- The number of people in line is not the gauge for waiting time. Some couples and peer groups will stand together simply to purchase one or two items. Unfathomably, they don’t split up and join different queues to hedge their chances of getting through the system quicker. Capitalise on such follies.
- A line may look short, but avoid loiterers:
- Example 1: Children sneaking confectionery from the counter. When their carers finally notice (usually while unloading 20 Kit Kat bars onto the belt in disbelief), screaming ensues. Meanwhile you’re the chump watching from behind as six Joe Bloggs pass through the next counter without fuss.
- Example 2: Anyone resembling my mother and her friends, unless you’re particularly partial to finding out how old the cashier is, how long before the roast chicken goes on special, why the oranges aren’t oranger, and other such small talk inanities.
Or if it’s a sweet hit you’re after, avoid the shops altogether because this will take you less time than locating your keys and putting your shoes on:
- Dump a half cup of sugar in a pot with a few drops of water (just enough to dampen). Use low heat. To dissolve lumps, shake don’t stir.
- While waiting for the colour of the sugar to turn, scatter anything crunchy on a tray: nuts are the most likely choice, here I’ve used pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sunflower seeds too. Even crushed cereal might work. Once the caramel forms, pour (very!) quickly onto tray.
- Cool. Crack. Eat.