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2006-12-14 15:20:33

Buying a Wii

Looking for a Wii?  Try Amazon.

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.