The inexpressible slowness of the express lane

crowded_grocery storeYears ago I read a study somewhere about which lane moves fastest in the supermarket.  Apparently a supermarket viewed from overhead more often than not looks like a normal curve, with the longest lines in the middle lanes and the shortest on the outer ends.  So ever since I’ve been going to the outer lanes in supermarkets.  I very much doubt this has saved me any time, but I always tell myself “Remember that study” when I pick a lane.  And of course Apu on The Simpsons explained further refinements long ago. 

Now, Jason Kottke points to a  note explaining one reason why the express lane is often slower than other lanes.

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