Here it is, December 15th and I now hold in my hot little hands the Nintendo Wii, a device I swore I would never own. I was worn down, I tell ya. Worn down.
I was worn down by my three kids, all of who listed this ubiquitous piece of white plastic as item number one on their Christmas lists to Santa. Worn down by my neighbors who by will power or dumb luck had all managed to land one of these coveted pieces long before today. Worn down by last week' s cry of, "every one of my friends got a Wii for Channukah."
But I got one. And I have to tip my hat to the nice folks at Toys R Us in Corbin's corner. For weeks, I have been stalking this thing. Trying to go the non-chalant route, sauntering in and up to the counter. Asking, in my most laid back manner, "you dont have any wii consoles do you?", and nodding, in complete understanding when store clerk after store clerk would look at me with pity and shake their head, "no."
But then came Tuesday. On Tuesday, I made another non-chalant laid back visit to Toys R Us. "No," the girl said. "We dont have any. But (leaning into me, soto voce,) we are getting some Saturday night, after the store closes to go on sale Sunday morning. We don't know how many, but we will have some."
This little fact burned in my brain. A glimmer of hope.
The weather forcast for Sunday morning called for a Noreaster with a side of destruction. I sensed my chance. Only the halest and heartiest of the Wii Questors would venture into a maelstrom just to buy a videopgame. "I'm going to get up at 6 and venture into the maw of the storm I told my wife. If I succeed, so be it. If I don't, well then it wasn't meant to be."
Sunday dawned. As the alarm buzzed, a could hear the sleet pounding down onto the house. A good sign.
I ventured out into the dark. In 15 minutes I had made my was across town and was in line. The wind was howling and it was still dark. The thermometer I saw read 21 degrees. Folks sat huddled in a line outside, some in tents, some swathed in blankets. I was sort of surprised no one had broken the window of Pier One and used the display furniture for firewood.
The news was encouraging. The adjacent Best Buy had just distributed 80 tickets which left me a in a line with only 20 folks ahead of me. The guy in front of me jumped up and down, trying to keep warm in his dress loafers. He and I were Red Sox fans. the two guys beghind us wore Yankees hats. We all chatted amiably, in this one quest together. We all laughed at the guy who was in line to get one for his mother in law. Way above and beyon the call, we all said.
At 7:30, the store manager emerged and began passing out the tickets. He had one for me, and everyone in line behind me. We all made it. We were all able to leave our posts and run back to the cars to warm up while we waited for the doors to open at 8. I couldnt feel my hands but I was smiling nonetheless. I was getting my kids a Wii for Chirstmas. And for some reason, that was the only thing that mattered.