Jan 23, 2008

The Great Wii Hunt (Cont'd)

Yesterday, I called a local Wal-Mart and found out that they had two Wiis that arrived at 10:45 that morning, but they had already been sold (I called at 12:10). The window of opportunity was only open for less than an hour and a half. What would I have to do? Call every hour? Stalk the UPS truck? I could spend my lunch breaks at Wal-Mart waiting for UPS to show up, but there was no guarantee that any Wiis would even be on the truck.

As I was contemplating the dire situation, I called the Chipley Wal-Mart (about 45 miles away). They also received two…and still had both of them in the store! I couldn’t believe my ears. I must have asked the guy four times to confirm. (“In stock?” “Yes.” “At the store now?” “Yes.” “Right now?” “Yes.” “Available for purchase?” “YES!”)

I called my mother-in-law, but she had an eye appointment and couldn’t leave for Chipley until after 1:00. I immediately went to my supervisor, and asked if I could take an extended lunch break. She was a little hesitant because the other team leader had called out, but when I explained about the Wii she understood (she also has a Wii). I promised that I would come back to work, so she said it would be fine. My wife called just then, so I updated her and I was out the door and on my way.

Man, talk about a nerve-wracking trip! The whole time I was wishing I could go faster, and wondering if the Wiis would still be there when I showed up. I kept thinking about that Chipley buttmunch on EBay with the pile’o’Wiis and I was sure he was going to beat me to the store. At the county line, the road switches from four-lane to two-lane, with 30 miles to go. It was raining and we were behind a truck, so passing was out of the option.

When I finally arrived in Chipley, after what seemed like hours, I found the Wal-Mart and parked the car. I suspected every person around me was here for the same purpose. As I walked in, I could see the electronics department, and saw several shoppers that were much closer than me. I was panicking! I walked calmly (though I wanted to run), and when I got to the video games section I didn’t see any Wiis. I asked one of the sales associates if they still had any Wiis in stock, and he wasn’t sure, so he asked another guy. This other guy seemed very entitled, and I suspect he secretly enjoyed the distorted sense of power that came with the question, and he toyed with me by saying, “Yeah, I think we might have one of them left.” Then he walked away. I didn’t know if he was going to look, or going on break, but I played it cool and forced myself to remain calm and to resist beating the other associate to a bloody pulp for not knowing, and not rushing to check.

After an eternity of staring at reduced videos, the entitled guy popped up from around a corner holding the Wii. I have to admit, I melted a little inside. I was gleaming. The search was over. I pulled out my credit card and made the purchase. Then I walked straight to the car and covered it up on the backseat with a blanket (to prevent theft, of course). Before I left Chipley, I found a phone, and called Angela to tell her the good news. It was pouring down rain, and there was no shelter over the phone, but I felt all sunny inside. I knew Angela was probably stressing out as much as I had been, and I was looking forward to ending her misery. Check out this email she sent me while I was on my way to Chipley:

I'm freaking out. WHY DON"T YOU HAVE A CELL PHONE?!?! I'm so excited and nervous and I wish you'd get back to work so I could find out. Dude! Hurry! I love you so much. You are my hero. I'll love you even more if you got one. I feel all tingly inside. Kinda like when I found out about the sharks. Hurry and call me.

Love, Angela

(The sharks comment is in reference to our upcoming Disney trip - she was scared and yet excited when she found out you can swim in an aquarium with sharks and other tropical fish at Typhoon Lagoon.) After I told her about finally getting the Wii, she sent this:

Thank you so much for calling me to tell me we got a Wii and also thanks for going and getting it. You rock! Thank Lisa for letting you go. We are so getting Wii crazy tonight! Awesome! We have to go to Best Buy after work tonight to buy Wii Play and maybe another nunchuck. Anything else you wanna get now?

I'm so happy. I'm doing the Wii dance.

Thank you!
I jumped back in the car, and headed back to town (and work). The rest of the day went by pretty fast, and we were home setting up the Wii in no time.

Even though we only spent a few days looking, the stress and despair were starting to take their toll. But now the maddening search has come to a close. And what a relief it is! I know what's going to happen, though. We're going to accidentally start finding Wiis everywhere we go!

Oh, and by the way, we did get Wii crazy last night. It was awesome. You should totally get one!

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