Home > Gaming, Real Life > In for the long haul

In for the long haul

The other day, Bob wrote about his overnight camp out at the dorm housing office of his college, which oddly remind me of a similar incident. I actually undertook a similar endeavor this past winter, although for somewhat different reasons.

On the evening of 18 November 2007, I gathered together with a few of my friends for our regularly-scheduled D&D game, although with a few supplies for the evening stashed in my car. We’d planned to break up around midnight, as per usual, but ended up growing impatient and stopping our game at about 8pm. We adjourned to Waverly Shopping center for some pizza, and then set up our chairs in front of the near by Wal-Mart and settled in to wait. In only 10 hours, the store would open and the Nintendo Wii would go on sale.

I wasn’t actually planning on getting one myself, but the two friends that I accompanied were each interested in one for themselves. Luckily for us, we were the first ones there. I can sympathize with the doubt and questioning that Bob went through at being the first and only: we went through the same thing. Three of us, camped out with lawn chairs in a designated zone along the front of the store for queuing up, watching perfectly normal people file in and out to buy real things. However, after about an hour or two, another pair of guys showed up, and we felt relieved: we had chosen correctly. (If we’d waited until midnight as planned, we would have been rather far back in the line.)

Similar to Bob, we had come prepared, with chairs, snacks, Nintendo DSes (trend, anyone?), drinks, books, and music. The one thing that we really had to prepare for, that Bob didn’t have to contend with, was the cold. This was a North Carolina November, so it got below freezing that night, and we were cold. Clad in heavy jacket and a sweatshirt, I was warm from the waist up, but below that, it got a little chilly. One rather ingenious fellow bought a space heater from the Wal-Mart we were sitting in front of and hooked it up for his friend and himself to enjoy. The rest of the line was envious of him.

The system we used to track who was first in line was much more primitive, being solely based on first come, first serve. There was a modicum of honor at the front of the line where we were, especially when the line was shorter. One quick-witted and rather unscrupulous fellow, about 8th in line, actually set up shop with a For Sale sign, offering his spot in line for a measly $80. (The console itself only cost $200 retail.) He spent most of the night there and only sold his spot minutes before the doors were opened.

The person who purchased the spot was rather far back in the line, which, by the time that the doors were opened, was quite long. A number of censuses were taken of the population of the line, figuring out who was what number in line, based on an estimate by an employee of 30 consoles in stock. I think I was the only person in line not buying, and there were likely at least 40 people in line by the time it was all done.

One thing that was unexpected was the idiotic behavior encountered against us. For example, an employee at the Wal-Mart itself came out and cajoled us with talk of there only being 3 consoles, not 30, and other such idiocy. It was quite clearly very amusing to her, but was just annoying to the rest of us.

In the early Sunday hours, there were actually some guys that showed up to literally do some drive-by harassment, such as throwing fast food drink cups at the line or mooning us. After a little while of this, one of the liners made an official petition to have his spot saved, and went out to his car, where he sat idling and waiting for the idiots to make another pass. When they did, he threw on his high beams and tore after them. After a brief chase around the parking lot, they left with great haste.

Aside from that, it was a relatively uneventful night. My friends and I played Elite Beat Agents and Advanced Wars: Dual Strike. We also intermittently napped and I read from a copy of World War Z I’d brought along. I wasn’t sad to see dawn coming in the east, but neither was I sad that I’d come along. And since I wasn’t buying, during the final stages, where everyone was packing up and preparing to move inside, I left the line and started putting all of our stuff in the cars we had come in.

Thus, as soon as my two friends got the first two available units, we got in our cars and drove home, where they passed out and I played Zelda: Twilight Princess on a Wii. It was pretty fun, but I got stuck on the stupid fishing part, and gave up, passing out myself.

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Categories: Gaming, Real Life
  1. Bob
    May 25, 2007 at 9:58 am

    Well, dang. I’ve been wanting to get a Wii (for Laura, of course!) ever since it came out, but I no longer possess the insane determination necessary for extreme measures, so I figured I’d just wait until the supply problems ended and I could walk into Target and buy one.

    But of course the supply problems *still* haven’t ended. If I’d known you’d be camping out at Wal-Mart with no intention of buying a Wii for yourself, I would’ve given you the $200 to grab one for us! Heck, I might have even made it $205.

  1. December 21, 2007 at 10:08 am

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