Call me nuts. Call me dumb. But, I’m telling myself it was well worth it.
I am the proud owner of a new Nintendo Wii.
I’m not much of a gamer. This is the first system I’ve purchased on my own outright and first system I’ve had since the original Nintendo system back in the mid ’80s.
My wife and I had discussed the possibility of purchasing a game system for our daughter, who has been telling us she wants Santa to get her one this Christmas. We did the research, we tested the systems, we checked out the prices. We narrowed it down to the Wii and the older Nintendo system, the Gamecube. If I could not get the Wii, we would have gotten the Gamecube instead.
At 6:45am Sunday morning, I got up, fully intending to be at Target by 7:05 to wait in line for the 8:00 opening of the store. I dilly-dallied and didn’t leave the house until 7:05, arriving there at 7:20, only to find out that the tickets for the game system had been given out. There were only 80 units available. I saw Roy, the spouse of one of my colleagues in line. It so happens that he lives only two miles away and was able to get there at 6:30am. “Best Buy is your best bet,” he pointed at the store down the shopping center.
I glanced at the line, which looked much longer than the Target one. There goes my morning, I thought.
Ready to accept failure for the second time, I drive over and get in line, with my most recent edition of Sports Illustrated in hand, I stand in the line from 7:24 until 8:06, when I start IMing with my wife, who is at home in her warm bed, and I explain to her what happened at Target and prepare for the worse. The line in front of me looks like over 100 people. I keep telling myself there’s no way I will get a Wii.
Then at around 8:10am, A Best Buy employee, flanked by a county police officer who is wearing an additional gun that is yellow in color and resembles a fat cartoon-type gun (I tell my wife I think it shoots rubber bullets) gives out tickets. He almost misses me because I’m leaning on the wall typing into my Sidekick.
I’m number 79!!! What an omen! My birthyear is 1979! He continues giving out tickets, then stops not far from me, announcing to the nearly 60 more people that there are no more left. Best Buy only had 90 units for sale yesterday morning.
This guy in front of me, once he gets his ticket, he goes to his car and gets a laptop. He sits down and starts fiddling with it. I guess he felt comfortable enough to leave the line. People start tag-teaming. One goes to get McDonald’s. Another team goes to Starbucks. I start to wish my wife had waited with me.
Along with the ticket, I get a list of accessories, and their prices. The store doesn’t open until 9am, so my wife keeps me company. We discuss which accessories to buy (Let’s get the classical controller, an extra wireless remote, and I’ll get 3 games at Target [get three games, get a $20 gift certificate for free]).
We gasp at how much the games cost (average $49.95, with the cheapest being $29.95), and how much we should put into a game system we’re not even sure our daughter will like. What attracted us to the Wii was its simpleness — how we would be able to use only two controllers, both with simple designs, not as bulky or complicated as the Xbox 360 or the most recently released Playstation 3. Plus we felt it was more appropriate for a five year old (and her 28 year old father who may occassionally play a game or two).
A quarter to nine, I start to feel numbness in my fingers from typing on IM, and my feet start aching from standing for nearly an hour and half. We start counting down the minutes until the store opens.
At 9:00am, the doors open and the line moves into the store. I exclaim to my wife “WHOOOOO!” This feels like being the first person in the entire start of Maryland to claim hands on a Wii. (Hey, I wonder, what number was I actually? The 403rd person? Hmm…)
Then the line stops abruptly. What???? I’m only 20 feet away from the doors and the warmth of the store after standing outside in 38 degree weather since 7:24am.
I can’t see inside the store, but after ten minutes, I see the first customer leave the store, and I wonder…will someone try to rob him? I had heard of thieves sticking up people who had waited in line for the Playstation 3. He gets to his car safely, and so do others after him.
At 9:20, I finally enter the store…ahhh. The warmth bringing blood back to my fingertips. No longer do I feel numbness. The line goes on around the corner up to where the Geek Squad customer service desks are. I see people holding “Legend of Zelda” games, extra wireless remotes, and exclaiming at the games available. Finally, after waiting an extra twenty minutes and picking up the new DVD of Cars for my daughter’s birthday in a few weeks, I finally get to the front of the line, browse over the games, deciding it’s better to purchase at Target, and go to the next available register.
I hand over my ticket. Number seventy-nine. My good luck charm. Behind the counter comes a gleaming white box. I tingle in excitement. The Wii.
$249.99 goes out of my pocket. I rush to my car, hide it in the trunk, and walk over to Target. I go to the electronics department, look for the Wii games, pick out three games. Two my daughter can play. One I can play myself.
The only thing is…I need to wait until December 25 to see what all of this is about. I sure hope it was worth it!