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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Between Lines....

Between Lines

I really love standing in line! Isn't it great to spend all the time that you could be spending doing something important simply standing and looking at the back of someone else's head? 

Although there are lines everywhere and many different options to choose from, my favorite line is the one in the grocery store. I get to stand in it at least once a week, and, boy! I can hardly wait to hurry up and fill my shopping cart to get to the front of the store and wait. 

If it were not for grocery store lines, just think of all the fun I would miss. I would probably never get to see that penny pinching shopper with a hundred discount coupons. I would never get to wait while someone else writes a check. I would never get to see the people that try to use the bank machine to pay for their groceries but donít know how to use it. Heck, I would never even have the fun of waiting for the checker to call some invisible person in the back of the store to find the price on an item that is not marked. 

Of course, the thing I would miss most is the person whose credit card is not approved. Now that is definitely something I really would not want to miss.

Actually, I sort of have a "gift" for getting in the slowest line. Regardless of  what line I am in, it is practically a sure thing that it will be the one where the cash register runs out of tape or the manager has to be paged for some reason. I really am not sure how I do this. I guess they just know that I am a person who loves standing in line and go all out to make me a happy customer. 

Standing in line is so much fun that sometimes I will even switch lines to get from a fast one to a slow one. Can you believe it? As soon as I switch lines, the broken cash register instantly begins to work, all items have prices, and the customers begin to whiz through while I stand in the other line and wait for the cashier to get more change. It never fails to amaze me how this works!  

You probably are thinking by now that I must be a very boring person. Not at all - I mean, lines were made to stand in, weren't they? Since everyone has to spend some part of their life waiting, why not make the most of it? There are many things you can do while standing in line. You can write a check... Well...maybe not... I mean, why bother when they have those fancy automatic bank machines now that zap your money out of your checking account with the mere push of a button or two. 

Of course, there are other fun things to do. Try this one! Carry a notepad in your pocket or purse and while you are standing in line, write a letter to the manager of the store that begins: "Dear Manager, I have been standing in line for 20 minutes, and I just wanted you to know that you need more cashiers!" How considerate of you to tell the manager about it. Probably not a thing will be done, but it will give him a warm, fuzzy feeling to know that the customers care. 

Once upon a time, you were able to unload your groceries on to the conveyor belt when you got to the front of the line. Now that was really fun! I try to look for stores where I can still do this. 

Can you believe some stores have those boring baskets that you just push up to the cashier who unloads the groceries as they are scanned thru the register? Honestly, it is getting to where you just can't have any fun at all any more. Why, some stores actually have people that take the groceries out and put them in the car. Avoid these at all costs! After spending 30 minutes in an exhausting checkout line, you are always ready for a bit more exercise - right? 

You are probably secretly thinking that I should change stores. It doesn't seem normal to you for one person to have so much fun, I suppose. Actually, I've tried that - many times! They are all the same. They have marketing experts, you see, that spend hours figuring out to keep the lines long. They measure success by the length of  the lines.

Anyhow....letís forget about lines for a while. I'm going to go out and relax. Wonder what's playing at the movies?


Copyright 2000 Sheila Moss

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