Reading Time: 3 minutes

Step One: Remove all other plans from your calendar.

It’s hard to tell if a line will take twenty minutes or twenty hours. You live for this intoxicating mystery. Make sure you have ample time and nowhere else to be. Whether waiting for the butcher or for some sick Toby Keith tickets, leave a wide window of time open. As a dedicated line enthusiast, quit your job and abandon your friends to do what you love most: standing in the hot, smelly line of a Bonnaroo porta potty.

Step Two: Select the most crowded location at the most congested time.

Disneyland’s Star Wars ride on a major U.S. holiday? LaGuardia between 6 am and 8 am on Christmas Day? You can do better than that. Try going to the DMV during lunch and you won’t return until they want you to. It’s a euphoric experience.

Step Three: Wear uncomfortable shoes to show how boss you are.

As you gradually walk to the front of the line, the trickle of blood oozing from the mesh of your Toms will serve as a line demarcation for others to follow. When in the checkout line of the fireworks depot, let your burnt toe hang out the side of your Crocs sandals. Playing with fireworks is awesome, but not as awesome as waiting in a line to buy fireworks.

Step Four: Pack as if you’re camping. On Mars.

You never know when the line for the Apple store will take the length of a brief interstellar camping trip. Even though you were kicked out of Boy Scouts for Pinewood derby car road rage, you are always prepared. Bring your space helmet, suit, and tent all made from IKEA bags. Not only are you protected from UV rays, but also you’re protected from making small talk with others in line.

Step Five: Practice your best belligerent swan impression.

People get aggressive when they have to wait for a long time. Waiting more than five minutes can cause the average American to develop what sociologists call “Impatient Narcissist Complex.” When you find yourself faced with an impatient narcissist, flap your arms in a circular motion while hissing. 

Step Six: Strengthen your mind reading abilities.

When someone in front of you decides to have a lengthy conversation with the TSA agent, read their mind. As they gab about their recent dermatology appointment, learn the few details about their cyst removal they aren’t sharing. Then, ask follow-up questions that will delay the line even further.

Step Seven: Achieve line inception.

While waiting in line for the new museum exhibit, take out your phone to wait in a virtual line for a monster truck demolition derby. And if you’re hungry, eat some ants on a log. That way, you can stand in line, and watch a line online, while munching raisins arranged in a line.

Step Eight: Boldly forge your own line.

Pick out tourists wandering aimlessly in your city. Grab the stanchions that you keep in your car. Guide the tourists through the stanchions and throw out some buzzwords like “meet and greet” and “exclusive sale” until you’ve formed a line the length of several blocks. They’ll never find out what they’re waiting for, and they won’t care because they’ll have had the monotonous joy of wasting time doing absolutely nothing.

Step Nine: Register waiting in line as an Olympic event.

Just like running, waiting in a line takes persistence, endurance, and agility. It’s about time your talent is recognized for the high-skill merit that it is. Also, if “Live Pigeon Shooting” was once able to be an Olympic Event in 1900, then why the hell can’t you have this one thing?

Step Ten: Bring back the gold for Team USA.

Because no other country waits in lines better than we do!

Nat Hrvatin is a humor writer whose work stems around whatever is currently fueling her anxiety. Her work has appeared on The Broadway Beat, Slackjaw, and The Belladonna Comedy, among others. Nat studied...