My twin, eight year old brothers, Ian and Colin, had one major wish this Christmas – a Nintendo Wii. Now, I may be dating myself here (can you “date” yourself as a 21 year old?) but the Wii was the tickle me Elmo of this Christmas. The things were impossible to get. Although some people predicted the Playstation 3 would be the hot ticket item, prior to Christmas day systems were sitting on the shelves unsold. All week while I was working at CIVR I went up to the Electronics Boutique at the Ithaca mall and waited sometimes as long as two hours for their daily shipment to come in. No luck.
I got to my Mom’s in Brooklyn on the 22nd. I had been busy perusing the internet to find tips on how to get my hands on a Wii. Most of the insiders on the forums were saying the best bet was the Nintendo World superstore in Manhattan. The word was that if you got there by 2 a.m. you would be virtually guaranteed one of the 50-250 systems they promised to release each day at 7 a.m. As it turned out, I didn’t figure this out until the 23rd and Christmas Eve was the last day they would be releasing systems. So… I took a couple Tylenol PMs to knock myself out at around 9 p.m. since I needed to wake back up at 1 a.m. to make it over there on time.
I did wake up at one, but I am not an avid user of the New York City subway system. I foolishly thought only one line could take me where I needed to go and ended up turning a 45 minute trip into a two hour trip. I was quite concerned since the police officer who was in control of barricading the line that was already over 200 people deep when I arrived at three informed me that the “tickets” which guaranteed you a Wii had been historically passed out up until the barricade just in front of my own. I just stood there, in the pouring rain, and hoped. The people at the very front of the line had been in line since 3 p.m. the previous day and had set up an entire tent.
I got quite lucky. For some reason they flooded the market a bit and released at least 400 Wiis that day. People who arrived as late as 5-6 a.m. got Wiis. The line at its height stretched an entire block. So, I got a Wii, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and headed home to sleep all of Christmas Eve day.
On Christmas I hid the Wii behind the tree so that the boys didn’t see it until all the presents (they thought) had been unwrapped and then I pointed it out. They went nuts when they opened it and this sounds corny but it was all worth it.