The NES Classic game system and something called Hatchimals are this year's version of Tickle Me Elmo, the almost impossible to find Christmas gift. I wanted the NES. (I don't want a bout of hatchimals as I have a large deductible on my medical coverage).
About a thousand Best Buy stores across the country had advertised a flash sale in advance for yesterday morning (December 20). I knew from experience - getting shut out from a similar sale at Toys R Us more than a week ago - you had to arrive early for any chance of getting your hands on one of these babies. I showed up at 5am. The temperature was 3 degrees, but there was no wind so it felt like a toasty 3 degrees. I figured I could last 3 hours in line before losing my fingers to frost bite (and making acquiring the game moot, as it would be too difficult to use the game's controller buttons and directional arrow sans phalanges).
I learned that the first 19 tickets had already been distributed at 4am, and these ticket holders were waiting in their warm vehicles for the store to open. Nobody was standing by the doors and out in the cold, and nobody knew for sure if there were any tickets left. I figured, 'what the heck' and stood in line at the door. The store was illuminated, and a few workers could be seen scurrying around and getting the store ready for the 8am open. A line (and conversation) formed behind me. A couple of grandpas in full deer hunting camo showed up. A worker finally peeked out the front doors at us and handed out the remaining tickets around 5:25am. I got #20 out of 30 tickets total. I then was able to go home and warm up before the store opened. I'm not sure I could have stood in that air until 8am.
Ghost of Christmas Past
"Are you the Game System, sir, whose coming was foretold to me?" asked DaBlade.
"Who, and what are you?" DaBlade demanded.
"I am the NES Classic Edition, a miniaturized version of the groundbreaking NES, with 30 all-time favorite games included from Christmas Past."
"Long Past?" I inquired.
"No. Your past. The original was released in 1985 when you were in your 20s. Now sit on the couch and grab a controller and I will transport you back... back to a time of Mario, Zelda and Mega Man."
"I haven't missed it. Best Buy has done it all in one night! They can do anything they like. Of course they can. Of course they can!"
"I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world!... now hand over that controller and get outta my way, before you dot another 'i' Bob Crachit!!"
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