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Mon Sep 17, 2012, 02:32 PM

Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line?

Please forgive me if this has already been posted - did a search and could not find it. This is nearly 2 weeks old from Esquire, take a look and I think you'll agree it's very much worth a minute of your time -

The Water-Park Scandal and Two Americas in the Raw: Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line?
By Tom Junod

9/5 at 1:44PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. A few days ago, I took my daughter to the big water park in Marietta, Georgia, just outside Atlanta. It's called Whitewater, and I take her there every year, on Labor Day weekend, at the end of summer. I take her there not just for the "rides," which in most cases aren't really rides at all, but slides that combine water and gravity in varying proportions, and so pack a pretty elemental wallop.

I take her for the lines.

See, you have to wait in line when you go to Whitewater or, for that matter, any other water park. It's like Disney that way, or any of the other big amusement parks that traffic in the ability to wring screams from even the most jaded customers. The distinctive thing about waiting in line at Whitewater, however, is that you have to wait in line without any clothes on. You have to wait in line wet and semi-naked, in close proximity to hundreds of other wet and semi-naked people. That's why the lines at Whitewater are not simply preludes to the Whitewater experience, not simply inconveniences to be endured before you go down a big blue slide that calls itself a "flume": The lines at Whitewater are the experience. They're a vision not just of democracy in action but democracy unveiled, a glimpse of what the last line is going to look like, when all is revealed, and we're waiting for our interview with Saint Peter.

And let me tell you, it ain't pretty ... <snip>

... It sounds like an innovative answer to the problem that everybody faces at an amusement park, and one perfectly in keeping with the approaches currently in place at airports and even on some crowded American highways perfectly in keeping with the two-tiering of America. You can pay for one level of access, or you can pay for another. If you have the means, you can even pay for freedom. There's only one problem: Cutting the line is cheating, and everyone knows it. Children know it most acutely, know it in their bones, and so when they've been waiting on a line for a half-hour and a family sporting yellow plastic Flash Passes on their wrists walks up and steps in front of them, they can't help asking why that family has been permitted the privilege of perpetrating what looks like an obvious injustice. And then you have to explain not just that they paid for it but that you haven't paid enough that the $100 or so that you've ponied up was just enough to teach your children that they are second- or third-class citizens ...

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/whitewater-flash-pass-12403562#ixzz26klV5UQK

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Reply Are We a Nation of Line-Cutters, or Are We the Line? (Original post)
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Response to TBF (Original post)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 02:52 PM

1. very interesting. premium passes at amusement parks actually take away from other customers.

it's not like the premium pass customers get extra padding on the roller coaster or something like that. cushy extras that others don't get, but others still get the standard ride.

no, premium pass customers actually get to force others to wait in line longer. the amusement park isn't actually giving them anything extra, they're simply agreeing to let them take away from others and not kick them out of the park for it.

preferential boarding on airlines is particularly silly, because the advantage is so minimal. we're talking about literally maybe 3 extra minutes waiting at the gate instead of waiting on the plane. it's not like premium pass fliers depart or arrive any sooner. it seems like they created this distinction SOLELY to make the premium pass flyers feel superior to others. in truth, everyone, including the premium pass flyers, would benefit most from boarding people in the most efficient method possible so that the plane can depart on time. shifting the boarding based on passenger status can only cause more delays, which inconvenience even the premium pass fliers.

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