Three is a queue

This morning I marched off to participate in the Great Singapore Sale at Takashimaya.

I was determined to buy new bedding for my 5 year old who spent a rough night battling his rustly blanket and overbig new pillow (we did a pillow blanket spring clean this week. Epic fail with comfort levels of the new mite and allergy free bedding. Damn.)

His rough night = my nightmare. I stay up till he sleeps again. Sometimes you can find me in the morning frozen and cramped, crunched up on the junior car bed. It will take me 10 creaky minutes to unfold myself. I probably look like the gnarled old evil creature in ‘King Solomon’s Mines’. I forget her name – it started with F. Yes! Foulata! I feel like her on these mornings too.

So, that led me to the GSS sale at Taka. My eagerness landed me 30 minutes early and I went about looking for a good seat to perch/nap till the store opened.

My benchmate was a Shaker. Legs, arms were in perpetual motion. Bottom wriggling, neck turning. Finally the movements were so fast, she spun off like a top from the bench. Alone at last.

Till the security moved me out because I was in the way of the Food Sale banner.

So I ambled off to the fountain seats to doze. (A bit crowded but I’ve lost my sense of personal space since my days in the Mumbai local, Hong Kong bargain shops and Singapore malls).

The fountain seat is just the ledge around the water. Half circle. I sat near the end of the curve. 3 women stood next to me. Next, an old lady stood behind them. 2 more women stood behind that lady. One of them asked me if I was joining the queue. What queue?

A long line started forming. A line to what? There was nothing there! The line wasn’t going to the store or the food court. I could spot no free samples being given away. The mystery queue was going nowhere! And I was in the middle of it!

In my mind, I sang a song:

‘A line formed around me, as if on cue
In Singapore, two is company
But three! Three is a queue!’

I waited for 20 minutes. It grew longer. At 10 am, the line did a conga and moved beautifully away from the arc, leaving me alone. Everyone knew their place in this line dance. I felt lonely and rejected.

Mystery solved. In the far end of the fountain, a cosmetics brand was giving free collagen or maybe exchanging old collagen for new.

The people, seemingly resting around the pleasant fountain, had a deadly purpose. No innocent fellow travellers, they were there for the Deal.

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