My very awesome parents gave me a Nintendo Wii for my birthday. We’ve wanted one for a while, but either their unavailability or buyer’s guilt (“we should spend money on the baby“) had prevented us from purchasing one in the past. I was so excited when I unwrapped the Wii that I held it above my head and cheered in victory. It reminded me of when Kyle and I got our first Nintendo twenty-two years ago.
The game that comes with the console, Wii Sports, is fun, but I mastered all the games very quickly. I set my sights on the Wii Fit – you know, one of those games that promises to make you a “better person.” Of course, this game was even harder to acquire than the Wii itself. Normally, with so much on my plate, I’d forget about something like a video game. But for some reason, this game stuck in my craw. I wasn’t going to let Nintendo and their cleverly crafted Wii Fit shortage get the best of me.
I started calling around to different Target and Best Buy stores, asking if the game was in stock and when they planned on getting another shipment. I called about 15 stores every morning, and the surly worker on the other end always said, “uuuuh no Wii fits in stock, uuuuuuh no I dunno when we’ll get more thank you for calling Target/Best Buy.” Until Saturday. I convinced Mike to call our local Best Buy, as I was pretty certain the switchboard operator recognized my name. She told Mike that they were expecting a shipment of Wii Fits the next day. Yes!
My brother advised me to arrive at Best Buy about an hour before the store opened. When I protested, he said that most likely there would be employees outside handing out vouchers. I got there at 9am on the dot (please, no one tell my boss I can arrive at Best Buy an hour early when I am perpetually 35 minutes late to the office), and was dismayed to see 14 people already in line. I took my place at the end and sat down with my magazine. It helped me pass the time, but I wish it had been about 100 pages longer. The second I looked up from the magazine, the video game nerds swooped in for the kill.
The guy to my right was in his late 30’s, and he kept trying to talk to me. Because I am always polite to new people, I smiled and nodded my head as he told me about how he and his brother drove all over looking for the Wii and Wii Fit before they found out about this location. “We came all the way from South Orange County!” I replied back, “you drove more than 75 miles for a video game?!” He looked at me with a solemn face, “YES.”
The guy to my left interjected, “I live around here!!! I didn’t have to come from far!!!” I looked at him and said, “Yay?” Then the guy on the other side of him said, “I have so many Wii games and I had to buy a new coffee table and my new coffee table has drawers and lazy susans and all kinds of secret compartments for all my wii games and controllers!” He was so proud. I said, “wow, a new table, huh? Did your wife make you get it?”
“Oh, uh, I’m not married. I want the Wii Fit because I hear it drives the ladies wiiiiild. Does it drive you wiiiiild?”
I started to think that maybe I didn’t want the Wii Fit. Having to witness nerds trying to flirt was much more painful than I ever could have anticipated.
Fifteen minutes before the store opened, I realized that no one from Best Buy had handed out vouchers like my brother had predicted. I started to get nervous. In my vast queue experience, there is usually a place-holder, and then people that swoop in to join them, cutting the line. If there were only 15 games and someone cut, I would be the first loser. Sure enough, a car pulled up and a girl hopped out and found her friend, who just happened to be ahead of me. I watched her carefully. She tried to pretend she was just keeping her friend company, but then she slipped under the rope (Best Buy had us corralled) when she thought no one was looking. She was wrong. The nerds around me started to fret. My nerds. I couldn’t have that.
I screamed, “Where are your manners, bitch!” The entire line went silent and 70 nerd heads whipped my way, including the head of the cutter. “Yes! YOU!!! YOU CUT! NO CUTTING!!!!!!” and I pointed right at her. She stared at me, then slowly walked to the back of the queue. Three Best Buy employees had picked that precise moment to come out to the line. They looked at me and I said, “You have to regulate! Hand out vouchers or secure the line! This is ridiculous!” The employees conferred with each other, and a couple minutes later one of them started walking the line, taking names and handing out vouchers. When they got to me, one guy said, “oh, we know your name – The Yeller!” Very funny Best Buy Dude. Just give me my voucher.
Yelling at that girl paid off. I got my voucher, and exchanged it 20 minutes later for my very own Wii Fit. Shiny.
The lesson? Don’t cut in front of me and my nerds. I’m short but I’m mighty. Mighty loud.