Tuesday, November 22, 2005


So I came to work today empty handed, and I’m terribly frustrated by it. Part of the frustration is that I’m running on two hours of sleep. The other part is because four times this morning I’ve gotten my hopes up only to see them dashed. Here’s a little rundown of my day.

1AM: I fell asleep with images of Call of Duty 2 and Perfect Dark Zero running through my head with a million polygon count. I had planned on going to bed earlier, but around 9PM I felt the spirit calling me to clean my bathroom sink. Three hours later my whole bathroom is spotless, and I’m just beginning to clean the kitchen.

3AM: I wake up, shower, grab Pepsi, and drive to the Wal-Mart a couple miles from my house. To my excitement I see less than twenty people waiting in line. Jackpot! In fact I’m actually number 20 in line. I know this because after waiting about 25 minutes a guy in a security jacket yells at me for not putting my name on the list. Now I don’t know if he was even an actually security guard, but he wouldn’t shut-up about me trying to jump ahead of people. Biting my tongue, I wait for about three hours.

6:10AM: With 7AM coming around the corner my fellow losers begin to form a line according to our number on the list. Excitement is building. Soon I will have my hands on that white plastic electronic time waster I’ve saved my money for. The “Security” guard then starts championing those who waited longer than me to not allow other to skip in front of them. At this point I would like to point out that he was at the front of the line. I’m certain he wasn’t the real security guard, and was just using it to weasel his way to the front. I imagined that once the doors opened he’d yell “Suckers!” and dash into the store to buy an Xbox 360. I would never find out.

6:25AM: The manager steps outside, taking the list from the “Security” guard. He glances at the list and then looks up. “I’m sorry. I only have fourteen.” The Wal-Mart in downtown Long Beach only has fourteen? Shit. Now I really don’t have a problem with them only having fourteen. If that’s all Microsoft sent them, then that’s all they have. My problem is that since I arrived the manager was constantly letting the morning shift workers in the front door. Did it not cross his mind once to tell us he only had 14? If he had told us before hand, I could have driven to a different store rather than wasting three hours. So, I left in huff, trying to figure out which stores I could hit next.

6:40AM: I pull into the Toys R Us. Only eight people in line! Sweetness. I ran up to the line. They all had that solemn “Hate to burst your bubble” look. The Toys R Us only had eight. Everyone else waiting in line had already left to find other stores.

6:55AM: After cussing up a storm with words my car should never hear, I arrive at a shopping center that has a Circuit City, CompUSA, and Sears. They are all certified Xbox 360 dealers, and they are all right next to each other. At this point I have a decision to make. Which store to wait in front of? I picked Sears because it had the shortest line with 15. CompUSA had around 18 people, and Circuit City was pushing around 40. So, I put my name on the list, and wait in line…again.

7:05AM: I walk over to the CompUSA line to see if they know how many the store is carrying. The rumor has it at around eleven. Eleven! What the hell are you thinking Microsoft? I move on to the Circuit City line, and ask the same question. Nobody knows. I scurry back to my original line.

7:15AM: Some 40 year old lady with “crack baby” teeth won’t shut up in my line. She’s keeps trying to tell funny anecdotes about her job at Taco Bell. The punch line to one of her stories is “He said Compton Hood not Captain Hook. I said I’m Robin Hood.” I should still be in bed right now.

7:16AM: Some Sears employee slaps a sign on the window indicating they have no new Xbox. Mother Hubbard!

7:18AM: I’m standing in the Circuit City line. I’m around number 50 at this point. Now I still have some hope left for two reasons. First, the Best Buy had 60 for their midnight sale. Surely, Circuit City would have around that many. Second, a guy shows up who actually had an employee wait in line for him. He said that they told him they had around 100. Finally!

7:35AM: I find myself dispensing all by Xbox 360 knowledge to a couple grandmothers and a few Dads. Soon a few other people start asking questions. At a certain point I was tempted to raise my hands and yell, “Can you dig it?” But I assumed the reference wouldn’t be picked up.

8:15AM: The doors to the store open. Everyone is ordered into a single file line. Once again the excitement builds. Two employees come out with a stack of tickets each to pass out to those in line. They didn’t even get close to me. They only had twenty-one. At least I wasn’t the only one going home empty handed. I did leave though with a nearly bursting bladder, and half of a once full pack of cigarettes.

What a wonderful way to spend a Tuesday morning. Perhaps I could have planned a little bit more. Perhaps I should have never gone to bed. Perhaps the manager could’ve been considerate enough to let those waiting in line know how many they had. Perhaps I should learn to be patient.


bobby said...

You have the passion of a geek, but your aloofness saves you every time. Great tale of consumer angst.

Subtle factoid of the week: it took you three (3) hours to clean your bathroom.

Bradford said...

But I really really cleaned it. Like I have cleanliness issues cleaned it

Keymaster said...

My brother's friend got in line around 11:00 last night. The next morning he walked away with the white beauty. No one has been able to reach him since.

faith said...

:( sorry about not getting the the new X-box! I had heard that 'they' (Microsoft, I guess) does this on purpose to create frenzy over the product...I guess it's working!! But I think that they would still have sold out if every store had 100 of them.

The Diva said...

Perhaps you could have punched some kid in the face and taken his. :) Believe it or not, Shawn took his name off the waiting list awhile back and got his deposit returned. None of the games he wants are coming out any time soon. I was bummed because I was getting his XBox as soon as he got the 360. But, now it doesn't matter, because in the state of Texas I will soon legally own half of all his video game systems anyway. :-D

Bradford said...

Faith: Microsoft is known to do the whole fake sold out routine, which kind of makes sense if it came out earlier in the year, but it's Christmas shopping season. The demand is the highest it will ever be, so take advantage of it.

Diva: First of all congratulations. Second, Shawn's right their hasn't been too much to get excited about in the launch day games.

faith said...

Just poppin by to give you a happy thanksgiving. We Canadians cellibrate thanksgiving in October, but I always remember the American one too! Hope you have a great weekend

MOL Junior said...

i referenced this post in my mind this morning as i was store hopping trying to buy arrested development season 2 for 15 bucks or less.

i succeeded.