Mack’s Craic


Mind your pees and queues!

We’re supposed to be good at queuing in this country. The truth is some people are rubbish at it.

There is an accepted distance that you have to keep behind someone at an ATM when you’re waiting to use it. That’s according to the comedian Jerry Seinfeld. That distance is about five feet. Jerry points out that it’s the same distance you keep when you’re waiting to use a urinal and the reason is the same, people get nervous when they take their valuables out in public.

But there are people who leave a gap at least three times bigger than the accepted ATM/urinal distance when they’re queuing at a counter!

I checked into a hotel this week. There was someone at the counter checking in and one other person waiting, but she was at least FIFTEEN feet away from the counter. I had to ask her if she was actually in a queue or just stood in the middle of the hotel reception and happened to be facing the counter. She looked at me as if it should be obvious that she was queuing. I stood behind her but the whole time had what could only be described as an anxiety attack. I felt as if someone was going to walk in off the street at the same time as the person at the counter got checked-in. If they timed it right, someone is going to walk right up to the counter and jump this ‘queue’!

When it eventually was her turn and she moved forward, I followed right behind her for ten feet then plonked my case down loudly, five feet behind her. She gave me that over her shoulder double-take look and I smiled back.

Maybe I was just grumpy because I was tired and hungry. I’d just finished a four hour shift on the radio, had driven nearly a hundred miles to get there, hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was now half past eight at night.

When I got to my room, I called the number on the room service menu, there was no answer. After another couple of calls, the receptionist answered. I told him I wanted to order room service. After a loud sigh I was told that I was being put through to the restaurant. I was too tired to ask why the RESTAURANT number wasn’t on the room service menu.

I told the lady that answered that I wanted to order fish and chips. Another sigh, then “hang on”. When she came back on the phone she said, “The Chef says he’s too busy”. I said, “Busy doing what? I’m not asking him to bring the food up to my room personally! All he has to do is cook it! Isn’t that what he’s supposed to be doing down there anyway?” She said, “Hang on” and she was gone again. A couple of minutes later she was back, “He says he can make you a sandwich”. I said, “I don’t want a sandwich, I want fish and chips!” “Sorry” she said. I said, “If I come down to the restaurant, can I order fish and chips?” She said, “Yes, of course”. I said, “So if he’s going to have to make fish and chips for me anyway, what difference does it make where I order it from?” She said, “Look it’s not up to me.” I said, “No it’s not, but the fact that in my room there is a menu with pictures of food on it, a price list and a number to call SUGGESTS it’s up to ME!” That was followed by silence, so I hung up.

I was now, very tired and very emotional, I decided to go out and get a take-away. I walked out onto the street and was really pleased to see a fish and chip shop, right NEXT DOOR to the hotel!

I walked in, there was one person being served at the counter, I stood behind them, and then a bloke ten feet behind me shouted, “Hey, there’s a queue you know!”

Craic on!

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