The one place where I think that everyone deserves a little bit more special treatment is in the express line, and I can’t fathom that it’s taken so long to see the concept expand beyond the grocery store and sometimes, the highway.
I love the express line. Even if it means that I end up shopping three or four times when others may only have to make a trip to the store once, it is a great feeling to line up alongside fellow shoppers with eight items or less, and be on my way.
As well, I shudder to think that there was ever a time that I would travel down Hwy. 404 and onto the Don Valley Parking Lot - sorry, Parkway - without a passenger. I would hate to deprive myself the chance to hop into the HOV lane, typically the lone bright spot on a soul-crushing drive into and out of Toronto.
So why are these the only two areas where one can experience the pleasures of express service? It’s 2015 after all, if we can’t have a flying car, at least give us some more express lines.
Most mornings, like most patriotic Canadians, I dutifully pick up coffee on my way into work. And like most Canadians, this experience has, on occasion, led me to become a ranting and raving lunatic.
Most establishments have two lines. It has confused me for years that no one has thought to make one of these lines ‘beverage only’ thus eliminating being stuck behind four different people with nine-step processes for toasting a bagel, when all I want is black coffee and to be back in my car within 25 minutes, eventually blissfully rolling up the rim to discover the 1400th opportunity in my lifetime to play again. Instead, it’s 10 a.m., and I’ve had to listen to how the person in front of me somehow wants an untoasted toasted BLT English muffin, on a whole wheat asiago cheese onion sesame seed oregano bagel, with no lettuce or tomato, and the bacon on the side.
The other place where I’ve heard that this would be a welcome addition is at bars. With a baby at home, my wife Kate and I haven’t been to a bar in quite some time. Although, we did have an alcoholic beverage when we were recently at a Leafs’ game, and it was heavenly.
Rather, we get our nightlife fix primarily by watching the show ‘Bar Rescue’ in which ‘nightlife expert’ Jon Taffer rehabilitates failing establishments, while berating and humiliating the owners and staff of these establishments. One staple of this show is the signature cocktails, and I’m told that it is is the singular reason why there also needs to be two lines at bars.
The cousin to the elaborate bagel order is the needlessly complicated drink order. It must be next-generation frustrating to be behind the patron ordering a sparkling black pepper mango lime grapefruit bellini with a bacon garnish or a German Chocolate Cake martini when all you want is a beer, or maybe a rye-and-ginger. It’s enough to make someone need a drink!
I guess one way to avoid this would be for people to look behind them when making their order and consider that the line now stretches down the street. But that will never happen, because a lot of people are jerks.
I’m sure people would try and cheat this system too, just like the HOV lane and the supermarket checkout, and if they do, they should be tossed out, which would make the line ever shorter. It’s a win-win-win-win. The last win is for the owners of these establishments, who are sure to make more money.
The only losers would be those with the complex orders, who are forced to mingle with other. I can’t imagine a more fitting punishment.