Monday, November 20, 2006

Our Story Of Camping Out For Wii

In Newmarket, Ontario

In the wake of news footage from the US about riots and deaths within the crowds waiting for the Playstation 3, I will share our story of the Small Town of Newmarket Ontario, Canada, and our amazing Camping-Out experience, waiting for the November 19th release of the
Nintendo Wii.

Cam had to work to 2:30AM on Friday night, so it was actually early Saturday morning. He wanted to camp out in front of our local Walmart to await the release of the Nintendo Wii. He really did his homework. He had gone to each large store that was expected to have stock on the release date. He spoke to the electronics department manager of each store and made his decision to camp out at Walmart. The manager there told him where he wanted the line to start, the attitude he expected from the campers, and he accomodated us with the information that there would be 54 Nintendo Wii units available for sale at 7:00AM Sunday November 19th.

Cam checked every two hours from 2:00AM Friday night to 1:00PM Saturday afternoon, before the first Camper arrived. Cam and I were all set. In two cars we drove over to Walmart. By the time we arrived it was 1:30PM and we were campers #4 and 5!

As we got ourselves all organized a couple who had walked over to Walmart while exercising their pet husky "Naomie" came over to the boys and asked if they would hang out with dog and keep her safe while they went inside the store. The guys were happy to do it and enjoyed the time spoiling her with hugs and nuzzles. The couple came back and gave the guys $4.00 for their efforts. Which they said would go to snacks.

I have to say that the first 9 Campers became a really tight group. The first 4 , and the sixth were all the same as Cam, getting close to being 19, and were all graduates that were back in grade 12 to broaden their education base for University or College prerequisites.
The guys were mean for World of Warcraft, and they were intense Nintento geeks!
One guy even had two Nintendo characters tattooed on his upper arm.
They were really great teens we got a chance to get to know on our 17 hour journey to Wii wonderland.
Below you can see them remote linked to eachother playing Nintendo DS doing Mario Kart.

It was cold here in Newmarket. Saturday marked the first day in a week without rain or flurries. The temperature had dropped to zero Celcius (32 F). There was no wind so we didn't feel too cold. We were all decked out. Everyone had their sleeping bags, and a zillion layers of clothing.
One guy had his laptop there and the guys would watch SouthPark videos on the computer.
At one point Cam went home and got our portable TV and his Playstation II with "Guitar Hero", after the guys found an outdoor electrical outlet on the Walmart wall. They got about a 1/2 hour of playing fun and entertainment before a manager came out and politely asked them to unplug from the grid. Seems with all the Christmas decorations(giant engine powered snow globes etc) the max of the Walmart grid could not take one more TV and video game sucking off their grid. So the guys obliged them.

Before all the shops closed for the day, they walked over to Future Shop to check out the 3rd Party Release games for the Wii. Because they were not Nintendo products they were not restricted by the November 19th date. So here we see one of the guys staring at his "Super Monkey Ball" game dreaming of playing the Wii!

As darkness fell it got colder. By 7:00PM there were 20 campers lined up. There were quite a few teens and tweens. Only three Mothers were out there for duration. Decked out and determined to stick it out.
So us Moms really felt that this camp out was possibly one of our last chances to hang out with our teens, and show our support, plus to bond with them and try to act as cool as possible( while looking very freeky in layers of gear and definitely dealing with hat head!)
On the other side of it the parents of the lone teens were everpresent as well. Parents, friends, Aunts, Uncles, Big Brothers and Sisters would drop by every two hours or so to check on the campers.
Family members would come by with Tim Hortons Coffee for all the adults in line!
Just because.
We all helped eachother out. We kept a line list to ensure everyone kept their spot in line.
You could really feel the community spirit from everyone there.

Oh yes! And I was the Knitting Machine out there! I had my little gloves with the thumb tip and index fingertip cut out for knitting. That cooler beside me is full of yarn. I figured :"Out in the Cold. Knit hats. Feeling the chill: Knit yourself an afgan to wear while you sit there." I had my table and cooler of yarn. I had ziplock bags to cover the patterns if it rained or snowed. I had the seat cushion of our swivel rocker on my lawn chair for comfort and warmth. My Obus Form back support cushion on the back of the chair to keep my back straight and warm.

The Middle of the night.
Our spirits were high and we were all very happy and getting along with everyone in line. By then there were about 23 folks in line waitin it out and finding 24 hr places to go to the toilet.
We had a little trouble with hecklers. Dumb rich kids driving around in their Daddy's Escalade Pickup, they came driving by yelling, "You should have pre-ordered!" and of course all the people yelled out at once. "Too bad you are missing out on the amazing experience of a lifetime!"
I guess they were jealous cuz they came back twice more. Once trying to egg us and a second time with water balloons.
We were in pretty good shape because the Walmart sidewalk is very deep and the guys threw like 8 year old girls!
But the group of 5 guys which included Cam got really worried for the campers at Best Buy and Future Shop who had no protection.
They are all pretty good guys and they all had cell phones so they took it upon themselves to make two hour checks of the lines to see if the campers at the other sites were alright, and if they needed anything. This kept them warm, by running around, and it embodied the community spirit that emcompasses the education in this area.

The other campers really appreciated the attention from them, and the guys did their best. They did have to call the police for the Future Shop Campers who were really badly pelted with eggs, empty beer cans, water balloons, and other things. Those campers were in a very vulnerable position at their store frontage.
The police came and made their presence known for the rest of the night.
Our group made a fortified wall of cars against the curb at Walmart to protect the campers who's line was ever-growing to just over 60 people by 5:00AM.

At around 5 we began to dismantle all our fluff. All the extra bits and pieces we could do without at the last minutes of the wait. So we were down to sleeping bags and lawn chairs and the layers of clothes on our backs (oh and Cam and I had our handy dandy chemical mitten warmers in our socks to keep our feet toasty too!) for the last hour, before the morning Managers and expediters began to arrive.
At 6:20Am they came out to tell us how it was goin down. They had 54 vouchers. In a few minutes they would come out and distribute to us, then at 6:00AM they would escort us in 5 at a time.

We rushed to get rid of the sleeping bags. So we were with chairs only at that point.
At 5:50AM the managers came out and distributed the vouchers and asked us to line up.

Yeah! #4!

And I was #5!
Officially we were the first 5 people in Newmarket to get the Nintendo Wii!
We had a blast being Wii-tarded.

Here are some video highlights of Cam demonstrating the unit and the Wii Sports that comes with it, and the Zelda game.

Outside Walmart camped out for Wii

Cam Demos His Wii-Boxing

Cam Demos Wii-Tennis

Cam Demos Wii-Golf

Cam Demos Wii Controller



C)Cam Shows Zelda


TorAa said...

What a story. Just like I was there myself

RheLynn said...

Wow it does look like an amazing experience - really great how Cam and the others were looking out for each other, and the people at the other lines too! Wow! Cute to see you knitting there too ;o) I bet that coffee must have been a welcome site for your cold hands!

Lynn said...

The funniest part of knitting at night was that I had a headlight on for most of the night. It is a hallogen lamp strapped to my forehead. So I was decked out with earmuffs, then a hat over the earmuffs, and a headlamp on my forehead strapped over the hat. I wish there was a photo of it. My friend Cheryl dropped by around 10:30PM to see me in that get-up and she laughed so much as she walked toward me!

Anonymous said...

great memories for you and your son... I can't believe that people would heckle the kids waiting.

Teena said...

Ha! That's crazy, Girl!

Anonymous said...

While the story you told was quite enjoyable, I found the use of Wii-tarded very offensive, as I have a handicapped sibling.

Until inappropriate use of "retarded" and variations of the same are seen as unacceptable it will remain difficult for people like my sister to fit in in society rather than being the butt of every joke.

Anonymous said...

I will be looking forward to more info on how much you like the Wii.

Kids Furniture Crazy

Lynn said...

Dear 1st Anonymous,
You obviously have not read in my blog and learned my story! And I am offended by that. For those who wish to get high and mighty I will replay this story of mine. I am an adult mother who has had multiple and amazing careers. I have lived and worked all over the world. I have been everything from a scientist to a truck driver.
But in March of 2005 I suddenly became ill. No one knew what was wrong. My vital statistics were in jeapardy, and I was suffering from a debilitating headache 24 hrs a day 7 days a week. I lost my memory, I was unable to speak properly, I could barely see, and at times my muscles in my face became limp and unresponsive.I also could not swallow and I had terrible pain in my chest when I tried to eat. I spent the next year in a world of horror. I could not work, I could not communicate and I could not function in the average and normal world. March of 2006 I was finally diagnosed with a brain injury. I had every scan and test in the book, and they showed nothing. It was explained to me that my brain injury was actually a nerve injury to the brain. The trigeminal nerve had been damaged and there was no hope of the nerve ever being righted. For the next 6 months the Drs had to figure out how the nerve was damaged. The concensous was that I had shingles of the brain. Now so I am not in pain 24hrs a day I am on a special neuro blocker coctail. I also am injected with high doses of anesthetic into my brain and the facet joints of my neck, and into the muscles of the neck and back. Basically at that time I am paralyzed from the waist up one day every two weeks. I have overcome the memory problems the best I can by playing music and knitting. I still have affasia(inability to speak properly) but I have learned to pause between words so people don't notice I have a problem. My eyesite can be effected by the headaches worsening, so I am often stuck at home. I am deemed permanently disabled. I am happy that I am able to do something so basice as to sit in a chair waiting with my Son for a game, seeing he has spent many a day caring for me over the last year and a half. So if I want to describe myself as Wii-tarded I have the full right.

Sue said...

Reminds me of the time we received a bunch of hate mail for an editorial using the expression "woo-woo" A common sceptebunker word for people like us. Had these people actually READ the article I'm certain they wouldn't have been so offended ... yesssh. Latching onto a buzz word and running with it does not excuse not comprehending the writer's intent.

No worries Lynn ... :)

Lynn said...

I will tell you the most disturbing thing. It is someone from my friends and family email list. If it happens again I will know who it is. In a moderated comment that I didn't publish the person got quite vile with the dirrogatory race names. Funny though they called the Jews. Big nosed Jews........I would not have thought they would use that term when all the other negative race terms they got correct. Seeing for all intents and purposes I am matriarchally a Jew, I am amazed they chose that one to mess up.

Anonymous said...

Great story lynn its nice to know there are people out there who apreciate the simple things !!!!love knitting!!!!