Having a Wii Fit

“Would you mind stopping at the store on your way to work and picking something up for me?” Never has one sentence contained such a veiled attempt. It seemed like a fairly innocent request. After all, Trina does so much for me how could I possibly decline when she asks me to do something? I have no answer to that last question but after today I can tell you that I do plan to do some research to find an appropriate way to say no if she ever asks me to stop at a store again. Before getting this request it was a pretty run-of-the-mill Wednesday. The week would soon be half over and with everything we have going on today appeared to be the calm before the storm. I just didn’t realize how close the storm was.

I headed out the door and headed towards the office. There is a Target store that I drive past every day so that seemed like the logical store to stop at to pick up the item Trina had requested. For Easter we got a Wii for the kids. I say for the kids but both Trina and I have had just as much fun with it as the kids have. Getting the Wii game system was just the beginning though. I thought I had everything covered with remotes, nun chucks, Wii wheels, and a couple of games. I was sorely mistaken. This was just the beginning. Now every time we go to a store we stop by the electronics section to see what new things there are for the Wii. I’ve almost come to the conclusion that we didn’t buy a game console; we adopted another child. A child with an insatiable hunger for new technology. One who is now eating us out of house and home.
Today is a prime example. The item I was supposed to pick up for Trina was the Wii Fit that was scheduled to be released today. From what I can gather from the pre-release press clippings the Wii Fit is a combination of software coupled with a “balance board” that when used together will allow the user to get into shape using their game console. Well I just got finished trying to explain the whole Turbo Jam purchase so I figured there was no way I would get sucked into the Wii Fit craze. Obviously I was wrong. My assignment today was to pick up the Wii Fit along with the Wii Ski game that can use the “balance board” to simulate the balance necessary to ski or snow board.
I arrived at the Target parking lot about 10 minutes before the store actually opened. I pulled into a parking spot and turned off the car. I glanced over at the door and saw 4-5 people standing at the entrance waiting for the doors to be unlocked. It always amazes me when people are willing to stand outside and wait for the store to open. I can’t imagine anything outside of baseball tickets that I would be willing to wait for. I was cursing myself for the fact that I was 10 minutes early. I could have stayed home a few minutes more rather than sitting in the car. It was too late now though. I opened the door and got out of the car. As I hit the alarm on my car remote I looked up to find that the 4-5 people at the door had now swelled to a small crowd of 15-20 people. I wondered what was at Target that would bring 20 people out before the store opened. As I got to the still locked store door the crowd was now about 25. Just as I was about to ask one of those waiting if this was a normal size crowd the Target employee unlocked the door.
I’m a scuba diver and I have been in my share of surf surges but I have never experienced one quite as strong as what I did outside of Target. I was engulfed in a wave of people and propelled through the door. I can’t be positive but I think I heard the sounds of a cattle stampede coming from the crowd. I figured once everyone made it through the door they would split off going various directions to get the items they had been waiting for. I never in a million years would have guessed that this entire crowd was all there for the exact same item, the Wii Fit.
The mob turned the corner of the store and made its way towards electronics where there were two young kids with Target employee name tags standing at a counter. One look at this mooing mass of people and these young adults facial expression changed to what could best be described as the look of a deer that had just been caught in a car’s headlights. One employee leapt over the counter to safety before being trampled. The other just stood there frozen. In unison that resembled the mob looking for Frankenstein’s monster the crowd yelled “Wii Fit!” From behind the counter came a shaking finger that pointed towards the end cap. The other employee continued to stare straight ahead remaining motionless locked in fear. The mob changed direction and surged to the end cap. As they reached the display it began to be dismantled. Wii Fit boxes flew through the air with what seemed like hundreds of hands reaching and grabbing. The closest thing I could compare this to would be a scene I saw on the Discovery Channel that showed a cow falling into a river filled with piranha. It was one of the scariest things I had ever seen. Within 3 minutes the display was destroyed and all of the Wii Fit were gone. The only thing that remained was a price sign that now precariously hung by one bold swaying in the aftershocks of the crowd. The mob disbanded and made their way to other parts of the store.
I can’t explain it but somehow when I was engulfed in the crowd I was propelled towards the middle and a Wii Fit literally fell from the sky hitting me on the head and landing in my arms. So with the exception of the headache that was now growing where the box hit me, things turned out ok. I checked out and walked towards the front entrance. I looked at my watch and realized that it was only 4 minutes since the doors had opened. It was a nightmare but one that was at least short lived.


  1. Jeff Blogs says:

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