Once again, the recently concluded SEA Games proved to be another interesting affair because of the inclusion of relatively unheard-of sporting events.
I mean, have you heard of Arnis? No, I’m not referring to star anise. I’m talking about the national martial art of the Philippines.
Or perhaps you might have heard of vovinam? Again, as much as it sounds like a hipster papadum, it’s actually another form of martial arts – this one’s from Vietnam.
I would really love to see Singapore include our unofficial national sport in the competition when we next host the SEA Games in 2029.
No, I’m not talking about football.
I’m talking about queuing.
Because it’s evident that we Singaporeans absolutely love queuing up for things.
Remember the Hello Kitty craze? Mind you, that certainly wasn’t a one-off incident. Most recently, we’ve had people queuing for the chicken bag from Texas Chicken, 12-inch hot dogs at Ikea and free croissants from Tiong Bahru Bakery.
I don’t know about you, but I love queuing. Why? Because confirm plus chop there’s almost always something good at the end of the line.
I mean, why else would people queue?
Truth be told, I once hated queuing because I found it to be such a bore. But National Service has since conditioned me well. You see, there was A LOT of queuing involved during NS.
This uncle here once had to queue to use the public coin phone to call my girlfriend. You must also surely remember having to queue to do the Standard Obstacle Course, because someone will always get stuck at the Low Wall or atop the Apex Ladder.
And then there’s the queuing to “collect arms” at the armskote, to use the shower, to get on the ferry to Pulau Tekong, to do pull-ups before every meal, and the list just goes on and on.
Could we perhaps even argue that marching is a form of mobile queuing?
I really don’t understand why some people say that our obsession with queuing is embarrassing. I see queuing as a display of civic-mindedness. It truly is something that should restore your faith in humanity, because it shows that people respect one another and the unspoken first-come-first-served rule.
Seriously, people who queue and wait patiently for their turn are all good human beings.
Well, that is until they see someone break the social contract by cutting the queue.
Just last month some reckless driver swung in from the right lane and cut the queue to get ahead of me at the expressway exit. I blared the horn, rolled down my window and yelled: “I’m after you now!”
The guy in the other car rolled down his window and replied: “Indeed, you are!”
Come think of it, isn’t it weird that many of us like complaining that we have very hectic schedules but yet still have time to queue for things?
This brings me to my next point – always queue smart, not hard. Don’t be like me, a person who used to blindly join queues for the sake of it.
I stopped doing this after an incident in which I spotted a really long, snaking queue and thought to myself, “Wah! Queue so long, confirm got good things!”
When the queue barely moved 10 minutes in, I tapped the person in front of me to enquire what exactly we were queuing for.
This mean person furrowed her brows, eyed me from head to toe and let out a snort.
Shocked at how impolite she was, I rolled my eyes and continued waiting in line patiently.
“What a nasty human being,” I thought. “If she doesn’t want me to have any part in this, I’m sure this is going to be an absolute banger of a bargain!”
A few minutes later, the person behind me tapped me on the shoulder.
“This queue isn’t for you,” came a voice.
Frustrated, I lashed out.
“Look. I have a right to be in the queue. How coveted is this darn product that everyone here has to be so mean and attempt to kick me out of the queue?” I bellowed.
“Sir,” said another person who joined the fracas.
“This is a queue for the ladies’ toilet.”
LOL Mondays is an ongoing series of slice-of-life stories from freelance writer and NSman Alywin Chew. Look out for the humorous tales which will be posted every first Monday of the month, to help you drive away your Monday blues!
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