5 ways to survive that endless queue at the polls this election day

People will (and should) be lining up for the country's 5th installment of 'Who wants to be a president?' on May 8.
People will (and should) be lining up for the country's 5th installment of 'Who wants to be a president?' on May 8.
Image: 123RF/Natalia Sheinkin

Like yet another season of Modern Family, elections are back and slightly less anticipated than before. We've come a long way since 1994 when queues of people snaked for kilometres.

Nonetheless, people will (and should) be lining up for the country's 5th installment of "Who wants to be a president?".

At the best of times, South Africans are an impatient bunch and queues tend to chafe at our nipples.

But this must be done, so to ensure a pleasant experience for all, we've drafted a short guide to queue etiquette.

Follow these golden rules:

1. BE NICE

It may not seem like it now but voting is actually a lovely thing. Say what you want about its efficacy but any number of people were killed and tortured to ensure that we all got the right to choose who we want to govern us.

So smile. Be nice to the people around you.

Chances are they are your neighbours and community members, so being friendly can help when it comes time to borrow some sugar, and may lessen the complaints the next time you have a noisy party at home. Moreover, you're all in this together so you may as well have fun doing it.

2. DON'T TALK POLITICS

The state of the nation may be what brought you here but few things raise hackles faster than someone kakking out the party that someone else is getting ready to vote for.

It is entirely possible that the person in front of you is going to vote for the Freedom Front or the ANC. That is their constitutional prerogative.

Going off on a tirade about them is only going to irritate your fellow queue members and potentially trigger an argument. Have you ever been stuck in a line where people are arguing? It is as much fun as brushing your teeth with a cactus.

3. PERSONAL SPACE

While there is a school of thought that says you may meet the love of your life (or weekend special) in a voting queue, conventional wisdom suggests that standing a pheromone's breadth away from your potential conquest is not a good way to kick things off.

As with driving a car, there should be a bit of distance between you and the person behind you lest you find yourself being compared to former US vice-president Joe Biden.

4. DON'T COME STRAIGHT FROM THE GYM

We get it, you're fit. You never skip leg days and cycle so much that your calves look like angry watermelons. At this particular moment no one cares, and the stench of your exertions is not likely to endear you to anyone nearby.

5. BRING YOUR KIDS BUT KEEP THEM SEDATED

It is important for your kids to see you voting, especially if they're young. Hopefully, it will teach them that voting is the thing to do.

That said, you and your immediate family are the only ones who love little Chad enough to find his rambunctious antics cute. If he is disruptive enough then the rest of us will only be thinking of the best way to mail him to Boko Haram.


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