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Becoming Queen; or, the Survival of a Late Night Talk Show Ticket Line

Brandie Posey (r) with new line buddies, and their Precious | Photo courtesy of Brandie PoseyLast month, L.A.-based comedian Brandie Posey found herself quite accidentally the Grand Ringmaster of an unwieldy band of hungry, storm-drenched, increasingly irritated misfits -- those poor, reservation-less sops who stood in line overnight for the chance to snag an audience seat for the last episode of the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Because of her intuitive need for order, Posey offered to bring a little to a line with none. What emerged was a clear example of how human beings have governed themselves and their societies, have brought peace to chaos, and have squelched those who seek to disturb status quo and governance, throughout the ages.

From this point on, no one bothered to learn anybody’s names… we referred to each other as numbers all night. Even now I don’t think anyone knows who I really am - I’m #10 to all of them. Or, to #24 I am “The Timekeeper”. #24 was a guy who fell very much into the “fan fan” category of people… he came out to be in line with only a hoodie on and a handful of trashbags that he wore over it. No chair, no umbrella, no friends. As soon as I had finished numbering hands and given the sharpie away, he ran up to me and thanked me for devising “The Number System”.

“No problem! It’s not really a system though.”

“No, it is a system. You just established order on all of these people. And I am going to enforce it.”

Yep. That happened. If I was the Queen, I guess I had a General. The Enforcer AKA #24 AKA Jack Bauer… didn’t dude know we were going to see an NBC show? Crazy part is, within half an hour, he had A DEPUTY policing underneath him - #17. He wore a trashbag too. Uniforms. I felt like Piggy and that blue sharpie was my conch. Only difference, no one was going to borrow MY glasses to make fire.

Read Posey's full essay at her Tumblr.

--Kristy Mangel

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