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According to the Daily Telegraph, so it must be true, the average British adult wastes five hours and 35 minutes queuing each month, with standing in line at the supermarket taking up the biggest amount of time. Waiting for a bus or train, queuing to get a drink at a bar and paying for goods in a shop also emerged as things we spend the most time waiting for. Over a year, the average Brit queues for more than 67 hours – or almost three days. In total, we spend 169 hours during the average adult lifetime – the equivalent of five months, two weeks and five days. A spokesman for online auction site, which carried out the poll, said: "Queuing is seen by many as one of the classic British traits, and these results prove that it does in fact take up a large amount of our time".


So, we at Stretch barriers have had a quick brain storming session and come up with 10 things you can do whilst you wait.


1. Mobile Fun & Games


Games and Updates


With over 2.8 Million game apps available now, there must be something for you. Not very sociable you say? Then play against some one who is also in that queue. Words with Friends seems to be popular!

Or, take the opportunity to update your social media. When was the last time you updated your profile?

Nowadays, you can even do your grocery shopping whilst queuing at the London Eye! Just make sure you don't rack up the mobile data bills!


2. Queue Substitute (Line Sitter)


Line Sitter


Yes, this is really a thing in the UK now. There are people that will approach you whilst you queue and ask if you would like them to take your place. Not only does it open up all sorts of employment issues, but it's not really cricket.

The Line Sitter (usually on an hourly rate) will then call you when they are approaching the head of queue. In the United States, they even have apps for this. There, they charge 11.00 USD per hour plus tips. They say, "We’ve all been astounded by unexpected long lines. That’s why we’ve created LineAngel. LineAngel is an app that allows you to hire a line sitter to wait for you in long lines. Need someone to wait for you in line for tickets, celebrity meet and greets, product releases, sneakers, or fashion sales? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered..." Right...


3. Have A Sing Song or a dance along.



When Cliff Richard began singing "Living Doll" at Wimbledon in 1996 whilst the crowd was waiting for play to begin, he set a precedence. Since then you can expect every British queue to start banging out the latest pop songs if the queue lasts longer than seven minutes. In fact, it is now obligatory to join in. As stated in 'The Prevention of Boredom Whilst Queuing Legislation 2018' - "every member of the queue must join in with the entertainment or face being ejected to the back of the queue. Those who do not have musical talent can jig or dance a little."


4. Watch Really Condescending Videos from the British Council.



OK, we understand that some people can only speak Pigeon English. But, really? This video is real and was produced by the British Council to explain to other nationalities what a queue actually is. Apparently the United Kingdom is the only place on the earth where people queue. It's description reads "People in the UK like to queue when they are waiting in places like the bank and post office. Watch the video, which focuses on how and why people queue in the UK." It was posted in 2014 before queuing was discovered by other countries. The sequel "How To Blow Your Nose into a Handkerchief" was also a huge success.


5. Play "Pick a Pocket"



Another game that seems to be getting popular in queuing is called "Pick a Pocket" The rules are simple. Whilst queuing you have to try and steal as many things as you can from the people waiting in the queue. Once you are out of the queue, you and your fellow gamesters simply weigh your takings and the person with the heaviest haul wins. The two rules are simple.

a) if you are discovered you have to leave the queue and run as far as you can.

b) You can keep everything you steal.

No, do not play this game. We are joking. If you are in a queue,you are over 40% more likely to be targeted by a pick pocket. it is one of the easiest places to be robbed. Ensure all of your valuables are tucked away, your bags are zipped shut and are in your view at all times.


6. Play Live "Guess Who"


Play Live "Guess Who"

Another enjoyable game whilst queuing. You and a friend each pick a stranger and take turns asking questions to try to guess who the other person picked. The first one to get it right wins.

Other popular games are:

  • "Daughter or Mistress" (Self Explanatory)
  • Theatre Of Life - Look at your queue and choose a couple that you can see but can not hear. All you have to do now is ad-lib what you think they're saying.
  • Celebrity look-alike. (Self Explanatory) - Kenny Rogers usually wins.


7. Exercise

There are some queue friendly exercises you can do whilst you wait in line. Before long you will notice other people waiting in the queue will be joining in. As you were the one that initiated it, you'd be like their personal trainer. Cool eh?

Exercise 1 in a queue Exercise 2 in a queue
Exercise 3 in a queue Exercise 4 in a queue


Here are some exercises we would not recommend. In-fact anything that involves the floor, stay away from. Shadow boxing and wrestling are also not recommended.

Do not do this exercise in a queue Do not do this exercise in a queue
Do not do this exercise in a queue Do not do this exercise in a queue


8. Pre-plan and download


Pre-plan and download

With online movie providers such as Netflix and Amazon Direct, you can now watch most of your favourite box sets and movies offline. Again not too sociable if you are queuing with friends or family, but, that's their problem, not yours. If you are feeling generous, you could also get earphone splitters which will allow them to plug their headphone into the same device. Just remember to download it first. Streaming through a mobile network could use a lot of your allowance and, again, rack up your bill.

Don't forget to take ear phones with you. Nothing's worse than standing in line whilst Breaking Bad or Downton Abbey is blurting out.


9. Update your contact lists



Use this opportunity to update your contact lists. Having an up-to date contact list is usually on the verge of OCD. However, if you use the three days of queuing each year to keep it up to date, you'll have the most up-to-date contact list ever. You could even fill in the things you usually ignore. Like company, URL and birthday!



10. Meet New Friends



In Britain, if someone turns to you when you are queuing and initiates a conversation, It can be weird. It either means:


1. They are genuinely friendly,

2. They are a Serial Killer or Villain,

3. They want something.


Usually it is number one. They, like you are bored. So bored that they are venturing out of their little bubble and invading yours. You can either give them a short answer if you want to stop it there, "Yes, No or Go Away", or you can answer it with another question if you accept their invitation to converse. "Yes, thank-you, you?" And so begins a conversation. A word of warning - after the queue has cleared you will probably never see them or hear from them again. So, whilst it will fill time, don't get too attached. (Unless they are a serial killer or villain and you probably will see them again...soon.)