Editor's note: This is the first column in our series honoring the pre-blog writing skills of the Late Queen Mum. This is from the 9/28/55 edition of the Harris Collegian, when she was 19.
by Marge, Girl Revolutionist
To state the matter bluntly, I'm fed up with standing in line. To state it emphatically I'm chock-full, saturated. crammed and replete with standing in line. In the short time since school has begun I have (by actual authenticated count) been a member of ten massive, protracted, elongated, unparalleled lines. I do not like to stand in lines. Right now if Marlon Brando came to Harris especially to play the bongo drums for me I wouldn't even stand in line to see Him. I'm sorry, Marlon, but I feel this bitter experience has warped me for life. I shall never again go to a show, shop at a super-market, ride an escalator, do the Bunny Hop, or indulge in any of the other harmless pleasures which involve rows of people because of the line-phobia I've developed.
I do not profess to be the only line-phobic in school; I realize there are hundreds. You can recognize them because now, even when they're not
in a line, they unconsciously shift their weight from one foot to the other to ease the load; they appear to be craning their necks for someone to come back from lunch, or a coffee break, or wherever these people who keep lines waiting on them do
go; and they have a certain tense expectant manner as if primed to shout "I AM!" to the laconical question, "Who's next?"
The fact that there must be lines for order is obvious; I don't deny their value in keeping down cases of mob damage, fainting, bodies being crushed underfoot, etc. My argument is this: Must we stand
My own personal solution is quite elementary my dear Watsonians. Tomorrow I am bringing a camp-stool to Harris. It is collapsible and has a charming vari-hued striped canvas seat. It will fit very snugly into my roomy locker and the next line-up (school) I go to I shall have it clasped firmly under my arm. After taking my place in the "procession" I shall unfold my stool and camp. During my two or three day siege of prosaic heel-cooling, I shall make signs like "Are You a Line-Keeper-Waitinger?" or "Join Our Line. See the Back of Someone Else's Head!" or "Why Be Half Safe? Join Our Line, By Tomorrow You May Need What You'll Be Standing In Line For."
I have tried talking to my fellow linees to while the time away but I have found it more expedient to talk to my pet lavender gopher, Fred. The minute Fred and I start chatting the length of the line goes down considerably. (They don't know Fred is invisible and even when I tell them it still makes them nervous.) Of course, Fred is only useful the first few hours, after that all that remain are a bunch of die-hards who just won't give up.
I hope my solution will be a help to the other line-phobiacs, if not, a petition has been started to have one of our Psych professors do some mass analysis. All you have to do is sign up; the line forms at the rear.