Whether it’s for a morning cuppa, tickets for a show or the ladies’ loos on a Saturday night, there’s one thing Brits such as me excel at above all other nationalities — queuing.
Go to a football game or try to find a taxi after a few bevs and you will see us Brits at our level best, forming an orderly line, snaking for kilometres if we must, without even the hint of one set of feet inching ahead of another.
Is it politeness we’re famous for? Perhaps, or maybe it’s more an inherent distaste of small talk should we be forced to — shock, horror — interact with strangers.
Imagine the unpleasantness if, by standing side-by-side, we had to fill gaps in conversation for the time it took to get to the counter. No, thank you, we’ll stand in our neat little lines instead and keep ourselves firmly to ourselves.
But, Perth, it pains me to say, I think you’ve outdone us.
Since moving to Australia, I’ve witnessed your people excel at the very skill we thought we’d hallmarked as our own.
And you do it for the strangest things.
“Perth, you’ll queue for just about anything.”
First it was iPhones. Now, fair enough, phones that talk and recognise fingerprints are perhaps worthy of standing in a line for a few moments.
But then it got plain odd — doughnuts, big aeroplanes, jet flyovers, Aldi, free potatoes (seriously?), cheap(ish) fuel and, this week, burgers.
And you don’t do it by halves, either.
When the doughnuts came to town, you took your cars and queued into the night, revving in line, all for an American sugary concoction called a Krispy Kreme.
Traffic controllers with light-up sticks even joined in, lest you lose your place in the line.
When it was spuds, you bagged up several tonnes of them in days, queuing one behind the other as we British might do at a bank.
A plane flyover? Some of you even skived off work for that one. In-N-Out Burgers? Why, yes, that too was worthy of an epic queue.
Perhaps it’s something that comes with living in the most remote city in the world but, Perth, you’ll queue for just about anything.
Yet, much as a novelty is a novelty, there’s something I think this city is overlooking.
As someone who has grown up with holidays to pebbly beaches and brown seas, I can’t understand why you’d choose to queue for the likes of In-N-Out and Aldi when what’s right under your nose knocks spots off even the very best deal in those “special buy” aisles.
While Aldi boasted a full carpark when it came to town, I’ll bet you a free spud those who’d opted for a stroll around Kings Park instead would have had the place almost to themselves. Doughnuts? They’d have trumped a wander on the beach hands down when they arrived in the west.
Who’d have thought just minutes down the road was a glassy ocean, just waiting for toes to be dipped into.
On one hand, Perthies, I commend you for taking our trademark British skill and making it “so Perth”.
But also let it be known my British cronies would gladly stand in queues twice as long if only to spend a few moments among the natural beauty you drove past on the way to get your burgers. Perhaps it’s time to smell the roses, just a tad.