The Great Wii Hunt of ’07

So this Christmas my sister in-law asked me what system would be good a good Christmas gift for her son, my nephew . At first I said PS2 because I have one and I like it, it also has a very simple controller which is easy to hold. Well about a month goes by and I have heard more about the Wii and about the new games coming out for the new Nintendo system. Then after reading a review on-line I changed my mind, Caleb should have a Wii. Overall the system is the better choice for him. So I opened my big mouth on Thanksgiving morning and the family decided to get him a Wii.

I thought since I made this suggestion it would be on my shoulders to help find this scarce Christmas item. While I did not think it was impossible I thought if I did not give it my full attention it would not be under the tree on Christmas morning. After looking on-line and finding nothing in stock under $600, I knew my hunting skills and my knowledge of the area stores would have to come into play. I started on Sunday, going first to Costco (they don’t carry it), over to BJ’s (they might get some more), and then on to the regular stores. Most people were nice about it, not yet laughing at my request. A few places looked but found nothing, most just said no before I could finish my sentence, and almost all said sorry don’t know when they will be in. I tried to make light of it, saying “I know the answer but do you have a Wii”, getting a chuckle and a smile but the response was always the same, “sorry, no, but you can try back tomorrow.” I had one ray of hope though; the FYE Games said they would have them on Tuesday between 11am and 2pm. I had hope but no one could go to the store during that time. Monday afternoon I hit about 5 more stores, bringing my grand total to about 25 stores, with no Wii to show for it. Monday night came and I made my decision: I would take Tuesday off and go wait in line.

Tuesday morning came and I was all nervous but excited. My wife reminded me the mall was on Christmas hours and I would have to rush out the door to get there when the mall opened. I got to the mall at 8:45 and waited till 9 when they opened to join the mall walkers and the other nuts like me. I walked to the store, asked if they were still coming in, and after a yes answer, walked around the mall keeping an eye to make sure there was no line. Around 9:45 an old man went into the store and did not come out, and I knew something was going on. I went in to see him sitting and waiting, and I decided to make a few calls but felt awkward about sitting not knowing if he was in line for a Wii. When I walked out of the store I saw a few ladies sitting on a bench outside the store. After a quick walk to the next bench, I knew they were my competition. When the Fed-ex person walked into the store I stood up and saw the ladies did too.  I had to rush to the store and get there first just in case the Wii was in the delivery. They came in right behind me and beat me to the question, if they could get in line for a Wii. I made my way over to the grandfather who was sitting on a shelf and was 3rd in line for the Wii.

The next 4 hours were long but everyone was very polite. Most people in line were nice and would allow us to take a break, walk around the store, get something to drink, or a bathroom break, but I could not leave. With my knowledge of how stores restock I knew anything was possible, so I waited in my spot for all 4 hours. Most of the people in line talked about how they were in line for friends or kids, some were there for their husbands or boy friends but all were in the giving spirit. We stood and talked with each other and the 2 store workers, watching video game trailer after trailer. Standing there some people got phone calls about rumors of Wii’s all over town but none were willing to give up our precious 9 spots. We heard the employees say they were expecting between 9 and 20 Wii’s, and as the line grew we saw how lucking we were to get there early.

As the line snaked further through this tiny store some tension developed but no one was rude or out of line. My only source of frustration was a daughter and her baby. This nice lady next to me was visited by her daughter and her grandbaby, who were shopping in the mall. The only thing the daughter had to say was how stupid this line was, and how people who did this were crazy. If I could have said something, and the grandmother was not so nice, I would have lost it. She finally left around 1pm, and the line was nice and friendly again for the last hour. When 2 pm finally got around and the line surrounded the store covering every wall, we were informed that they got in 9 systems, and it was limited to 1 system per person. We proud, tired, hungry, stiff people walked to the line giving the cashier our $250, and walked out with a smile. I just goes to show nothing is impossible you just have to work hard if you want it.

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