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A sigh escaped as Dave spotted the technician at work on the payment unit. He sauntered towards the front of its non-existent queue, passing the larger queue feeding into the three service desks. Given the length of their queue, he'd be faster waiting for the unrushed technician than haranguing one of the attendants to take his payment at a service desk. They probably wouldn't know how, anyway.

Recognizing a waiting figure in the longer queue, he drifted to a stop near its front, offering a weary greeting. “Hi, Mac.”

Glancing across, the old man grunted acknowledgement, impatience evident in his barely suppressed glower.

Hey, Dave,” came a voice ahead in the queue, its source halting his darting glances towards any source of possible interest. Smiling widely, his attention quickly dropped to the rolled up purchase under Dave’s arm. “Whatcha got?” He registered Dave's presence in the separate queue a second later. "And why're you buying it?"

Hi, Jim. New TV. Wife wants a new channel, and the ten year warranty's up on the old one.” He suppressed a smile at Mac’s snort, preparing for the moan.

New TV, just ‘cause of a new channel.” Mac sent an accusatory stare his way.

Dave shrugged. “Only way to get them.”

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