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Jumping the queue

Today, a true tale of heroism that takes place not in a war zone, nor a hospital, but in Victoria station in London in 2007, during a tube strike. Our hero ? a transport journalist and self-described “big, stocky bloke with a shaven head” named Gareth Edwards, who first wrote about this experience on the community blog metafilter.com ? is standing with other commuters in a long, snaking line for a bus, when a smartly dressed businessman blatantly cuts in line behind him. (Behind him: this detail matters.)

The interloper proves immune to polite remonstration, whereupon Edwards is seized by a magnificent idea. He turns to the elderly woman standing behind the queue-jumper, and asks her if she’d like to go ahead of him. She accepts, so he asks the person behind her, and the next person, and the next ? until 60 or 70 people have moved ahead, Edwards and the seething queue-jumper shuffling further backwards all the time. The bus finally pulls up, and Edwards hears a shout from the front of the line. It’s the elderly woman, addressing him: “Young man! Do you want to go in front of me?”

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