Buying a Wii
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One of my coworkers got a Wii and brought it to the office. I was hooked.
At first I didn't realize how difficult it was to buy a Wii. I simply knew that I wanted one. After several silly and futile attempts to find one in a retail store, I started thinking about other means.
Using the "advanced search" feature on eBay, I found somebody selling a Wii here in my town. The seller and I agreed to meet in person and close the deal with cash. He told me to be at a specific place on the University of Illinois campus, between two buildings, at 6:30pm.
I arrived at the designated location on time, but the seller wasn't there. As I stood around waiting, I realized I was standing in a dark alley at night with a roll of twenty dollar bills waiting for somebody I had never seen before. The whole thing was kind of creepy.
Around 6:45, a guy walked into the alley carrying a shopping bag. I knew at a glance that it was the seller.
He brought a goon with him, apparently for protection. The goliath was about nine feet tall and seemed like the sort of guy who could take the life of another human being in a completely nonchalant fashion. He was wearing a t-shirt which had some stains I assumed to be the blood from the previous victim of their scam.
When they walked into the alley, the seller looked me over. Staring coldly at me, he took out a mobile phone and dialed the number I had given him. When the phone in my hand rang loudly, he walked over, opened the bag, and said, "Here it is."
The goon grunted. Or growled. I couldn't tell which.
I suddenly wished I had brought my own goon. The idea never even occurred to me, but it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Everyone I know is short and capable of speech.
I asked the seller, "Do you mind if I take a look at it?"
He sneered, "Do you mind if I see the money?"
I traded him the wad of bills for the shopping bag. While he counted his loot, I opened the Wii box, glancing at the goon every so often and wondering if I had enough life insurance.
Everything seemed to be in order. I said so, and they walked away without another word. I watched for a moment, just to see if perhaps the seller would pull a turkey drumstick out of his coat and throw it to the goon as a treat.
I don't even know the seller's name, but I take some comfort in the fact that if I ever need to buy drugs or a gun or a Playstation 3, I already know the routine.