Queue Tips

New York New YorkOne of the defining characteristics of Britishness is queueing, a skill honed through centuries of self-discipline, patience, politeness and quiet grumbling.

But just when we think we have a special talent nailed, along come the Americans to turn it into an Olympic demonstration event.

We finally got into Las Vegas proper on Tuesday and our first experience of queueing began before we’d even reached The Strip. The traffic ground to a halt as we approached Las Vegas Boulevard from the south.

Marj was driving and was not at all happy.  After being stationary for five minutes, she was ready to risk beaching her car on the central reservation to get across to the opposite carriageway in search of another route.

We guessed that the hold-up was being caused by an accident, but we guessed wrong. In the distance we spotted a motorcade heading away from the posh Four Seasons Hotel as we tried again by guessing that it must be one of the presidential hopefuls on the campaign trail.

Wrong again. Mitt Romney was busy being embarrassed by his wife on breakfast television as she tried to convince the nation that he is really a ‘wild and crazy guy’.

These aren’t necessarily the qualities that I’d list as ‘essential’ on the job description for leader of the western world, but ‘wild and crazy’ in the instance amounts to not coming his hair if he isn’t going out.

PuntersAnd it wasn’t Barack Obama either, of course. He was in Afghanistan announcing the withdrawal of American troops by 2014. Or 2024, or 2034, I couldn’t quite figure it out.

But he had left Michelle in charge of the family business and it was she who was the cause of the traffic jam that was driving Marj nuts. (that’s at least one dropped vote)

Having negotiated the traffic, Marj dropped us off at the Flamingo Hotel where we hit Q2. When we confessed that we weren’t gold club members, the mood of the previously gushing employee changed as she jerked a thumb to direct us to join a snaking line of happy holiday-makers.

We waited forty minutes before we finally reached the check-in desk which we thought must be some sort of record, but we were to learn that the length of that particular queue rarely varied, no matter what time of day or night.

Slot Machine MazeThe fun didn’t stop there though. Earlier we’d bought tickets to see that same night at a Tix4Tonight booth. (Technically this was our first queue, but as there were only two people ahead of us and already at the desk, we only had to wait ten minutes of so.)

The thing is, although we’d bought and paid for the tickets, we hadn’t really. What you have is a coupon that you can exchange for tickets and to do that we had to get ourselves to the MGM Grand box office.

This was an adventure in itself that I won’t go into here other than to say that we arrived at our destination hot and sticky after negotiating the switchback of pavements and walkways that is The Strip.

The MGM Grand under reconstructionOr rather we hadn’t. The MGM Grand is a labyrinth that makes the Labyrinth look like a kiddie maze. Signs appear then peter out as you roam the temptations of the gambling halls, so it was some time before we reached the box office. To find another queue.

Mrs P had had enough by then and I gallantly volunteered to stand in line while she took a seat by a slot machine and contemplated eternal life in a casino.

Mayweather Cotto FightHaving got our tickets, we wandered around MGM some more and by a stroke of luck caught sight of daylight and another queue. Hundreds of people surrounded the boxing ring set-up in the main lobby and then queued out of the door in two lines.

They were presumably awaiting the arrival of either Mayweather, Cotto or both ahead of the fight tomorrow, but we resisted the urge to join the queue as hunger and thirst drove us outside.

On our way back to the Flamingo, we were delighted to come across yet another impressive queue, delighted because it was one we didn’t have to join.

It was outside another Tix4Tonight booth and  and it had obviously been a good move on Marj’s part to take out to an out of town booth when they opened at 10am as this queue came out of the door and a hundred yards down the street.

Employees in uniform were shading the wilting punters with umbrellas and we noticed that it was possible to stump up some extra dollars and queue jump via the VIP line.

But the day ended well. We decided against walking back to see the show, but queued for a taxi instead. There wasn’t even too much of a queue to get in the theatre and the only minor glitch was the length of the queue to buy drinks, but by then we felt we had mastered the art.

itself was a fabulous show (and I’m not a show-loving person) and impossible to describe except to say that it is a spectacle like nothing I’ve seen before. And we didn’t have to queue too long to get out.

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4 comments… add one

  • Roger Green 4th May 2012, 11:33 am

    I’d be too exhausted to see the show, after all that!

    Reply
  • Elvis Pudding 4th May 2012, 11:49 am

    Elvis never sang about queueing in “Viva Las Vegas”. Instead it was all this kind of bullshit:-
    Bright light city gonna set my soul
    Gonna set my soul on fire
    Got a whole lot of money that’s ready to burn,
    So get those stakes up higher
    There’s a thousand pretty women waitin’ out there
    And they’re all livin’ devil may care
    And I’m just the devil with love to spare*
    Viva Las Vegas! Viva Las Vegas!

    *= I guess that’s you!

    Reply
  • Jennyta 5th May 2012, 1:15 am

    Well, that makes my supermarket experience vanish into nothingness, SP. :)

    Reply
  • Jan James 6th May 2012, 8:58 am

    Rule #1, never drive on the strip. Not at any time of the day or night. You can buy a bus ticket for all day and hop on and off it as much as you want. Vegas is one town where the people on the bus are better company than the people on the streets. Unless you actually enjoy lowlife fellows passing out fliers from strip joints. I only waited in one line at the MGM Grand that was worth the time…to see Sir Paul McCartney a few years ago. But now that you’re an accomplished que-er, you should go to Disneyland before you fly home. The only difference is it costs a lot more to eat and drink there, and there isn’t so much smoke in the air. Or come on up to Sloughhouse and I’ll get you some fresh asparagus.

    Reply

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