Just because the name of this blog is I Am Prepared to Give Up at Any Time, that doesn't mean that I actually do give up all the time. It just means that I'm prepared to do so. I'm like a Boy Scout that way -- a Boy Scout with visions of incompetence.
So, even though Nintendo Wiis are hard to find, I wasn't going to give up on getting one for Winter Present Tree Day. When I was walking through the mall last Thursday, I saw that the crappy video game store had a sign on their counter stating that they would be getting a shipment of nine Wiis and would make them available for sale on Sunday.
"Oooh! Nine Wiis!" I squeaked macho-ly.
"Pffft. You'll never get one." said a Comic Book Guy look-a-like behind me.
"Wha? Why not?"
"There's only nine. You don't think there's nine people around here more desperate than you?" he asked, sizing me up while his nostrils flared.
"Grrrrrr" I grumbled.
Now I was motivated. I left the store and called Pablo. We agreed to get up early Sunday morning and attack the mall before sun rose. I called the store on Saturday afternoon to find out what time the store and the mall doors opened on Sunday.
Clerk: Electronics Boutique, your home for blahblahblah
Me: Hi, yes, I wanted to find out what time your store opened on Sunday.
Me: And when does the mall open?
Me: Great. And you guys will be selling nine Wiis, right?
Clerk: I can neither confirm nor deny the existence of those Wiis.
Me: Well, there was a sign sitting on your counter saying as much on Thursday. Do you deny the existence of the sign?
Clerk: Really? Hang on. *muffling the receiver while he talks to someone nearby* ..... Uh, if we do hypothetically have any Wiis, it'll be first-come first-serve.
I prepped the coffee maker and set the alarm for 6:00am. That's earlier than I like getting up on a Sunday, but not much earlier than I get up during the week. Pablo and I just wanted to arrive at the mall about 15 minutes before the doors opened. Although we had heard tales of people camping out all-night in front of Walmarts, this was a dinky game store, and besides, Wiis had been available off and on for about a month, so many of the hardcore enthusiasts had probably already bought theirs.
Pablo picked me up at 6:30am, and we were at the mall door by 6:45. And so were about 15 other people who had gotten there earlier.
"So, do we just sprint for the Wiis when the doors open?" I asked, mentally evaluating my opponents' fitness levels.
"Haha!" they mocked, laughing the laugh of the future Wii-enabled. It became apparent that they had organized themselves into a sequence, and there were lots more people than Wiis. Besides, almost all of them looked like they could kick my ass, which aside from being surprising in a Wii line, made the prospect of out-sprinting them less appealing. If the mall doors had been 5 or 10 miles from the Wiis, then I would have had a chance of safely claiming a Wii (assuming no garbage cans were in the way). I'm not a sprinter though.
Pablo noted that there were lots more stores in the area, so we hopped back in the car and hit the nearest Target. We found a longer line, with people hunkered down in chairs. Target employees were issuing wrist bands to the first eight people in line since they only had eight Wiis. I asked the guy who was about eighth in line, "Hey, what time did you get here?"
"3:00am" he intoned somberly.
"I got here at 2:00" interjected the guy in front of him.
"Whoa! Good job!" Pablo said appreciatively, while I bit my tongue.
Three freaking a.m.! I was way out of my league.
Pablo and I hit Circuit City, Best Buy, another Target, and EB Games, all before 8:00am. Each of them had lines much longer than the number of Wiis in stock. Several lines had people with tents and sleeping bags who had camped out overnight. We stood outside of a CompUsa for a while, astonished that we were the first customers there. Eventually, after pressing our noses to their windows for a while, we determined that we had found one of the few consumer electronic stores that did not carry video game consoles.
We had been beaten. Soundly. For the remainder of the day I asked about Wiis in each store I entered.
The large angry man manning the register at Joann Fabrics laughed and said they had no Wiis. The serious fast-moving cashier at Safeway denied stocking Wiis and launched into an anti video game diatribe. The woman behind the counter at the bakery blinked uncomprehendingly at me and handed me my bag of cookies.
No Wii for Mike. I give up.
The cookies are good though. Chocolatey and dense. Also, they are unlikely to squirt out of your hands, mid-snack, and embed themselves into your television.