Do I have a social experiment far superior to Big Brother! The toaster in the Qantas Club Lounge!
See, I think Qantas are missing a wonderful opportunity to partner with a local PhD student and conduct a mind bending experiment, the likes of which would rock the basement of Area 51!
Why am I feeling this is so? Glad you didn’t ask! The other morning, while waiting to fly home to Melbourne from Canberra, I wandered into the Qantas Club Lounge, with no real intent, just cruising around. Anyway, I’m walking past the queue of hungry, tired (don’t know why they are so tired, it’s first thing in the morning right!?), privileged Qantas Club members who are snaking around the breakfast bar, all waiting to use the one tractor toaster (the one where you deposit slices of bread at the top and a little track takes it through the barely warm toaster elements) Qantas has decided to put on display. Now, the fact that Qantas has like 1 billion members mingling around pre-7am waiting to fly somewhere may have indicated to them to have more than one toaster on duty...clearly not!
Now, I’ve said my peace before about the weirdoes that constantly loiter around the Qantas Club before (me included mind you), but this morning, I was about to discover a new breed from the genus, Qantas Clubus Crankycillus. See, right were the single tractor toaster is located, is also the magazine rack, in fact, between the two is a small passage where the queue of would-be toasters were waiting like hyenas before the feed, eyes wide, teeth bared, saliva glands in masticate mode.
So I stroll into the passage, un aware of the social steam that’s brewing amongst the toast’ans, and for a brief moment, survey the queue (it was quite a sight) and the magazine rack. Just as I was about to walk over to the area of magazines I was interested in, this lady from the queue steps out towards me and barks, “I’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes, end of the line is that way!”. I’m not sure what my facial expression was immediately post assault, but it was enough to make the guy behind Toast’zilla break out in laughter. I didn’t know what to say, but to the best of my recollection, the conversation went along these lines:
Dave: Um, sorry?
Toast’zilla: I said I’ve been waiting for more than 15 minutes to get to the toaster, don’t you cut in!
Dave: Why would you think I want to cut in?
Toast’zilla: Because you are standing there looking around!
Toast’zilla: You’re standing around, looking at the toaster! Don’t you cut in, people have been waiting a long time!
Dave: Are you completely crazy!? I’m looking at the magazine rack!
Toast’zilla: No you weren’t! You were looking at the toaster!
Dave: Look lady, I’m not sure if everything is ok with you. I’m not interested in the toaster, I just want to get a magazine.
Toast’zilla: I’ve been waiting here for 15 minutes for toast. I’m very tired and hungry, you have to wait your turn like everyone else!
By this stage, I’m chuckling, because this lady is around my age (29 y.o), dressed in business attire, and has a demented glint in her eye. The guy behind her is almost in tears, and thinks this is the funniest exchange he has ever witnessed within the vicinity of a toaster. I on the other hand am at a loss for words, as I contemplate what to do next.
Dave: Look, I don’t even know what you’re talking about. You are clearly feeling quite defensive of your position in the toast queue, and I can understand that. But you really shouldn’t waylay people in the anticipation that they may try to cut in front of you for a prime position at the toaster. Take it easy.
Well, now I know why they call it pouring petrol on the fire. Toast’zilla went completely nuclear, and I thought she was going to attack me with her plastic condiment spreader (I’d call it a knife, but that would be a gross exaggeration). The guy behind her was now in complete hysterics, and the older lady in front of her was getting quite upset, and turned around the Toast’zilla and told her to shut it. Well, that was the best thing for me, as Toast’zilla turned her attention and growing fury towards the poor lady in front of her, just long enough for me to get away.
I tell you what, I am becoming increasingly concerned with the Qantas Club with each visit. It’s becoming a vile, vengeful pit of cantankerous churls that promise nothing but misery and darkness to all souls that are foolish enough to enter, and that’s just the toaster line!
He he, maybe they should just move the magazine rack!