The National Passion
Queueing is the national passion of an otherwise dispassionate race. The English are rather shy about it, and deny that they adore it.
On the Continent, if people are waiting at a bus-stop they loiter around in a seemingly vague fashion. When the bus arrives, they make a dash for it; most of them leave by the bus and a lucky minority is taken away by an elegant black ambulance car. An Englishman, even if he is alone, forms an orderly queue of one.
The biggest and most attractive advertisements in from of cinemas tell people: Queue here for 4/6; Queue here for 9/3; Queue here for 16/8 (inclusive of tax). Those cinemas which do not put out these queueing signs do not do good business at all.
At week-ends an Englishman queues up at the bus-stop, travels out to Richmond, queues up for a boat, then queues up for tea, then queues up for ice-cream, the joins a few more odd queues just for the sake of the fun of it, then queues up at the bus-stop and has the time of his life.
Many English families spend lovely evenings at home just by queueing up for a few hours, and the parents are very sad when the children leave them and queue up for going to bed.
(George Mikes. 'How to be an alien')