I went to Best Buy Thursday night with one very clear goal: To talk to and photograph the brave souls who had been waiting for 36 hours. I had no illusions about getting a PlayStation 3 for myself. Weeks earlier I had camped out all night to pre-order one at GameStop and that was good enough for me. Just to be safe, I let people know that when I approached, lest they identify me as a threat to their place in line and attack. I knew that would not be pretty.
The Best Buy in Springfield, Oregon, had a good system. Wednesday morning at 8:30 a married couple asked if they could form a line and the manager on duty said “Sure.” With “The Man’s” blessing and permission they pitched a tent and braced themselves for a grueling wait. Others actually had arrived before them but were told they would have to wait in their cars. However, this particular store had 20 60 GB units and 6 more 20 GB ones so because the group at this point numbered less than 20 the question of order became moot. All the same, the people at the head of the line may have wished a little to be a couple places back so they wouldn’t have to face the indignity of the local news station’s moronic queries.
More people joined the line as Wednesday wore on and by the evening all the spots were filled and there were even stragglers. Those that hung around hoping for a lucky break proved very lucky, though. Although no one was robbed at gun point, some craziness still broke out.
Wednesday night people said one man–who had been a nuisance to others anyway–allegedly freaked out, having a seizure and then going unconscious. Some people said they heard him taking drugs. A fire truck and ambulance showed up but while emergency workers attended to the man, he woke up, sprang up, and rushed to his car. He took off, and the rest of the line thought/hoped they’d seen the last of him. He came back the next day though, but left sporadically, annoying those who were steadfastly hanging around.
Apparently–and this takes the cake for stupidity in multiple ways–he convinced a young man in line to return a game for him, the only thing was the game case just had a blank CD-R inside! The Best Buy customer service people of course looked inside and discovered the fraud. They called the police to report the matter. However, the kid claimed that he didn’t know about the deception and that he himself was tricked by the crazy-drug-guy. So the police came in force and eventually the crazy-person and his young stupid/naïve victim lost their places in line. They were totally in–guaranteed one of the most sought-after devices in America and they blew it to cheat Best Buy out of $50. They truly did not deserve their places.