Thursday, August 19, 2010

Long Line

I have been putting off going to the grocery store, for at least a week. Because of this, I ran out of ingredients for a decent breakfast. And so, for lack of any pancake mix or Cheerios in the house, I wandered down to the local Starbucks for a piece of banana bread. Trying to cut back on both expenses and calories, I was not planning to order my regular Chai Tea Latte (with extra foam), just a slice of banana bread.

It was mid-morning, after the commuter rush, yet there was a fairly long line at the Starbucks, which is in a shopping center just two blocks from my house. I was not in any rush, and the line moved fairly quickly. I was at the counter within five minutes. I have waited far longer in many a Starbucks line during the morning commuter rush hour. When I finally placed my order, for banana bread, but no drink, the clerk behind the counter remarked that I had waited in line "a long time just for a piece of banana bread". I said something like "well, the wait wasn't really all that long".

I paid for my order, and picked up my banana bread from the counter, then turned around to glance at the New York Times in the newspaper stand next to the counter. Pictured on the front page was a photo of another line, a much longer line. A line of people, hundreds of people, standing in a very long line that curved up and down the hillside, standing outdoors in the heat of the midday sun, empty tin pans held in their hands, waiting for a single serving of some mushy meal, the victims of flood ravaged Pakistan.

Indeed, my wait in line was not very long, not very long at all.

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