WHEN I GO to Dick’s and it’s crowded, I often choose the wrong line. You know: the one where someone ahead of you has a huge order, and you wait and wait, only to see others move up faster to their corresponding service window. (The day I made this sketch of the Crown Hill location, I actually decided to wait in the car altogether until the crowd cleared.)

Waiting for Mr. I’ll-Have-Six-Cheeseburgers didn’t bother me before. But in these pandemic times, even a slight annoyance like this can feel exasperating. No hard feelings for Mr. Six-Cheeseburgers or for the hardworking Dick’s crew — they couldn’t work any faster than they already do.

But if we all could agree that lining up in separate rows breaks the time-honored first-come, first-served principle, we could fix this really easily. Let’s line up in a single-file, zigzagging aisle so all people are served in the order they arrive. It’s not rocket science. This is how we line up for rides at Disneyland or to go through security at the airport, after all. 

A new Dick’s, the eighth in the local franchise founded by Dick Spady in 1954 in Wallingford, is slated to open in Bellevue by the end of the year. I’ll wait patiently in the wrong line again if I have to, but it would be amazing to see a more egalitarian system in place. Dick’s fans, are you with me?