Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The line, or dashed expectations

[The author is walking down 14th Street in Manhattan to the Circuit City to buy himself a kickass Playstation 3 when...]

Me: Zounds! Hay-zoose Marimba! What is this dogshit!?

[There is a line of hundreds of people behind police barricades, stretching down Broadway for two blocks. The assembled throng looks like it's slept on the sidewalk for a week.]

Me: What the?! I just... how?

Scruffy Guy In Crowd: Hey buddy, this is the end of the line. It begins down there on 12th St.

Me: Fer rills? All this for a Playstation 3?

SGIC: We've been camped out here since Monday morning, asshat.

Me: My entire value system has been smashed to pieces.

SGIC: You're going to have to wait, like, six months for one of these babies. I, on the other hand, will have given up a week of showers, sleep, and pride to be 35th on line here -- but I'll be able to play Madden 2008 waaaaay before you will.

Me: I don't understand what's going on here. You've been camped out a week in front of this Circuit City?

Unwashed Woman in Crowd: I've been here for a week and a half.

Me: You! If you have the kind of time to spend a week on the street, how is it that you have the 600 bucks to spend on this thing?

UWIC: I'm here in the city living off a trust fund. I don't need to work.


SGIC: I go to NYU. I ditched Poli Sci for a week for this.

Me: Guh-guh-guh-guh...

Bummy Looking Guy: This is a repudiation of everything you stand for, a naked display of corporate avarice and greed that rewards the mentally ill and lifeless people who would gladly volunteer for the horrible experience of living on the street, except in this case, for a mere video game system.

Me: Fah-fah-fah-fah...

UWIC: Isn't this the height of irony? We're taking the kinds of things that people in Russia had to do to get whitebread and toilet paper only a generation ago, and making sport of it. Hah hah!

Me: Glurgg.... mrrr.... rrrggghhhh...

SGIC: And, in the process, we're reinforcing the corporate mentality that comes up with schemes like this -- if demand is in the millions, only produce 25,000 units to keep the buzz going.

BLG: And who loses? You do, Guy Who Turns Up At the Store the Day Said Product Goes On Sale Actually Expecting To Go Home With One. Didn't you ever hear of Cabbage Patch Kids, motherfucker?

Me: Dark... becoming dark... and so cold... I can't feel my legs...

UWIC: Why don't you just go back home and play with your Playstation 2? I hear that Splinter Cell is cooler the third time around.

Me: .... [thump]