11:12 PM, Thursday, November 24th, 2005:
I am in the midst of a losing battle with triptophane so if at any point my words seem to trail off into oblivion, there's your reason.
Yes it's been a long day of turkey, Xbox 360, turkey, Xbox 360, and of course football on the other TVs. It was how I envisioned it a week ago - but amazingly it almost didn't happen. That's because the old addage is true: There's always a bigger geek. In this case about 10 of them.
So Sunday, Marty and I went to the Clippers/Warriors game and then came home to plan for the "launch". Where we were going to go what we were going to bring and whatnot. There was a 24 hour Walmart not too far away but a Best Buy in Hawthorne was having a midnight launch and G4TV was gonna be there. Out of the blue I said to Marty - "Let's go tonight...like middle of the night." He looked at me crazy, as it would be nearly 20 hours before the launch, but it was a no-brainer for the site. It would be cool, we'd be on TV - we could take a tent giddy-up. So I started loadin' up the car with stuff and getting all excited. Then as I was surfin' the net I found a picture of a line in Seattle ALREADY forming at like 8 PM - a full 28 hours before. Apparently Bill Gates was gonna be at that one. I freaked. I looked at Marty and we both said:  "LETS GO".
I didn't want to be 3 or 4. I wanted us to be 1 and 2. They always show that first person on TV not #3. So we are racing down there saying:  "There's no one in line, there's no one in line, there's no one in line..."
That's right. We get there 27 hours before they go onsale and we're not even close to first. First was there at 5 PM. Now had I ANNNNNNNNNY clue the demand would be like this Marty and I would've gone right from the game as we were already near there. What's another 4 hours when you're waiting over a day? But that dude in the grey hoody made damn sure he was #1 - just like Marty and I thought we were (and everyone for the next 12 hours who thought they were LOL). So we set up our tent, hung out for a bit - and I caught some Zzzzs. By the next morning, the drama ensued.

This poor bastard got reamed all day when in reality he had a right to be pissed. It won't stop me from laughing at him though. Even that face is classic.
The problem was simple: people were holding places for a BUNCH of people. Whereas me and marty originally thought we were maybe 7 or 8 - ended up we were like 14. Because one dude had 4 cousins that were coming at 10 AM, shit like that. So this guy comes up and wants us to sign a list so he can tell what place he is, but of course since not eveyone is there yet - all our people were like HELL no. So we came up with 16. The Original 16. Or the "OG ONE-SIX BITCHES" as we liked to call ourselves. There were 16 people at the tent, they could count from that point and figure it out.
Only 100 people were guaranteed a system and I kid you not, by 8 AM there were over 100 people in line. That's 16 hours BEFORE the launch. You still had people driving up at noon, thinking "Of course I'm number 1 in line 12 hours early". Nope. You're #130 - good luck.
By 3 PM, a Best Buy Manager finally came out with a list for everyone to sign and everyone had their place. On that list I believe I was 10 with Moose 11.
So what do you do all day? It's funny, the reporters that came to the line acted like we were from another planet. Like it was completely unimaginable that someone could just "hang out" for 24 hours. I failed to see the difference between hangin' out there, or hangin' out at a friend's house all day. We threw the football, played our portable games, talked, played cards, went into Best Buy and played with shit... it was fun. Once you knew everyone around you, you weren't going to lose your place if you ran to Carl's Jr. to get a burger, so it was really laid back. By 3 PM, the TV stations started showin' up and it was a circus.
Being the media whore that I am, I knew that even though I wasn't #1, I was still "that dude in a TENT with a Santa hat on"... I would get interviewed. It worked quite well actually. I ended up being on every local channel, CNBC and in the background of G4, as you'll see in the video. During one of the live broadcasts a lady I worked with at my first mortgage gig called me up within 15 seconds laughing and shit. YOU'RE ON TV!!! LOL. Good times.

As night fell the line actually continued to grow. At last count they were around 350 and we all wondered just exactly what the hell they were thinking. Random celebrities showed up like Eddie George (which Moose and I found quite cool being Columbus born Buckeyes) - and the atmosphere was electric. Radio station pumpin' the tunes, telecasts all over - people EVERYWHERE. And then you realize...there's still 5 more hours. Yes folks, 27 hours in line is a looooooong damn time. No way around it.

But it finally WAS time. They handed out tickets to the first 100, I got #6:
Then, the excitement grew and the line pushed up behind the OG16...
...and we finally went in groups of 7-10. The people at Best Buy were very smart and kept things very orderly. Dude comes out and says point blank: You push, run, are at ALL disruptive - you don't get shit, we revoke the ticket. If you had been in line for a day - you shut up, smiled and stood in line in an orderly fashion.

And the moment came. Yes I waited 27 hours in line for the priviledge of giving Microsoft $432.99. That's CNBC in the background taping me and interviewing me right after I had made the purchase. I'm tellin' you man - the hat was a good idea. I was too tired to stay up until 5 AM to see the package on TV though. I found out I was pretty good at saying great 5 second lines to just about everyone who interviewed me. Being an ex-talk show host has it's perks I guess...

I gave Moose the money to pick up another one which will be great Ebay Fodder. We actually drove past a 9 AM Best Buy launch that I knew had 100 units, and it already had 150 people there so we were able to go home...and go to BED. I did actually plug it in just because the curiosity was killin' me - but I then proceeded to get a BUNCH of sleep and still felt like shit the next day. It's incredible how different 30 is from 20. I guarantee you guys though, I will still be doing this at 40 with my kids. It's just my generation's "thing". And to the OG16 - SUP SUP! Nice meeting you, see you all online, and here's one last shot of all of ya:

It's funny, looking at that group - I can't believe that whiny dude had the balls to bitch about anything. Half of those pictures look like mugshots. Even the kid looks like he'll punch your sister. LOL. Good times.
Must sleep.
PS - here's my GamerCard so you too can see how much of a geek I am 24-7. The 360 actually uploads after every level you complete in a game showing everyone how much you've done, and how "good" you are. It's insanely cool.