Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Concern Of Waiting Lines

For longer than I care to remember I have loathed waiting in lines. One day, while waiting to grab a drink from my local market a line had formed, causing me to have to figure out new ways of either standing comfortably, leaning on some nearby aisle, or just leaving completely. How worth it would my 75-cent can of coke be?

It got me to thinking, why have they not developed ways to make a line more entertaining? At least add a little pizazz to it. In a couple of amusement parks, they have T.V.s set up that you can watch. Take Universal's Jurassic Park Ride for instance. As you wind your way toward the ride, strategically placed above you in the rafters are T.V.s. They make the mistake though of only replaying short clips from the actual movie and having static title cards that contain no movement, sound, or excitement whatsoever. By the time you've waited there for an hour, you are sick to death of seeing the clips, and can recite them from memory. Surely they could play something a little more entertaining? Maybe even the actual Jurassic Park movie.

Take this line outside of Pinkberry. It's long, it's boring, and it definitely doesn't have any source of excitement except for watching others successfully get their pinkberry. If Pinkberry could devise a way to have some form of entertainment for the viewers, I'm sure they could gather more customers willing to wait.

What interests me though is the way lines deal with space. Unless there is a set path, such as the Jurassic Park Ride and most theme parks, lines tend to develop shapes all of there own. While watching the election in November, two years ago, the massive lines that turned out for Obama began to create unique zig-zag patterns. People without knowing it had created massive patterns visible from high above.

Who were the ones that decided to follow the person behind them, but heading into a different direction? If there are structural concerns then it makes sense to wrap around the building. Where there are lines outside of bookstores and Pinkberry's it makes sense to see them going around the block, wrapping the buildings. But when there is no set space to consume, people begin to waver and create.

Maybe we are looking at a new form of artistic statement, now that population is zooming up. The subconscious art of people placement.