Monday, January 15, 2007

Up all night

Radio Question of the Day:

This was the # 1 toy of 1970, selling over 4 Million that year. What was it?


I don’t know what the number one toy was in 2006, but number one on my twin granddaughters' Christmas wish-list was the Wii Game Console and some games for it. The Wii (pronounced like the pronoun “we”), is made by Nintendo. Supplies of this game system were very, very limited before Christmas. Small game stores were lucky if they received three Wii Consoles before XMAS. Big stores like Wal-Mart received 32 or so at a time, and in our area Wal-Mart got only two shipments for the entire XMAS season, or a total of approximately 64 sets for the year.

As far as I can find out, the entire country was in this situation. So, on E-bay these Wii Consoles were selling for $1,500 and up. If you could find one in a store, it cost only $250. Amazing what people will do for their kids and grandkids.

What I did was get in line at Wal-Mart and wait all night to buy one.

I had been calling stores, visiting stores, etc. trying to get this game system, with no luck. Everybody and their grandmother were making the rounds doing this. Sales people were getting a little testy.

Then, I entered the dreaded Wal-Mart. A store that I have boycotted for years. But, this was a bigger mission than justice for minimum-wage employees. That TLP. No ethics.

There, in the electronics section, was a sign that said that they would be receiving a minimum of three (3!) Wii Consoles in a particular date, and that folks would be allowed to line up at 9 PM the night before the sales date, in order to possibly obtain the privilege to purchase the Wii at 8:00 AM the next morning. Oh, joy!

I fully expected my husband Niks to talk me out of spending the night in line at Wal-Mart, or anywhere else, but NO, he didn’t say a word. So, the big night came. I looked at the husband and said, “This is crazy, isn’t it?”

“No!” He said. “I’ll come and help you.” That Niks. Nope. I wasn’t going to let a 78 year-old guy with all kinds of health issues do this. So, off I went with my blanket and pillow. Of course, in order to get a jump on everyone else, I went over to the store at about 8 PM, not 9 PM. Imagine! There were already a bunch of folks there for the same purpose. Those cheats.

Wal-Mart’s lady-in-charge said we could line up in front of the Vision Center at 9 PM, and not one minute before. So, folks hung around near the Vision Center (VC) but not in front of it. I walked down and saw that there were people in the VC, waiting there. So, what the heck, I joined those swindlers. I’m not proud.

The VC staff didn’t care. They didn’t have any actual customers, and we were something funny to look at. But the WalMart-lady-in-charge (hereafter WLIC) was not amused. Hussy.

She came in and complained to the VC staff, and told them to make us leave the VC. The VC lady-in-charge, said, “Nope.” The VC is a concession, and not actually a part of Wal-Mart. Tee hee. But our victory was short-lived. The WLIC came back and told us that if we continued to wait in the Vision Center, that she would not let us be “considered” to buy a game. That WLIC.

Sigh. So, we went out, wandered around close to the front of the store, etc. Then one of the VC employees came out and said to me, “You know what annoys the WLIC more than anything?” Well, no, of course I don’t. “They can’t stand it when you leave nose prints on the display cases.”

Ho ho! My nose is as greasy as anyone’s. So off I went with this VC employee (what a sweetie!) and we left nose and finger prints on many, many display cases. That was fun, but it killed only about a half-hour. I was getting bored already. What was the night going to be like?

Finally, we were granted the privilege of standing in line. That WLIC. Such a generous person. So, she says that there are so many of us that we will have to have a lottery drawing to see who gets to buy the 32 Wiis that they actually have. Whoever wins this lottery drawing will still have to stay in line all night in order to buy the console, but at least they will know that they are guaranteed the game. No substitutes. One person has to wait in line all night for the console.

But, as it turned out, more than half of the people there had seen this lottery-thing coming, and had brought many folks with them in order to have a better chance of winning the drawing for the standing-in-line privilege. So, when those “supporting cast” folks stepped out of line, there were, ta da, 32 of us. Yes! I was going to get this damn game!

The actual waiting-all-night thing was okay. Boring, yes, but okay. Wal-Mart is a 24 hour store, and so we were inside. Everyone had a cell phone, and some one called a buddy who brought over a card table and a deck of cards. There was a card game going on at all times, with different people changing around. After an hour of standing, the WLIC provided us with chairs. Bonus! We were allowed to go to the restroom, and so on. In fact, once the WLIC left for the evening, our assigned “babysitter” let us wander the store. We could do anything but leave the store. Our names were on file, and we had coupons for the games. So even though other people came in after 9 PM to get in line, we were safe. At about 8:45 AM, I walked out of the store with the console. My Mama would be proud.

This morning I heard a story on the news about a woman in Rancho Cordova CA who competed in a radio station contest to win a Nintendo Wii. The "Hold Your Wee for a Wii" contest was put on by Sacramento radio station KDND 107.9. Contestants were to drink as much bottled water as they could in order to see who could hold it in the longest. The winner was promised a free Wii console. The 28 year old mother died of water intoxication trying to win the console for her kids. That’s so sad.

Answer to the Radio Question of the Day:

The Nerf Ball.

Life used to be simpler.


Rachel said...

My goodness, but you really wanted that didn't you for your grand daughter!! I have never waited like that for anything and I can't see me doing it either. You are so brave! I hope your grand daughter knows how much she is loved!! Sounds like quite the adventure at Wal-mart!!

lime said...

i sure hope your graddaughhter appreciated the wii. and how awful about that young mother.

The Boy from S.A.C.A.D.A. said...

I dident want a nerf ball i wanted a Mister Patatoh Head!

Tom & Icy said...

That wore me out just reading about it. Don't know if I could have the patience to go through all that. But grandchildren are worth it. That sort of reminds me of an old movie I saw years ago called, "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?" about a dance contest during the Depression.

Christine said...

My son Jimmy wants to know if you'll be his surrogate grandma?

Libby said...

i would've guessed a slinky!

Saur said...

You're right, we DID blog about the same thing! It is so sad, and furthermore, IMHO, the radio station is liable. They'd better hurry to get to the family and buy them off before they file a lawsuit that will make them tremble!

Those poor kids. It's very likely they'll feel that they're to blame for their mom's death.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

That is an amazing story, Lucy! You are one determined lady! I admire you for sticking to your guns and getting that Wii!
I wonder why, if Wal-Mart decided to do it by "lottery", and after the lottery was done...why they didn't let people go home and come back in the A.M.??? They had everybody's name on file? And if they wanted to be more Anal Retentive they could have taken a picture of each one of the 32...!
I'm just sayin'.....
Wal-Mart certainly has "control" issues....LOL!

The Lazy Iguana said...

You are a better person than I am. The Wal-Mart is just too evil for me to spend a night there. But then again, annoying the WLIC could be fun.

By the way, next time there is a hot game console you can pre-order them from places like Game Stop. No standing in line all night.

actonbell said...

Great post. I loved the part about putting prints everywhere--that's really funny!

And yes, I read that sad story, too. How horrible.

kenju said...

I cannot believe you did that! Way to go, grandma.

The nerf ball - that was a high tech Christmas!

kenju said...

I cannot believe you did that! Way to go, grandma.

The nerf ball - that was a high tech Christmas!

Peter said...

Radio question... for a later date.

Who won Grannie of the year in 2006 for love, above and beyond the call of duty?

Answer to Radio question... of a later date...
TLP of course.

mireille said...

Lucy, you astonish me. Nobody but you. Amazing. And those Grandtwins are darned lucky (I know you think you are, too). ♥ xoxo

Doug said...

OK, so tell the truth. You waited all night to save $1,250.

In the card game, id you call for Jacks or Better?

Boo said...

OMG...the nerf ball. I had them all. Nerf basketball, nerf football, nerf soccer. Life WAS so much simpler.

Always_Adventuring said...

Oh my gosh - the woman died? I wonder if the radio station got sued? I would have sued them! But then again I wouldn't have bothered so I wouldn't have had to worry about it in the first place.

Bela said...

I can't believe what I've just read. LOL! Such determination! How long did your granddaughters actually play with that thing in the end? Is it broken yet? LOL!

AP3 said...

Such a sweet Granny you are! That is really sad about the woman who died, though. Geez. I still can't believe you did that.

Ah, Nerf footballs. Good stuff.

neva said...

oh lordy, this may be one of my ALL-TIME FAVORITE stories of yours. and let me say here and now for the record that i will never, NEVER go through anything like that for my own grandkids (if and when i ever get any). you are a Queen among Queens, my friend -- and you set the bar so freakin' high some of us (including me) will only be able to stand under it and stare up in awe.

well done! as for those Nerf balls? wonder if my kid would like one for his birthday (he'll be 26, next week.) xox

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Janet said...

When I was a kid it was Cabbage Patch Kids. Now it's a Wii console. Time has marched on and prices have surely raised, but the gotta have it craze remains.:)

oceallaigh said...

The Phoenix posted about the wee-wii contest. Food for thought. Along with the thought that the obvious ending point for any capitalist society is for it to push meaningless trinkets on its consumers as a means of keeping its industries in business. The fellow that had that thought? Inconsequential individual named Adam Smith ...

OldHorsetailSnake said...

I missed the question -- again.
So, when was Rubik's cube the big "It"?

schnoodlepooh said...

Good grief. What a story and what an ordeal just to get the silly Wii thingie. You really are a trooper. And I heard about that lady who died in California. I think the radio station deejays were fired for that little stunt. Too bad the lady died.

Paul said...

My son, in Atlanta, walked into a store a few days after Christmas and bought one off the shelf.

Go figure.

Jamie Dawn said...

Hello, TLP! That is quite a saga of the Wii. I am glad it all ended with you getting one after putting up with that bitchy WLIC. People get a taste of power and really enjoy dominating those who are under their fat thumbs.

I've heard reports about that woman who died participating in that radio contest. What a tragedy.

Lucy said...

Now that was quite a night. I think Jay Leno would really like your acronymn -- WLIC.

Nerf ball - hmm. i had it in my head it was the cabbage patch doll. But of course i was about a decade early.

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