'All good things come to those who wait'.
'All good things come to those who wait'. Apparently. We've been told this since we tarried for our turn on the playgroup tricycle. And so we get in line and stick around patiently.
The need to queue is what might be described as 'essentially English' behaviour. The fact that we are prepared to linger expectantly in the hope and understanding that the ultimate reward will be forthcoming typifies the Englishman as much as his fondness for drinking tea in a crisis or the need to mark a weekend with a roast dinner on Sunday complete with all the trimmings … gravy and Yorkshire pudding!
Being English, I know how to queue nicely. We expect to have to queue for a table in a restaurant, for example, and in doing so we are reassured that the what we are queuing for must be really rather in demand. And because we're so essentially English, we tolerate others who may jump the queue with a sigh and tut to those also standing with us, certain that because we have waited the rewards will be even more delectable than we had originally anticipated.
And so, 'All good things come to those who wait'. It doesn't always happen, of course. I'm reminded of the time back in 1976 when I attended the Knebworth Festival at which the Rolling Stones were to play. I was rather hungry by teatime and decided to queue for a hot dog. Now, festivals in those days didn't provide the endless variety of catering options now available. There were considerably fewer outlets then and they were decidedly inferior to those enjoyed today. And so I joined a line leading to a single vendor with the sort of mobile trolley one might see at a fairground or fete. There must have been fifty or sixty people in the queue. But it didn't matter, I could enjoy the music and the ambience of that sunny day as I edged closer to the front of the line and its holy grail. After about an hour I was almost within touching distance of that Frankfurter sausage and inhaling that aroma, that is the cue to salivate, of softly cooked onions. However, panic began to strike when I realised that the supply of the aforementioned sausage and bread rolls appeared to be diminishing rather too quickly. I began to do the maths, trying to anticipate whether each person in front of me would buy one or two or more hot dogs.
And so it was that I arrived at the front of the queue. The vendor looked at me. I looked at the tray before him. It was empty except for some stray strands of onion. I looked him in the eye. He said ...'Sorry,' and wheeled his trolley away.
So Mother was wrong about all good things coming to people who wait. It was a valuable lesson though in being 'essentially English'.
'Ahem … Testing , 1-2-3'
See you next time.