Let the 2012 (waiting) games begin


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The Independent Online

You'll queue for hours to get through immigration at Heathrow, where delays yesterday prompted the Prime Minister to demand an explanation from his home secretary. You'll queue to get to the Olympics, where you'll queue to watch Croatia do archery (you'd lost out in the online queue for tickets). By this time you may already have queued for a glimpse of the Queen's bonce at the Jubilee.

Even by British standards, queues are set to snake across the country this summer like never before. This raises concerns about etiquette at the meeting of so many national psyches. The Chinese aren't big on queueing, for example, leading Beijing to launch an education campaign before the 2008 Games.

Then there is boredom. You could fiddle with your phone, (be sure you don't leave a gap in front lest you be hissed at), play I spy (avoid words beginning with "Q"), or why not send texts to neglected friends. Failing this, you could do as the Romans do and embrace the art of the queue, regardless of its size; as the humorist George Mikes noted in 1946: "An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one."