME IN LINE.

7:00:11 -- Kylie gets her ticket. It says "Group A" on it. The ticket man explains that the tickets are not numbered, just lettered into groups A, B, and C: Kylie is in the first group. This does not diminish Kylie's rage at being cut in the line at all. As things that do not matter at all go, this matters tremendously. She shoots the deathiest of all death glares at the ornagey-blond girl. Orange-blond stares back blandly. Kylie wants to rip her ticket into pieces.

7:01 am -- The ticket man explains to all who can hear him, which in the general tumult means everyone within a nine-inch radius or so, that ticketholders are advised to come back to the store around noon, as that is when the line to actually meet Julie Andrews will begin forming. Kylie resolves to get there at 10 am, and to bring both chewed bubble gum and a pair of scissors so that if Orange-Blond gets there ahead of her, Kylie can wreak vengeance on the back of her hair.

I will update later about the actual event. I know you are all on tenterhooks.

*Times may be approximate.


Posted by: Spencer Irving (archaica)
Posted at: April 4th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)

GRRRRR!!!! I hate line-jumpers and -cutters!

When I was in first grade, we were regimented very thoroughly into the ways of the line - our class even went so far as to have a Line Leader, who (the post rotated) would be in charge of making sure that the line was respected, that people walked in a straight line, and that there was no running, jumping, cutting, or other abuses of the seemingly-ironclad universal rules of linesmanship. One would think that the rules of linesmanship would be intuitive and so universally inviolable as to shock the conscience of and horrify, in a Cthulhu-like fashion, any person so ingracious as to step outside those clearly-defined social boundaries, but, unfortunately, we do not live in Lineland, therefore, we need Line Leaders. I excelled at the position.

Flash forward about 18 years, and I'm living in New York City. My friend Arden is working at a supportive housing hotel in Times Square, whose corner retail space happens to house a Ben and Jerry's. This particular day being Free Cone Day, there was a line stretching down the block, past the entrance of the hotel. Having gone to see Arden, I was roped into helping wrangle the line. I was to stand by the entrance, and make sure that people did not block it, or harass the residents. Many times, I had to, in no uncertain terms, inform people that, no, the gap in the line in front of the entrance meant that the line began all the way back THERE, not at the first available gap, and yes, your grill is fabulous.

I graduated from Line Leader that day to Line Regulator. And it was awesome. Nowhere else but in New York can you get away with that level of public abuse to the members of a line of people who are simply waiting to receive their God-given due of a free ice cream cone. Cavorting about with me was a woman dressed in a cow suit, and at one point, I grabbed the cow and said, "If you people don't behave, the cow gets it," and the cow pantomimed abject terror as the people who, until then, were attempting to cut in line, moved to the back of the line. They knew who was boss.

Another seemingly-logical, but entirely-ignored line-related behavior is driving. You would think that, when two lines of traffic are merging, the "zipper" rule - one car from one line, one car from the other, and so on - would be obvious. Oh, but you would be completely wrong.

Lines, man. Do NOT get me started.

That bitch in line is lucky she didn't get cut.

Posted by: active_apathy (active_apathy)
Posted at: April 4th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC)
Broken image - LJ

But that depends on the merge; certainly, two lanes of traffic that are part of the same carriageway should merrily interleave, but if there's an unrelated merge lane then they get to wait. It's the rules, you see - even if they don't.

Curiously, I live in a place where the queue is absolutely respected even though the people are generally whiny sorts with an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. They're also mostly public servants; I think this contributes significantly. First in. First out. And they seem terribly confused if there's not some way of dispensing numbers, for that clear, unambiguous queuing experience where one's place is guaranteed in blue-inked cardinality.

There is, however, a problem: for all that they can't conceive violating that first in, first out rule of the queue, they demand that the queue must always be collapsed to the shortest possible size. I suspect it's because they think those few inches mean they'll reach their destination faster, or because they're scared that less scrupulous queuers might see it as an opportunity to flaunt their wicked ways, but they're just so incredibly senseless about it. They block aisles. They stand across doorways. They queue across intersections. They tailgate like it's an extreme sport.

"You know, you can move forward a little," they might urge, stirring with the beginnings of that well-rehearsed passive-aggression that so often comes with positions of minor authority - and, to my credit, I haven't yet answered with something like "See that? That is the door of the supermarket. The entrance. The point, the place, the location at which potential customers make their ingress. Excuse me if I leave a little space for those who might want to, oh, I don't know, come in and BUY FOOD. Your clearance-priced cut of cow foetus doesn't care how far from the checkout it is. You might learn from its fine example."

But oh, how I want to.


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