People think I'm kidding when I say one of my hobbies is waiting in lines, but I love it. I've met some of my best friends in overnight lines, all day lines...all kinds of lines. In 1867 when Charles Dickens came to America on a reading tour people lined up overnight for tickets. Some dressed as characters from his books. I would totally have been there. I also probably would have done better than some people at living in Soviet Russia, where standing in line was pretty much the national pastime.
Some of my more notable lines:
1. Star Wars prequel releases.
I was overnight one night for Phantom Menace and had a fantastic time. Nearly froze my butt off doing two nights, if I remember right, for Attack of the Clones. I brought a guitar to both of those, playing a bunch of Star Wars songs. For "Clones" my friend Carol (who I met that night) brought an accordion and we jammed on the Atlanta evening news. Great time. I was in Chicago for a few nights of Revenge of the Sith lines. It was a fine weekend of hanging out, geeking out, and being made fun of by tv news. We already HAD tickets, of course. The line was really just a social function. Most of them are, really.
2. Apple Store Lines
I've done lines at the Apple Store twice - once for a few hours when Counting Crows played an in-store show there, and once for the iPhone 4. The iPhone line was about six hours long, but Apple sprung for burgers, shakes, fries, and drinks for everyone, which was downright decent of them.
3. Bob Dylan general admission shows.
I've been in all day lines for good spots at Dylan many times, but the club tour from '04 strikes me as particularly memorable. Met a lot of good people on that tour.
4. Lemony Snicket
I think I was in line about six hours for at a Lemony Snicket book signing. It was odd - I was surrounded by kids who liked to read and their (surprisingly) redneck parents. I think this was my longest book line - in 1999 I decided not to come home from college the weekend J.K. Rowling came to sign Prisoner of Azakaban. Was that dumb of me, or what?
This morning I was on my way to the coffee shop when I got a text from my wife. She was at the (indoor) line up at the State Street Disney store for some fancy limited edition dolls. She got there at 7 and worried that she wouldn't get one, but asked if I'd swing by the Michigan Avenue store and see if the situation was better there. It was, so I had a good couple of hours of standing in line. Been too long since I did that! Even when I go to general admission concerts these days I'm seldom inclined to pay my dues for a front row spot, Anderson's Books does a fine job of giving out numbers so you don't just have to stand around at book signings, and you can get a "fast pass" for most things at Disney.