Sunday, 15 March 2009

6. :: "queue"

In the 1980s Andrew was a young child and because of this he does not remember much of the details. Many of the 1980s things he knows he learned second hand through television shows about different decades. Most of what he remembers is feelings and vague situations.

Andrew remembers a time when he and his parents were on a long car journey, probably visiting relatives out of town or maybe returning from a holiday. Whoever was driving, Andrew's mother or father, must have been tired or needed a bathroom break as they pulled in at a services of the motorway. They all did what they had to do and decided to get something to eat from the Burger King in the services. Whilst his parents were queueing Andrew was distracted by a display of plastic footballs outside the amusement arcade. The balls were held in place by cords of elastic stretched across a plastic frame, like a sparse fishing net, and Andrew thought that it could all come toppling down at any moment, blue, red and white plastic footballs bouncing everywhere. Fighting the urge to test this theory, Andrew returned to the queue and took his father's hand. Andrew was 5 or maybe 6 years old.

Andrew felt a bit strange. He looked up and saw that the man was not his father, just some other man, and the man, feeling the boy's hand go limp in his, looked down to see that the boy was not his son. After a moment their hands separated. The man had on the same colour sweater as Andrew's father, and blue jeans. The man looked around and saw his wife and children sat at a table across the dining area. This was before everyone was terrified that their children would be abducted and murdered at any minute. Andrew had never heard of such a thing and yet to learn to be embarrassed by his mistake, and took a few steps away from the queue and looked around to see his father stood with a tray of burgers and fries and drinks, laughing quietly to himself. He had seen the whole thing and found it funny.

Andrew thinks about this whole incident now and can not be sure how much is true and how much is embellishment. The stuff about the footballs is almost definitely made up.


  1. I love this project. I hope more people are reading it. I am going to link it on my blog.

    This is really good, Chris.

  2. thanks dj
    i got stuck there for a minute, but it worked out ok

  3. i did this exact same thing to a man in blue jeans when i was 5.
    except this was in the market square in northampton and i didnt hold his hand but instead grabbed him around the back of the legs and hugged his two legs.
    oh and i didnt think the man was my dad.
    i thought he was my mum.
    she laughed also.
    it was great.