Lines, anger, police ... A Wii story
A CNN staffer learns first hand what it's like to be lucky ... maybe too lucky.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- We all know the new Nintendo Wii is the number one present to give this holiday season. You've heard the stories of those who camp out in front of stores the night before shipments come in, or those who pay double the cost on eBay. It's obvious that people will do almost anything to get their hands on this hot new item.
I found myself waiting for a Nintendo Wii one late afternoon. A massive shipment had just come in that morning and the line didn't look too unbearable, so I decided to wait and try my chances at getting one for my boyfriend. Since it was a little late in the day, I knew the odds were against me, but for some strange reason, I was feeling optimistic.
I didn't see any other women in line and I didn't bother talking to the guys around me. All of them were way too serious about this; full of anxiety and tension. I had never felt so out of place in my life. It seemed like each one of their lives depended on whether or not they got this game system. Their eyes were fixed on the front of the line. No one knew how many were left. We were all just hoping the last box would be ours.
After about 2 hours I was near the front of the line. Could this be it? I could see the pile of white boxes dwindling down. My heart sunk. I started to get nervous. Why didn't I come earlier? I couldn't imagine getting this close and not getting one! That wasn't even an option anymore.
Closer and closer until finally, I was handed a white box. I honestly could not believe it. In that one moment I became the girlfriend with the perfect Christmas present. My heart was pounding and I kept asking the guy, "Are you sure this is it? This is the new Nintendo Wii right?" I couldn't help it...I was shaking with excitement and felt like this was one great day.
While paying at the register, the man handling the Wii's said very loudly to the line full of people still waiting, "Sorry folks, that's it. There's no more for today." Instantly I started hearing groans and seeing other disappointing gestures. It was then that I realized the position I was in...here I was in line with all these tense guys who didn't get a game system and I did. All at once, I felt their angry, jealous eyes shift focus to me. To them, I was an easy target. But I felt confident that I could deal with angry Christmas shoppers. After all, there were still 2 weeks left of shopping. That's plenty of time to get a Wii.
"Hey, I'll give you triple for what you just paid..."
"There's no way you deserve that game system..."
"You probably don't even know how to play. Here, give it to me. I'll put it to good use..."
Were these people crazy?? Yes, they were. It only went downhill from there. While I was walking toward the exit, unsatisfied customers began to grab at my bag. Just like that! They were acting as if I was just going to give it to them. There was no way anyone was taking this away from me. I was caught off guard in a game of tug-a-war when a security guard intervened and rescued me from the chaos.
He took me outside. And the crowd followed.
The security guard flagged a police car. I thankfully jumped in. And it was a police escort for me and my Wii back to work.
I have not experienced any more drama with the Wii. Afraid of how my roommates would react to a Nintendo Wii being in our house, I hid it from them in a secure location until I can safely wrap it up and give it to my boyfriend for Christmas. Mission accomplished.