How the great washed travel

The queue is shuffling patiently towards Gate 3.

Waiting in line are the usual assortment of business types, ubiquitous fly-in fly-out looking blokes even though we’re flying to Sydney, a smattering of mums with babies, and retirees heading back to the Central Coast, or perhaps going to visit their daughter who’s just bought her first apartment in the CBD now that she can afford it after landing that great job.

I’m about five or six back from the ever-so-polite-smile-through-clenched-teeth of the Qantas flight attendant as she beeps the crinkled boarding passes through the machine – “I’ll just do that one manually I think” – when I hear the voice descending from the Qantas Club stairs.

It’s one of those loud female husky voices that isn’t a result of bronchitis; just one of those voices. Like if you were to slow it down on an audio track it would sound like a drag queen … with bronchitis.

The voice has an accompanying look which says 40 is the new 30, and it took an hour or so this morning, along with the right jeans and genes, to make that happen. She’s coming in sideways now, merging with the queue ahead of me without a look behind, her kids now fanning out around the entrance to the aerobridge:

“Mimi, Mick, Jasper, wait for daddy – he has to show your tickets.”

Sometimes a queue is actually quite useful. It gives you time to get yourself together to deal with unexpected surprises at the gate.

Which might really piss you off.

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