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King of Nerd Mountain

| 13 Feb 2007 20:30

It's time.

imageI've decided that I must now enter the Wii Generation. I have to have one. I played it at E3 and all, but decided a while back that I could wait until they were easily available before dropping the change for one of my own. My resolve on that one lasted about as long as it took me to have nothing better to do than troll various forums and retail websites looking for a Wii. I have no willpower. It's a known bug.

So that's what I've been doing for the past week, but no joy. Amazon, EB, Wal-Mart, even Target - no Wiis in stock, no estimated date on which that will change. Again, I reevaluate my options and decide that I'll simply buy a game for some other machine (maybe two) and ride the wave of panic until, again, they're more easily available. It's harder now, though. There is dizziness and a little rage. Now, I care, and I find myself stewing like Martin Sheen, staring up at the ceiling fan, waiting for a mission. I'm caught in a trap, as Elvis says. I can't walk out. Because I love you too much, baby. "You" in this rendition being my as-yet un-purchased Wii. I weep silently as the background singers wail through the end of the song, wipe my brow with a silk scarf and throw it to the crowd. Lights fade.

Cut To: This afternoon. I've got a lunch date with my gal; we're going to the mall for games and burgers. Yes, she's that kind of gal. Yes, I'm very happy about that. She plays more than I do actually, and also writes. She's smarter than I am, plays games and writes. This is part fantasy, part nightmare, I assure you.

It's raining by the time I swing by the house to pick her up, and the temperature has dropped by at least ten degrees in the past hour. I exchange my fair weather raincoat for something a little beefier. Something I picked up a long time ago and far, far away, back when I produced television for TechTV. It has the company logo on it, which is why I rarely wear it out of the house, but it's warm and impervious to rain, making it perfect for this rainy, ugly day. It also starts to melt if exposed to direct sunlight or gets too near an open flame. No, I do not know why. Yes, it does worry me slightly. But hey, you win some, you lose some. Really, life is all about compromise.

imageI'm slightly damp by the time we get to the mall, but toasty warm thanks to my dark Jacket of Power, and looking forward to some hot burger action. The plan is to place our burger orders then browse for games until our heaps of greasy cow flesh are ready to consume, setting the clock back on our life expectancies like some kind of daylight savings for the afterlife. I decide to swing by the EB first, just to see if they still have their Wii sign in the window, like they have for the past few weeks. Actually, calling it a sign is an insult to signs everywhere. It's less a sign, and more a plain, white piece of paper with "No Wii" scrawled on it in Sharpie marker. It makes me laugh and wonder how much effort it would actually take to make a real sign. Must be tough times for the retail games market. Or perhaps the Wii has become Soylent Green. Making a sign would be an admission of a flaw in the system. Tuesday is Soylent Green Day, therefore, there must be Soylent Green. But there isn't any. Well ... write something on a piece of paper. It's sure to be a temporary glitch. We'll have some next Tuesday. Promise. It is, after all, made of people, and we've got plenty of those ...

We're ten feet away from the store and I extend my arm and prepare my best derisive laugh - but it's not there. No sign. No Sharpie-markered chicken scratched expression of disdain. No ... nothing.

My eyes fall like Superman plummeting to Earth and I ask my gal to pinch me, to see if I'm dreaming. Immediately below where the sign should be is a Wii. No, several of them. Just sitting there. And they have stickers on them reading "$249.xx." All thoughts of burger eating flee from my mind, and I find myself inside the store, holding out my wallet before I fully realize what's happening.

imageEB Employee Wearing Hat suggests I need to buy this or that, subscribe to that or this and/or do a little dance before he can sell me a Wii. I tell him I don't want any of his extras, and don't need his subscription. He says they've just pulled them out of the shipping container, and they have rules. I suggest I'll pay him $249 plus tax and that he, in turn, will hand me a Wii. Maybe it's the logo on the jacket or the look on my face, but his answer is a nod as EB Employee Without Hat crosses the small store, goes into the back room and fetches me a Wii.

Money changes hands, my gal gets into a debate over the pros and/or cons of Warioware with EB Employee Without Hat, I refuse (one last time) to purchase the in-store warranty and leave ten minutes later with a heavy sack under one arm, my gal on the other, and a gigantic smile on my face. I'm walking through the mall on a Tuesday afternoon, on my way to eat burgers with my game writer girlfriend, wearing my TechTV Staff jacket and holding a fresh-off-the-boat Wii. This, my friends, is what they call a Good Day. Today I am king of Nerd Mountain. Hail to the king, baby.

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