There once was a boy who stood in lines.
The boy who stood in lines didn’t particularly like standing in lines, and wasn’t sure why he had to, but adults looked at him strange and asked his parents if he’d been sleeping alright if he didn’t stand in lines.
If he didn’t stand in lines, his parents would put him to bed earlier and take away the other things he could do so he would be better prepared to stand in lines.
He didn’t understand why everyone had to learn to stand in lines. But if he asked, his teachers would give him a stern look and tell him it was so he could be a productive member of society. All productive members of society stood in lines.
He wasn’t sure what that meant.
Everyone in his class tried to be the best at standing in lines. So he did too. He wasn’t sure why everyone wanted to be the best at standing in lines, but he noticed that if he did stand in lines, people stopped thinking he was strange. So he stood in lines.
And he began to grow up.
He went to school every day to learn how to stand in lines. He made friends, and at lunch, they all talked about standing in lines, and which lines they preferred, and which lines would be the hardest to stand in.
He still didn’t know why he had to learn to stand in lines.
But he did.
After school, he would go home and his parents would ask him about the lines he’d stood in that day. If he hadn’t stood in lines well enough, he wasn’t allowed to see his friends (who also mainly talked about standing in lines) until he started standing in lines better. After dinner, he would go up to his room and learn how to stand in lines some more. They insisted that the more time you spent learning how to stand in lines, the better. That way, you would learn to be a productive member of society. And after studying standing in lines, he would go to bed, to do it again tomorrow. Most of the time, he could ignore the fact that he didn’t know why he had to stand in lines.
But sometimes he still wondered.
And after he had learned a good deal about how to stand in lines, he and his class stood in a line, and walked across a stage, and stood in a line on the other side, to demonstrate how well they’d learned to stand in lines. Everyone clapped. He got a piece of paper that said he’d learned to stand in lines.
But that wasn’t enough to become a productive member of society.
So he went to a specialized school that was very expensive, that taught him how to stand in more complicated lines, or more specific lines, such as very long lines, or curved lines, or lines of people wearing red vests.
He began to forget that he had ever questioned why he must stand in lines. When he did remember it, he thought about how young he was when he questioned it, and how much he’d learned about standing in lines since then. He thought that he was probably a lot smarter than he had been, now that he knew to stand in lines.
But sometimes he still wished he didn’t have to.
And he left the special school with much more knowledge of how to stand in lines and much less money. But he knew how to stand in very special lines. He had another piece of paper that said so.
But most of the people he knew didn’t get to stand in the kind of lines they wanted to.
And the boy grew up.
There once was a man who stood in lines.
He got up at 7:00, left at 8:00, and arrived at 9:00, where he would stand in lines until 5:00. He would get home at 6:00, eat dinner at 7:00, and read books on how to better stand in lines until he went to bed at 10:00.
He knew why he stood in lines.
He stood in lines to be a productive member of society.
And he knew he had been quite silly for ever wondering why he had to stand in lines.