I have said many times before that queues are my worst enemy. For me, moving my legs to walk is painful; standing still, on the other hand, is excruciating. You may recall my ongoing LEGOLAND debacle… well, earlier in the summer I insanely decided that it would be a great idea to go along to a ‘meet and greet’ at ‘Gulliver’s Land’, a modest sized theme park 2 hours up the road. The meet and greet was with dinosaur crazy father & son Youtubers from America, a duo that my eldest absolutely looooves. Seriously, I thought, how many people are really going to show up to this? Oh. My. Goodness. How wrong was I?!! The last time I queued up to meet anyone of any ‘fame’ was for a Rolf Harris book signing back in 2002, a hideously long queue that had NOTHING on this and which resulted in me owning a tainted didgeridoo signed by a man soon to be jailed and outed as a despicable excuse for a human being. Anyway, I digress –
We arrived at the park to find a queue snaking its way off into the distance. With the heat beating down on us and 3 eager little munchkins jumping up and down we stepped in line. Five minutes later it was clear that this was no ordinary queue. We managed to grab the attention of a nearby member of staff who grimaced when we asked how long the queue was, “it’s very looooong, right round to the other end of the park…” Well, flip a chip, there was no way I was going to stand there for hours in that heat and come out of it alive. Using my initiative I left my family in The Queue and went in search of management. I had, after all, read that it was their policy to issue queue passes to those unable to queue. On meeting the manager I received that all too familiar blank look that you always get when you mention Multiple Sclerosis. As I expected, there was nothing he could do about The Queue, apparently they only issue queue passes in the bigger park across the road as this smaller one, where the event was taking place, never got busy enough to warrant having them. Well, it was certainly busy that day! I’m perhaps being a little unfair here as I was offered a clunky and chunky chair to carry around in The Queue with me… No bother, I had my own nifty little stool back in the car.
And so it was that I rejoined The Queue while perched on a stool that had to be lifted and moved along every few minutes as we nudged our way closer to the end. I really have to give my kids some credit here. For 2 and a half hours they angelicly went with the flow displaying more patience than I knew to be humanly possible. I felt more than a tad conspicuous with my stool, in fact I felt like a right lazy numpty sitting there with all those grown-ups towering above me. One fellow (insane) queuer exclaimed, “What a good idea! I wish I’d thought of bringing a stool!”.
There was something oddly satisfying about making it to the end of The Queue. I’ve got so used to the special treatment I receive as someone who has a disability that it felt oddly liberating to ‘slum it’ with the ‘normal’ folk. I was, of course, exhausted at the end of it but the smiles on my kid’s faces made the whole ordeal worthwhile. Would I do it again? Not on your nelly! But with the kids still talking about it 5 months on I can’t help but say that I’m really glad we went.
The things we do for our kids!
P.S. For anyone wishing to witness The Queue in action, check this video out – my family & I can be seen about 20 seconds in, by this point we’d already been queuing over 2 hours! Look how big the queue is behind us!