I did it. Even after I said I wouldn’t. After hearing that there were actually PS4 consoles on sale for the midnight launch at a store-which-will-remain-nameless here in Toronto, I dashed to the store and babbled to my friend something along the lines of “ISAVEDYOUASPOTJUSTRUNTHEREDLIGHTS,” and found myself waiting for a PS4 with about 100 other people.
And this is what waiting in that line smelled like:
Also known as the poor soul who had to act excited to tell you about how much they liked Assassin’s Creed 2, likely for the 324th time in that hour, as the person tried to get you to sign up for a premium membership and preorder Half-Life 3.
Free stuff you don’t want
The same poor soul then shoved a box into my hands along with some brochures, said “Everybody loves FREE STUFF!!!” then proceeded to walk away very quickly before I had time to respond.
Which is what happens when someone from the mainstream press tries to interview someone in line and doesn’t really know what to say. This leads to questions like, “What’s so good about the PS4?” and “Are you getting Call of Duty?” and “Why are you waiting in line?”
A Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger
I’ve never tried a Five Guys burger before. Now I consider my life before this moment essentially meaningless.
But if I only knew that eating that burger would be the highlight of the evening…
A homeless man
He likely thought I was a fine upstanding citizen-and-maybe alien, and gave me insights about the government before asking me if I had any change. I said no. He stood there. I pretended I had something else to do, which is a bit silly and impossible when your current task is to “wait.” Someone else gave him change and I got annoyed at this person for making me look bad.
None of us in line were special. We could’ve all been famous actors or computer geniuses or part of a championshiop-calibre breakdancing troupe, but it didn’t matter. At that very second, we were not special. The staff at the store we were waiting out front of told us so, every single time they paraded a Special Member past the line and into the “Special Party” inside.
Woe to us, who didn’t pay the membership fee that one time only to forget about it and never use it ever again, that we are not special enough to get paraded past the line and likely to the bestest party ever in the world, and definitely not an awkward get-together between company reps and strangers who had no idea this was going on.
This was about the time I started to wonder about the choices I have made in my life.
As in, look at that pile of vomit about five feet from us at the curb. It looks gross. Oh look, the line is moving. Oh look, we are now right beside the vomit. Hey, the line has stopped again for an hour, how about that.
The store employees have to tell the Special Platinum People to avoid the vomit while they are being paraded past us like royalty. It’s a small victory.
The Threat of Impending Violence
Also known as what happens when a store continuously makes a big deal out of allowing people to skip the line, with many of them waiting in dropping temperatures for several hours now, and were told that they would be inside the store an hour ago with no end in sight.
See previous entry. My friend and I debate whether we should take turns warming up in the Popeye’s Chicken we’re standing in front of. The store manager, likely sensing this, shutters the entrance.
Did the line move?? It moved didn’t it!? I FELT IT MOVE!
I asked my friend to go to the front and see if they were finally letting people in. Said friend proceeds to see a much larger line slo-o-o-wly snaking its way through the aisles inside the store.
At least both cash registers were open, and it was really nice of the clerks to spend 10 minutes befriending each customer with personal anecdotes about That Time They Played That Game You Were Buying And It’s a Great Choice. That right there, that’s service.
In which I realize that this is not the Xbox 360 launch, I am not 20 anymore, and that if I don’t leave now I will be drooling at my desk before passing out on my keyboard at work tomorrow.
I did not get a PlayStation 4.
Ah well. Happy Launch Month anyway!
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