(I wasn’t going to write about this, because it happened nearly a week ago, but here we are, six days later, and it’s still bugging me, and I’ve got a million work-related deadlines and can’t even begin to think of anything else to write, so I’m going to launch this tirade like a wobbly milk carton boat.)
Last Friday, Jason and I took off from work early because there was a bobblehead giveaway at the Twins game. It was this bobblehead, specifically. Which, for me personally, is the best bobblehead ever, because I remember watching that game and thinking the Twins got very, very lucky with that call (made nearly 20 years ago, oh my god). (Never mind the sad fact that it has been nearly 20 years since the Twins were in the World Series.)
Anyway, they were only giving away 10,000 bobbleheads, and Target Field holds more than 40,000 people and almost always sells out, and we were playing the White Sox that night so there’d be some Chicagoans honing in on the giveaway action, so we figured we’d get there early.
Like, really early.
We got there at 12:30 p.m. The game started at 7:00. The doors didn’t open until 5:00.
Why yes, we are crazy! How did you know?
A couple of our friends had gotten there before us and were literally 10th in line. There were maybe 20 people total waiting at our gate, so we stopped briefly to chat with our friends, and then, because I’m not morally capable of doing a “chat & cut” ala Curb Your Enthusiasm, I told Jason I wasn’t cutting. So we went to the end of the line.
Which looked like this:
Everything was fine for the first few hours or so. More people arrived and obediently tacked themselves onto the end of the line. But then Jason left to go talk to our friends and take a walk around the stadium. And four guys immediately sidled into the spot he had left, even though there were maybe only 20 people behind me.
So now the line looked like this:
As I sat on the ground staring at them incredulously, thinking, “Are you effing serious?” the four men debated whether this was a good place to stand (no), whether they should move (yes), and whether the fence directly across from the gate entrance is where they should go (definitely not). Right as I opened my mouth to say something, they ambled off in the opposite direction, presumably to be jerks elsewhere.
That’s when I realized that this was going to turn ugly. By 4:00, humanity’s true colors began to show. More people were arriving, and even though they could clearly see the line, dozens and dozens of them decided they would form their own line. How stupid we were, the people standing in line! Ha! Clearly, we could just push in front of others because common decency is no longer an important facet of a functioning society!
Whenever anyone managed to flag down the (always-rushing-in-a-different-direction) ushers or security guards to complain, they were met with vague shrugs.
Meanwhile, I (not surprisingly) was starting to seethe. I wasn’t afraid of not getting a bobblehead – I knew we were still going to be one of the first 75 people, but I am the type of person who would rather die than inconvenience anyone else. (Case in point: if I am driving and cannot get over to an exit in time, I will drive to the next exit rather than cut someone else off. True story.) And yet scores of people were purposely cutting in front of people who had been there for hours. HOURS.
So now the line looked like this:
When the gates opened, our (legitimate) line started moving as fast as possible in the hopes of boxing out the interlopers. But they were a surly bunch and started shoving their way to the front. Right before we got in, Jason put his arm in front of a guy, holding him back, and said, “Hey! You don’t belong up here. Go to the back.” And the guy, whom we watched step off the light rail not even 5 minutes earlier claimed, “I’ve been standing here for hours!” No remorse, no apology, no sheepishly leaving like the 15-year-old kid we all called out earlier and shamed into doing the right thing. Instead this guy acted like we were insane for caring about such a trivial matter. He puffed himself up and denied everything – until about 10 other people behind us started yelling at him. Then he shut up and played dumb by whining, “Where do you expect me to go?” like the whole concept was utterly confusing to him.
To be honest, I was kind of hoping for him to touch me, or try to push me out of the way, or shove Jason, because I was dying for someone who deserved it to get punched, and he seemed like a fine candidate. But I think he felt so chagrined at getting caught and yelled at by numerous people that he just kind of slunk to his seat with his ill-gotten bobblehead. Jerk.
Target Field really needs to fix this problem, which I propose could be solved easily by doing this:
Or, even more effectively, by implementing this:
Or, as a cheaper alternative, just letting me punch people in the face who try to cut in line.
I feel it says a lot about a person if they cut in line. What do you think?