New Species Discovered Outside Local Electronics Stores

My friends. Oh, my dear friends. A little bit of curiosity can do quite a bit of damage. Specifically, my curiosity as to how big a deal the release of Playstation 3 , set for Friday, November 17, would end up being.
My journey started on Tuesday, when a friend reminded me that the release was only 3 days away. Out of curiosity, I stopped by eBay. There I found a catalog of pre-orders auctioning in upwards of $1,000 (note: the system retails for $600). I suddenly realized that I could make quite a profit if I were willing to spend a little time and energy to pick up a few systems. Oh how I underestimated my fellow man.
So yesterday I thought I'd do some research. Find out who was selling and when the doors would open. First stop: Walmart. While everyone was scouting out video game stores, I'd be the genius coasting through lines at Walmart. I'm so smart. Wrong. Before I was inside the store, I was greeted by the sight of six middle aged-men seated comfortably in camping chairs, with their tents propped up behind them. The helpful staff informed me that the eager beavers already in line had been there since 2pm... the day before!!! I was also told that the systems were as good as sold out with the line already formed. Well okay then. Next stop: Target.
At 3:15pm I arrived at Target and saw a familiar site. Tents and camping chairs waiting outside. However, what made this line unique were the 5 homeless men also in line. I checked in with the guys and it seems that someone paid them $100 each to wait in line for him. He was planning on showing up after they handed out the tickets at 8am Friday. Wow. Oh - and the dude gave them a makeshift canopy and blankets. I'm not sure if the silent partner is overly thoughtful or ridiculously greedy. 0 for 2.
Final stop: Best Buy. Now it was 3:30pm. No tents here. No camping chairs, portable heaters or portable derelicts. Just 50 (count 'em, 50) kids aged 15-20 arguing with the police. After talking to the officer, I learned that Best Buy refused to allow a line to form before 12:01am the day of the release. These kids had been there since the day before. They'd sit in their cars, but then someone new would arrive, think they had the inside scoop and would happily consider themselves to be first in line. So the cars would empty and a mad rush would ensue to reform the line. Then the staff would argue with them for 30 minutes until they returned to their cars and the mad dance would spin itself again.
Usually a bunch of people hanging out in a parking lot is called tailgating. But the emotion, the look of desperation in those eyes; this looked like something much different. Like the coordinated stalking of a stationary building.
It was at this point that I realized my resolve was not nearly as arduous as anyone I had met that day. At once I wanted to mock them and yell at them. This is the most important thing to you? Sitting idle for 40+ hours outside of a store in order to have the "privilege" to pay $600? Yikes. The future looks bleak indeed, my amigos.
Out of curiosity, I checked eBay when I got home. With 16 hours until the release, auction prices already surpassed $3,000. Oh wait. You wanted games with that? Then we're talking $7,000. 40 hours, huh? Is that all?

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