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Launch Day Survival Guide

Rich Cerow

This holiday season, Video Armageddon is about to start with the hotly-anticipated launches of the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii. With all the chaos that surrounds these launches, it can be a frightening time to be a consumer, especially when you go to Best Buy this week and see rabid, semi-homeless Sony fanatics waiting outside a store going shower-free for a full week. Lucky for you, Shao Khan has yet to catch on to all this chaos and use it as a means of opening up a portal to the dark dimensions and have a bunch of ninjas start backflipping out of the sky and take over the world. Anyway, since I plan on being on the absolute bleeding edge of technology, I'll be picking up a PlayStation 3 and a Wii this holiday season (right after I pick up my gold-plated Bentley from the shop), and I thought I'd take this opportunity to share some of my tips to guarantee that you pick up the system of your choice this holiday season, so that you can make some child very happy. By selling it to him on eBay at an exorbitant mark-up.

Fortunately, Piggy and the other boys in line are still wearing clothes at this point.
<> Unless you're crazy, you'll never get there early enough to beat the rush and guarantee yourself a system. There's always some lunatic who has been living outside of Wal-Mart since Muppet Babies went off the air, in anticipation of the sequel to a system nobody even knew was invented yet. And really, that guy deserves one, because those 148 hours he just spent to sell a PS3 on eBay for $2500 translates to roughly what Chinese children make an hour to lace sneakers in a sweatshop. So, you'll need to find alternates to getting a system. Might I suggest becoming a wealthy industrial capitalist over the next week or so and make a sizable investment in Sony? Either that or a roller coaster. That'd entertain you until the PS3 and Wii stocks are replenished, and probably make you some friends along the way.

<> If you are going to subject yourself to hours in the freezing cold with the animals who've been out there for weeks, the first thing you need to do is secure Piggy's glasses. You will definitely need those to start fires and keep yourselves warm. However, do not let some of the more unruly characters in line strip you of your rightful place atop the food chain due to your control of the means of production. That is pinko commie garbage they're spewing, and you should execute anyone waiting in line wearing a Super Mario t-shirt (due to his red overalls). All those wearing Zelda t-shirts are your friends and should be made members of your secret police organization.

Vader, prudently, always stocks up on Depends before waiting in multi-day lines.
<> Another important thing to keep in my mind while waiting for a new system is to make sure you bring plenty to keep you entertained. Now, undoubtedly the other jokers hanging around there will have laptops, portable DVD players, Nintendo DSes and the like. And those will keep you reasonably entertained - for a little while. But, if you're going for the marathon wait in line, you are going to have to make friends outside of people that you just play Mario Kart wirelessly with. Really, you should bring a plastic lightsaber with you. And possibly wear a cloak of some kind. This way, you will undoubtedly have to re-enact a classic scene from Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith in which you hamfistedly shout "Noooooooooooooooo!" when you find out your imaginary girlfriend dies. There will undoubtedly be some other dweeb there wearing a Darth Vader costume (if there is a long line far in advance for something's release, somebody there is wearing a Darth Vader costume). He will be so enamored of your performance as Anakin Skywalker, that he will jump in and take over the post-transformation Vader scenes from your ten-plus-hour re-enactment of all six Star Wars films. So, you will have a new best friend to keep you entertained while you wait in line, not to mention the love and adoration of all your fans who've just witnessed your masterpiece (although, to be fair that project works better on ice).

This driver is amazing. He just manuvered straight through an evergreen tree!
<> Eventually, after you've whiled away weeks you could have spent with loved ones or bettering yourself or the world, the magical moment will come, and the doors will finally open and you'll be able to attempt to trample each other to death to be the first to get your hands on a beloved new console. Of course, everyone at the back of the line who's been waiting for three days and are now getting screwed because there are only eight PS3's at this location and the people who've been there since they invented a time machine to go back to 1955 and get in line at the old Spudsian family farm, which one day would be the spot were this very Super Target would be built are going to get all of them, they will also be in a mad rush to drink the blood of newborn babies just to get some sweet next-gen gaming goodness. You need to be prepared to be crushed against the door like a Dokken fan at a German heavy metal festival. I recommend hiring a horsedrawn carriage to carry you into the store. Not only will it make you seem regal, and thus people's instinctual reaction will be to defer to you, and you will have a horse to trample people with if they try to make cutsies in the line. And, hey, maybe you bring your girl, and take her for a ride into the store, and try to pass the whole massively long wait in line with smelly nerds off as a totally magical evening between the two of you. But, if you're gonna go for that move, make sure the coach driver wears a top hat and the horse has a classy name like Wind Dancer, or she'll never buy it.

If you follow my advice, I'm sure you'll have an extremely pleasant wait in the line outside of the electronics dealer of your choice. Oh, and I guess you should have a plan for bathroom breaks, and bring food and warm clothes and all that. But, hey, I'm not Homeless Quarterly here - I don't know what type of cardboard is best for sleeping on. You've gotta be strong like all the other homeless people and tough out those first few days and figure out what you really need to live in a parking lot for fifteen straight days. That's the homeless gauntlet that everybody must run, and if you die during those first few days, you don't deserve a new system. When it comes to PS3's, these are post-apocalytpic future rules, and only the strong survive. Which is why you better get sword training with that Wii for some Thunderdome-style competitions for the amusement of the wealthy.

Let us know your launch day story on our message board or e-mail, and I'll figure out if you stand worthy before me during my elaborate karate championship I hold once every thousand years to ensure the gates of Hell stay sealed.

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