THE LEGEND OF THE LAUNCH DAY Wii
So late Saturday night (11/18, the day before the Wii launch date) I took a break from playing KH2 and drove over to the 24-hour Wal-Mart. I had heard that they were going to be giving tickets out to those already lined up for the new Nintendo system at 10PM. Nobody knew anything more about how this was going to be played out, but I knew that whatever happened this was going to go far smoother than the PS3 launch the previous Friday (as stated on page 1 of this article). I figured maybe 2-3 die-hard Nintendo fanboys would be in front of me and I'd have to make nerdy small talk with them until midnight when they could officially sell us our Wiis. Yes, of fucking COURSE I was wrong. This turned out to be the absolute worst assumption that I had made that entire week.
I got to Wal-Mart at around 9:30 and quickly made my way to the electronics section at the back of the store -- back to where the other 150 or so geeks had already gathered. Fuck me! I then went up to the cheesily-bearded, mutant fuck behind the counter and asked, "Yo, chief, how many Wiis do you guys even have in stock?" "Oh," he replied, while wiping some drool off his chin, "We got in a whole 20 Wiis!" Then he giggled. I never asked him if he was giggling at my annoyance at being stupid enough to show up after 150 people already beat me to the store for a chance to buy 20 systems, or if he was laughing at the word "Wii." I just started cursing out loud like Yosemite Sam before I looked around again and realized something.
"Hey, Chachi," I called to the inbred employee again. "If there are only 20 units and over 100 people here already, why isn't anybody leaving? Haven't you handed out the tickets to the first 20 people in line already?" "Oh," he spit out, not out of anger, but due to his grotesque mouth full of braces, "Don't you have a ticket? Everybody getsss one, then at 10 we have a raffle drawing for the 20 Wiisss, which you can then purchase at midnight." I couldn't believe it! In my mind my chances were like 50-50 for still getting a Wii that night (I suck at math). I seriously thought, "You know, your odds ain't that bad, Rossman. You got this. This is all YOU! Now go DO it, boy!" I took my raffle ticket, and staked out my place on the other side of the counter, next to the Rap CDs, and smirked to myself as I dreamed big of playing Zelda: The Twilight Princess as soon as I got back to my house. It was in the bag. That, of course, is when Relative Chaos bitch-slapped me back into reality.
As I stood there, ignoring the poor schmucks around me who were dorkier than I (wearing their fan-boy VG or anime/sci-fi shirts while playing Mario Kart on their DSes, or actually playing D&D on the floor with their even uglier, less-washed buddies), I noticed something: most everybody around me had more than one ticket. I then looked at the plastic fishbowl that the employees behind the counter were putting the drawing-tickets (the counterparts to the ones they had given us) in and noticed that there were well over 600 tickets in the damn thing. I acted quickly without blowing my steam, but I know that I must have seemed desperate and edgy as I re-approached the counter. "Hi, sweetie," I smiled to a cute girl working next to the poster-child for abortion, who initially gave me my ticket, "Is this where we get a ticket for the raffle?" She giggled herself and then tapped her co-worker on the shoulder. "Hey, Tommy, this guy needs a ticket." Tommy then wiped some more drool from his lip and chin and sputtered, "Uh, sorry, sir, only one ticket per person."
I smiled a very angry smile (remember, I left in the middle of KH2, realizing that it was going to suck donkey balls, and that if I didn't pick up a Wii that night I'd have to play through the rest of that game instead of a glorious, new Zelda adventure), and whispered to the unwashed sister-fucker, "First of all, you never told me that it was only one ticket per customer, and second of all, everybody else here has between 2 and 6 tickets themselves. How the hell is that fair?" Tommy only looked at me with a blank expression, as if somebody had just switched his brain and facial features "off," and after a moment said, "I'm sorry, sir, but that's impossible. We only give out one ticket per person."
I leaned over the counter and asked the pimple-faced prick, "Are you the only fucker who's been giving these tickets out all day? And if so, do you remember each and every face you've seen today?" Tommy just let his mouth open up a bit wider and made a noise that sounded a bit like "Uhhhhhherrrrrahhhh...." and then I spun around and went back to my space just as somebody who I had previously seen with 5 tickets stepped up to Tommy and said, "Oh, I, uh, need a ticket for this raffle thingy." Of course he got another one.
After a half an hour of fuming, it was finally 10. By that time another 40 or so individuals had shown up, bringing the total crowd close to 200. For 20 Wiis. Anyway, because of the giant horde of geeky Wal-Mart shoppers crammed in and around the dinky electronics department, blocking any foot traffic in the place, and making the rent-a-cops that were hired for the evening very nervous, another store employee (some cutie I'd never seen before) got up on the counter and shouted, "Okay, it's 10 o'clock, people! But due to the crowd we need to ask everybody to move on down to the automotive section! We'll do the raffle there!" Surprisingly, the crowd shuffled over in a very calm manner (see, it's never what you expect), and gathered around the much larger space in between the antifreeze and tire stands. Then the same cutie stood up on the counter in automotive parts, and told us that if our number is called we are to immediately come up to the front and get behind the counter (and behind the rented cops). They really expected some kind of trouble. Interesting.
The numbers were soon drawn from the fish bowl and bellowed out over the heads of the gathered congregation. And the crowd booed when a winner came forward, and cheered when nobody answered the call for a certain number, thereby getting disqualified as the ticket caller moved on to the next one. Then I looked down at the hands of the group of punk-ass teenage fuckers directly in front of me... All five of them in their group had at least 10 tickets each. Goddammit. One of them got the 10th Wii, and another got the 17th. And before I could do anything with either a tire-iron or a jug of anti-freeze to any of them, it was all over. It was 10:15 on the first full day of my Uber-Week, and the whole experience was already lost.
It seemed so surreal. I was supposed to have come home that night with a Wii! What the fuck?! What the fuck was up with all the Nintendo-bashing online when more people showed up for the Wii than the PS3 two days previous, or the X-Box 360 the year before? Was everybody just a closet-cased Nintenfag? Were they just getting them to sell them on Ebay? (Well, it turns out "no" on that last one, as many, many less Wiis than PS3s were put up for auction, and over 3Xs as many Wiis went out that first day as opposed to Sony's launch, but that's neither here nor there) I was pissed, but as I left I thought that I'd swing by Best Buy to see if any lame-ohs were actually camping out for the Wii on that 28 degree night.
Over 30 tents and camp-sites were set up at Best Buy, and there were about 20 or so next door at Toys R Us as well. Goddammit. The Circuit City down the street had quite a few campers too, but my last card (what I was going to bet everything on) was on the edge of town and had nobody there. Everybody always forgets about Sam's Club Superstore. I had it made. They opened at 10AM on Sundays, so I figured if I got there at 9AM I'd be fine. So I then went home to my warm house with some nervous butterflies in my stomach, but a sense of accomplishment with myself. My first plan fell through (Wal-Mart), and my back-ups (Best Buy and Toys R Us) seemed to be a flop already, but my last resort would see me through. I'd still get my Wii, just 10 hours later than I had at first hoped. Then I played a little more KH2, but got sick of its terrible storytelling and shitty worlds and went to sleep at about 3. Fuck you, Kingdom Hearts 2...
THE LEGEND CONTINUES
I got up at 8AM on the 19th, got showered and dressed in warm clothes (it was still below freezing outside), and then drove to Sam's. I smiled at all the sad fucks who froze their asses off at BB, TRU, and CC, and cruised into the parking lot of Sam's Club. I winced a little when I saw a small group of people huddled near the front entrance, but I could see that there were only 5 of them as I got closer. Another car was close behind me, so I parked in a handicapped space as close to the doors as possible, and ran to the tiny line in order to be number 6. I smiled again, at this point utterly forgetting everything about Relative Chaos. I had one! Sam's always gets a good number of these kinds of things in. They'll have at least 15 Wiis in, and I'll be able to start playing Zelda by 10:30. All was right with the world once again. Thank you, Jesus!
I made small talk with the freaks ahead of me and found out that the 16 year-old punk in the number one space had gotten there at midnight, and numbers 4 and 5 showed up at 5 that morning. Damn! I wanted one, but not enough to freeze my sack off over for more than five hours! That's crazy! Anyway, at around 9:30, just as I lost all feeling in my toes, nose, and left nut (my right one has always been a few degrees warmer -- I'm a mutant), and after the line had grown to 25, two store managers came outside and announced that they only had 5 (count 'em, FIVE) Nintendo Wiis for sale that day. Everybody behind me screamed "WHAT?!" in perfect unison, and perfect fear. The fat(ter) woman manager apologized, but thought it be best if we knew ahead of time. Then she put a sign up on the glass door stating "We only have 5 Wiis (11/19)" in vile mockery of our frozen attempts to get our frosty hands on a dream-fulfilling Nintendo Fun-System. Before Fatty McFatfat Manager turned to go back inside though, some guy three spaces behind me screamed out, "But just yesterday somebody here told me you had TEN Wiis in stock! What the hell, lady?!" The manager stopped, turned around, looked at us all like a stupid deer staring at a cement-mixer's headlights for a few seconds, and then said, "Um, well, we might have, but only, uh, only five were allotted for sale... Ummm, sorry."
Everybody, including the first 5 line-waiters, who were guaranteed a Wii already, blurted out, "WHAT?!" again. I then asked (with my face less than 2 inches from that greasy, fatty, fugly, fat faced bitch of a manager's face), "What the hell does that even mean?! You got ten in, but are only allotted five?.... Oh my GOD! You asshole!" That startled both her and the crowd. "Do you mean to tell me that you're allowing 5 Sam's employees to buy the Wii without camping out for it?! Oh, that's cheap as fuck, lady! Not even Best Buy is allowing that!" That got the crowd riled up, but the fat cunt just closed and locked the doors behind her as she probably ran back to the bakery section and stuffed her fat, fat, fat goddamn face full of cake and brownies while repeating to herself, "I am a good person! My employees deserve those Wiis! I am a good person, and I deserve more cheesecake!!!" FUCK!
I didn't give up though. I knew that you needed a membership for Sam's in order to even enter the store, and then you had to either pay with Discover, cash, or check. I still believed that somebody in front of me either didn't know this, or just forgot their membership card or checkbook. Most everybody behind me left after the manager told us that horrible news, but a lot more cars started pulling up at that time too, filled with a ton of hopeful grandparents toting grandkids in church-clothes, obviously thinking that they had a shot at fulfilling their spawn's spawn's dream of getting the new Nintendo for Christmas... at least until they saw Fatty's sign on the door. Then all their churchy lessons of the day were forgotten as they cursed the heavens and dragged their minors back to their Buicks and Cadillacs while the kids cried and cried. Granted, this was the only good part of the day so far, so I made it last by waving "buh-bye" to the whining, little, snot-nosed brats as they soon disappeared in their grandparents' sidewalk-roaming and killing automotive monsters.
Then 10 o'clock came, and just as they were opening the doors the 1st in line's (the teenager) stepfather showed up with his own membership. Damn! The short line of people got organized, had their IDs ready, and marched in, and the first five were each handed a Wii and then forced directly to the checkout. As soon as I walked in, Fatty stood in my way and said, "Sorry sir *munch* *munch!* But that's all the Wii's we have." There I stood, dressed in four layers of clothing, heavy leather jacket, gloves and knit hat, with a terrible runny nose... Obviously having stayed outside for hours if not all night (it looked that way at least), and I simply looked her right in her fat little eyes and said, "I'm here for a jumbo box of Yogurt-Burst Cheerios, bitch!" and then sprinted to the back of the store where the cereal aisle lay, jumping up in the air every few steps, clicking my heels together while laughing like the old, crazy Daffy Duck ("Woo hoo! Woo hoo hoo woo hoo!!!") the whole way. When I came back up to the front with my tasty prize, I walked up to the shocked Fatty like I was going to say something, but then I just STOMPED on her toes, turned and paid for my Cheerios. Ha! Just kidding, I punched her in her chins and then farted in her face (and after eating nothing but Peanut M&Ms, honey bar-b-que wings, and cheap pizza for two days you better believe that she got a good taste of that one!).
After Sam's I ran down to CC, which just opened as well, only to find that they only had 15 Wiis in, and they were all sold out too, and then to Toys R Us. This was one more surprise as TRU still hadn't opened yet, and wouldn't until 11! Almost all my hope was gone, but a strand (like the width of a hair, holding my head impossibly up) was left. I was number 40 in line, and there were rumors that the store had gotten in 60 units. I could almost taste the Wii Sports right there, in the frozen November air...
I stood in relative silence as the 3 high school geeks directly in front of me (I can call them geeks and get away with it, despite all I was doing to acquire a Wii myself, mainly because I wasn't dressed all in black, with army boots, dyed black hair, and black trenchcoats... and I was buying a Wii with my OWN money, and not mommy's, which she had given them in a last ditch effort to try and bribe them into wearing something less faggy out in public) discussed how cool it would be "if Mario suddenly became alive and like broke into the store and gave out Wiis to everybody in line, man..." Seriously, that was the most stimulating conversation they had for that entire hour I spent in line with them. They were so fucking dorky that the 20-something with the cheesy Abe Lincoln beard and Superman shirt on ahead of them kept looking at them in amazement and shaking his head in disgust. That was pretty funny, but all my humor and hope left me for good when at 11AM the TRU manager emerged, told us to get into a straight and orderly line, and that they only had 40 Wiis in (YES!!!), but 30 were for pre-orders... FUCK again.... Oh man, if only I knew that they took pre-orders (apparently back in August)..... Meat Loaf was right: "The loneliest words you'll ever know -- if only, if only it were so. The emptiest words there'll ever be -- it could have been me, it could have been me...."
HOW IT ALL ENDED
How the fuck do you THINK it all ended? Do you think I'd be writing this piece two weeks after launch day, talking all about how my expectations were duly trashed upon the rocks of despair like a crystal chandelier on the head of the unlucky Mexican hired to install it on the ceiling of a three-storied mansion's foyer, if I'd been successful? Nope. I didn't get it on launch day. I didn't get the next shipment that came into Gamestop that following Wednesday. And even though I was told by a Target employee that if I was the first to make it back to their electronic section on Black Friday, right after Thanksgiving, as soon as they opened, I'd get one (which meant getting in line at 3:30AM for the 5AM opening, being 30th in line, and getting to shove [and in some cases getting to elbow the throats of] lazy, fat, housewives who tried to cut in line just as the store opened). Lies. I had made it inside the store quickly, sidestepped some cane-wielding granny, and ran faster than I had ever run before (except for that time Mr. Lauder caught Liam and I breaking into his house and stealing all his old Playboys when we were 12) in order to be the first to the electronics section in the back of the store, where I weezed, "Give me a Wii *huff*, please!" The five clerks behind the counter all glanced at each other with looks of pity on their faces and then in a chorus told me, "Sorry, we don't have any."
I left the store with my shoulders hung low, and stepped on the stomachs of two of the bitches, still on their backs, who tried to cut in line just a minute or so earlier, and then forced myself through the mass of bodies still trying to cram into the store in order to buy that "four-slice toaster" for $5, or that "40-inch MagnetBox TV" for $200... I slowly made it back to my car, and then drove home. Then I ate some leftover turkey and went back to sleep.
Fuck you, Nintendo, and Sam's, and Wal-Mart, and dicktard, lying Target employees! Fuck you all to hell.
Oh yeah, it turns out that Karen's grandpa didn't die. He just had to evacuate a monster turd that built up after eating nothing but cheese and beef jerky for a whole month, causing him to become constipated 7 days prior to her family freaking out and calling everybody together to witness his passing. That must have been one helluva satisfying crap when that bad boy finally came out.
Jesus! How many times do I have to tell you? The only lesson is to never get your hopes up, and to expect the unexpected. Any outcome you can think of to any situation you've yet to come across will never end how you think it will. Like right now, if I tried to slit my wrists I'd probably just gouge open an eye, or cut off my whole hand, or accidentally slice a baby's jugular open... Well, I guess none of those things specifically, since I already thought of them. Life's a bitch, and so are the managers at Sam's.