Queue cutters, line cutters, butting inners…we all know who they are. We have all experienced them at least once in our fast paced lives. Without a doubt, 99.99% of human population loathe them. (The remaining 0. 01 % are the champions of the hateable. They stand for anything and everything despicable.)
The prompt for this post came to me when I was waiting in line with a few pint sized humans to get their face painted by Elsa the Fairy queen. The winter night was chilly; air thick with the scents of freshly popped corn, hotdogs and s’mores. If it weren’t for the kids who demanded a trip to the wonderland festival, there was no way I would have ventured out on a night like that.
Time, I have noticed, moved at a slower pace when one wait in a queue. Yet somehow, after an hour of patiently fielding the “How long?” and “My legs are tired. Can you carry me? “questions, we finally reached within an arm’s length of the esteemed Fairy queen. Two more kids ahead of us. Things were finally looking up.
It was the commotion and the sound of hiccups that alerted us that something was wrong. Like a hound sniffing out blood, my senses caught snippets of an argument. Since snooping was part and parcel of creative writing, I used that as an excuse and edged forward to get more scoop.
So this was what happened-
A young girl, about ten, Asian heritage from her looks, stood to one side- red faced, sobbing quietly. Her mother was arguing with Elsa’s body guards- namely two rotund security guys in black and black. From the sound of it, the man ahead of me- father of a 4yr old cherub- caught the Asian girl’s family cutting in the line and called them to task. To this, the girl’s mother replied that they had been waiting in the line all along. Unfortunately, her kid had to go to the toilet. The Mum, with no other choice, advised the lady ahead of her to hold their place and the woman agreed. They had been gone for all but ten minutes. But when they returned, the lady in question had disappeared. Not wanting to wait another hour, the girl and her Mum moved to the front of the line, hoping they could convince the Queen’s guards of their plight.
A very plausible explanation. Things like that happened all the time. Kids do have the most inconvenient bladders. I had no doubt the young girl and her mother were telling the truth.
Now came the clincher.
The father of the cherub, who I strongly believe was on meth or steroids, muscled forward. Hands on hips, he turned to Elsa. “Why are you guys listening to this crap? These people, these bloody Asians always have an excuse for everything.” Then he went on a tirade about Asians, asylum seekers and migrants. A bucket load of pure venomous racist remarks.
I don’t need to say that things went downhill pretty fast from that point. One venomous crack- he damn near started a civil war in that play space.
Luckily, he was alone in his opinions. No one sided with him. I fully expected the gathered crowd to remain in silence, pull the cloak of Cowardice tighter around themselves and look away. Let’s face it, that is what most people do in these situations.
But the crowd reacted. They vocalised their opinion about the man’s rant in some colourful language I dare not repeat here. In the end, it was a most satisfactory sight to watch that man get escorted out of that space.
Case to the point: See human beings as human beings. Not color-coded packages