The PS3 Line Adventure

Well, like thousands of other idiots across the country I lined up at Wal-Mart to have a chance

After wandering around for 20 minutes looking for the line or someone to help me, I finally came across it in the lawn and garden section. OUTSIDE. Please keep in mind that this store is far from busy and is definitely not short on space, but people who were waiting to spend $500-600 had to wait outside. No ticketing process, no considerations like a heater, nothing. Well, I turned right around and bought a sleeping bag and chair.

I then assumed my position of waiting. After a few minutes, I managed to strike up conversations with my cell-mates. I say that because the L&G area is fenced in with only a fire door as possible means of escape. The guys who had been there since 5:30PM on 11-15 were from Mount Vernon, IN. They had been driving and trying to find a WM with a short or no line when they came across FF WM. Their names were “Tim” Allen and Bill. Both were nice guys and conversed with the rest of us the whole time. Frankly, I would NOT have made it through sleeping outside and the rain like they did. The next two in line were also from Indiana.

at purchasing a Playstation 3. My original game plan was to get lined up at our local store at about noon. I thought that since we live in the middle of nowhere with no population I would be fine. I was wrong.

At about 10AM I called out to the store expecting 3-4 people to be lined up. There were 26 people waiting in the layaway area already. At that point I almost gave up – it wasn’t worth a trip and waiting around eleven plus hours for a system that would probably be buggy anyway (my PS2 was). I did go ahead and call the surrounding Wal-Marts (within 30 miles). Every single one reported the same thing – Too many people for the number of systems they were going to get. Then I came across Fairfield’s store. It was the last one on my list, but I called just for fun.

There were only 5 people. FIVE! According to the WM circular, there would be 10 at each store, and that meant if I got there in time I would have one! Needless to say I went from depressed to jumping out of my skin in about .5 seconds. At that point I cleared leaving work an hour earlier than planned with my boss, came home and changed in 2 seconds, and ran out the door to get on the road. No gas. So I stopped by the station, filled up, grabbed a pop, and drove as quickly as I legally could to the Fairfield Wal-Mart.

One guy’s name was Nathan, and his (brother?) friend’s name I didn’t get. They were pretty cool too and chatted with us.

Next up was Kim, our sole female comrade. She was great when she talked, which wasn’t often.

A blurry shot of (from left) Nathan, his friend, Kim and her daughter, and

Then there was Phil. I can’t really say much about Phil other than he was From Fairfield, waiting in a spot for a friend, and kept us entertained.

Phil, just Phil.

The next spot was mine.

Then there was another FF guy, Kim’s daughter, two more from FF, and a guy from Flora.

That was our group. I won’t go into great detail, but we all chatted and got along quite well over the course of our sentence. Even when it got dark and we were fighting freezing temperatures WM made us wait outside in the “cage”. One would think that we could have come inside and warmed up, but NO. Heaven forbid the mighty WM allow us to indulge in some of their heat.

Then came the best news of all – ONLY FOUR PS3’s were in stock. THe rest of us would get rain-checks. As people we took it well, and kept enjoyng chatting about everything from how bogus that was to what game system we liked best. Unanimously we chose the PS2 (big surprise, huh?).

Finally, at ten, when our fingers were about to freeze off and we were cursing WM under our breath, we were allowed to go sit on the 3-person bench in electronics. Even though there were only 4 units available, those of us getting rain-checks still had to wait. Not completely insane, but we didn’t understand the logic.

Then at about 11:57PM we were allowed to start receiving our rain-checks and sent on our merry way. I was satisfied and had a good time, but really wished that WM would have allowed us to stay warm. I said goodbye to everyone and drove the thirty minutes home.

There’s the overview of my experience. Other than cold and wet and not getting a PS3, it wasn’t too horrible.

UPDATE: Apparently this guy had the EXACT same experience as us in New England. Same freezing, same un-caring Wal-Mart.

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