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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Operation Wii...

I started the car, turned on the headlights, and backed out of the driveway. It wasn't long before Carrie and Parker's excited and nervous chatter began to overtake the hum of the tires on the cold hard pavement.

"It's so dark tonight", I thought to myself. "There must not be a moon."

There were a few details of "The Plan" that I went over once again with the kids. But they weren't really listening to me. At least to me it didn't seem like they were.

My mind went back to my own thoughts. It felt so bitter cold. The temperature guage for the engine moved up a notch, so I turned the heater fan on full blast.

I pulled in to the parking lot about 1130 p.m. It looked like an eery light-filled island that had been oddly placed in the darkness.

"Right mom, there's nobody here", Parker said with that superior condescending male tone that he tends to get. Even at 14 he's beginning to exhibit the typical behavior of a male who feels accomplished. Accomplished at what, I don't really know. He's still a kid. But this trait seems to be genetically implanted in all of the males in my family.

Parker didn't quite believe me that he really needed to be there before midnight.

Was my Re-con Report (which was already 20 minutes old) from Calais 'bad information'?

We pull up a little closer and can see a few figures sitting on the ground, huddled against the wall and next to each other.

The kids get out of the car. Armed with blankets, bottled water, and my cell phone, they were ready to set out on their mission - The Midnight Seige of Target.

I watch them walk towards the line that had begun to form.

"What am I thinking? How can I leave them out here like this - alone?"

I took a long circle around, taking the opportunity to eyeball the faces that were stationed out there. A man came out of an RV and exchanged places with another who was in line.

"That was smart."

Watch television in relatively warm comfort while you're waiting for your next turn at holding a spot in the line. Oh how I wish I had an RV right about now.

I felt fairly good about my assessment of the crowd. They were quiet and bundled up; some in chairs and others on the cement.

I drove back home with the heater still blasting hot air at me.

"They have the cell phone. If they want to come home they'll call", I reassured myself.

I decided to lay down on my bed and nap with my clothes on. I did not want to spend any time getting dressed if the telephone rang.

I dozed off, but I didn't sleep. The phone rang and I glanced at the clock. It's just after 6.



"Could you bring us some food?"

I should have known that it would be the stomach of a teenaged boy that would break the pre-dawn silence.

I got up and put on my jacket.

"Geez... It's cold out here!"

I go through the all night window at McDonald's, and actually had to wait in line.

The kids were so glad to see me that they almost broke ranks. They both started to head for the car when they realized that one had to stay behind.

Relief was in Carrie's eyes. The excitement was over, the thrill gone. She was cold, hungry, and tired.

However, Parker was still wired.

He had worked and saved, and saved and worked for this memorable day in history.

Parker has been following the release of the Wii since last year.

He knew how many Wii's each store was going to get. and the day they were going to release them to the public. And that is all I've heard about for weeks now.

And he had missed the pre-order event, which was a devastating blow for him.

He was not going to let this 1 in 24 chance get away from him.

At 7:03, a Target employee came out and passed out cups of hot chocolate. And then there was a round of donuts.

Finally, there was the security guard and the employee who had the tickets.

The store opened at 8 a.m., and everyone was ushered in, single-file to the electronics section of the store.

I kept my silence during this solemn event, fearing that I would break the intense concentration that crossed Parker's face.

I knew that in the back of Parker's mind there was a very real fear that he was not going to leave the store's property with a Wii.

After this whole night long ordeal, my biggest fear was that he was going to be short on cash at the register.

I wasn't there because he needed me physically, or even emotionally. I was there for "back-up funding".

Parker got his Wii, controllers, and one game. The cashier said, "$390.11".

Parker counted out the money that had taken him months to save.

My eyes counted with him in silence.

I left Target this morning with a can of coffee (I was almost out at the house)...

Oh yeah, and one more item...

And also with the happiest boy in the world this morning.

Parker even has a few dollars left over.

By the way...

Carrie says that she will never, ever do something like this again.

"Well", she says, "maybe not *never*."



Blogger Pattie said...

He obviously really wanted that. I think it's a smart thing to have your kids save their own hard earned money to buy their own things. It makes them appreciate it all the more.

You know, I was at our local Target the other day and saw these group of men with shopping carts filled with blankets, chairs, etc. just outside the door. My first thought was that they were homeless. Then I saw the sign "Line forms here for PlayStation 3"...Oh my! This was twenty four hours BEFORE the store was going to sell them. I couldn't believe it. Anyone who will stand out all night to get something certainly deserves the spoils.

I hope Parker enjoys many happy times with his new, hard earned Wii!

November 20, 2006 5:51 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

I am quite impressed that Parker saved money and camped out for the Wii! That will be something he and his sister will never forget.

Good for them and good for you for letting them do it.

I hope he is enjoying the games.

November 20, 2006 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's very impressive - having the will to stay out overnight, freezing cold to get something that he has saved so hard for. Was Carrie there to keep him company, or did she want something special as well?

And well done to you too, for providing the means for them to be able to do it!

November 20, 2006 9:08 AM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Pattie...

It seems to happen almost every year...

People waiting in line for limited supplies of high-end electronics.

I don't understand why there is such a limited supply when they release the new products.

And why do they always pick the "Christmas Shopping Season" to release these products?

It's not like they don't have a market, or anything like that.

Hey Lea...

Parker is enjoying the games. It's a good thing we have two television sets.

Hey Sue...

Carrie was there as his 'buddy'. I wouldn't let him stay out there by himself. Parker couldn't find any friends that would do it with him. So as a last ditch effort he asked Carrie if she would. And she agreed.

It's a good thing too!

;+ )


November 20, 2006 4:21 PM  
Blogger Jan said...


How long until we can buy one without camping out overnight?

November 20, 2006 4:52 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Jan...

If it goes like everything else has in the past, it will probably be after Christmas.

Parker says that there should be another shipment coming in next week and in the stores on Wednesday. If you were looking to buy one, then I would go and ask them about it.

But if it is only going to be 23 to 24 gaming systems per store...then they're still going to be hard to come by until after the first of the year.


November 20, 2006 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard they are releasing them slowly like this because the company looses about 500 dollars per unit. They apparently cost 800 dollars to make. They hope to make up the losses in game sales.

November 21, 2006 3:11 PM  
Blogger It's me, T.J. said...

Hey Squirrel...

That seems strange... Businesses don't like to lose money, and that seems like a whole bunch of money when you multiply that out a few thousand times.

Surely it has to be some kind of marketing maneuver.


November 21, 2006 7:32 PM  
Anonymous wolfbaby said...

ok duh on me but what is a Wii? is that the play station three? why do they call it Wii? sorry.. im lost on the techno stuff..

Good for him earning his money for something and actually saving it to get it... your teaching them an important lesson!!!

November 23, 2006 9:09 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

What a great story, thanks for sharing it!

I'm not sure I would have agreed if my son would have asked for the same thing from me. However, your 'buddy' rule seems prudent and I think the story changed my mind. I'll bet those kids take care of that toy!

December 06, 2006 5:05 PM  

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