Flinging Money at Apple
Board: Apple (AAPL)
So as I posted earlier, Mrs. Goofy and I went to a matinee movies today at 1:00, which let out around 3:00. The theater is just around the corner from the mall, and therefore the Apple Store, and I figured I'd just pop in an see what was what.
It's 3:15 and the doors and closed, there's a gray velveteen curtain across the entire front, and a line of around 15 people in the stanchions out front. It's all very mysterious and dramatic. Mrs. Goofy giggles. We go home and do some whatever.
She has a birthday party dinner date tonight, so as I leave the house I say "I'm going to Kroger's" as I drive away in the opposite direction, back to the mall, where I arrive at 4:50. I walk up to the Apple store, which I notice is allowing people in, even though it's before 5:00, and I think "Good, I won't have to wait very long." And I walk to the end of the line at the stanchions, whereupon the last lady in line says, "Oh, no no, this is not the end of the line, that is the end of the line" and she points all the way down the lane to Sears, at the other end of the hallway.
I was fooled because mall security is keeping a wide gap in the line so "normal" shoppers can get past, and until it's pointed out to me I don't see the hundreds of people standing up one side of the hallway and halfway down the other.
I sigh. Mrs. Goofy has been talking about getting an iPad, and I figured this would be a cool surprise, so I walk to the end of the queue, which is not so far at all, since it is like a snake eating it's own tail, and I fall in line.
After a half-hour or so a cute young thing in a blue T=shirt comes along and says "Josh will be coming behind me, he has 'tickets', so if you know what you want you can get a ticket and if we're already out of them you won't have to stand in line waiting for an iPad that will never come" and I think that's a pretty decent system.
Josh never shows up. We wait in line: an hour, then two, then two-and-a-half, and while we're making progress throughout, we start to hear rumblings that "they're running out." Sure enough, cute-young-thing comes by and says "We're out of AT&T 3G except for the 64gb, we're out of Verizon 3G in 32gb and 64gb" and there's a collective groan from the crowd.
Nobody leaves the line, including me. I go back to my iPhone and continue reading Ken Auletta's "Googled" on the Kindle App. At least I have something to do. As we shuffle along, all the shopkeepers along the mallway come out and yell at us to "keep an aisle open" so their shoppers can get through. I play good citizen and stop short, allowing space for potential shoppers of other stores like Radio Shack, footwear, clothes, etc., during which three hour time I see a total of four. It is a good day to be an Apple shopkeeper, and not so good for anyone else, I guess.
Another half hour goes by, and while I've made it up one wall and half-way down the next, I finally ask someone to hold my place, and I go find Josh, who it turns out is standing at the door chatting up people rather than going down the line as we were told he would. I ask what's left. He says "We're out of everything except wi-fi."
I leave, and as I go, I walk down the remaining line in Paul Revere mode, announcing "The only thing left is wi-fi." People start to ask me questions, as if I know something, which I don't.
Well, what the hey, I'm outta there, and on my way home I remember I'm going for groceries, so I turn down that road, and recall there's a Best Buy just 1/4 mile from the intersection. I proceed, park, and perambulate into the store. The only Best Buy assistant near the Apple products is patiently explaining the features of the MacBook Air to an earnest fellow, who later announces he is in "I.T." and is asking questions that a six-year-old would be able to answer. OK, perhaps I am impatient because I have spent three hours in line elsewhere, and I would really like an iPad if at all possible, Please, AND NOW.
His customer leaves and I manage to make myself next and ask "Got iPad?" He says "No, we're sold out of the 3G I think, but we still have a few wi-fi's. I'll check for you." He does, and comes back from the stockroom saying 'Nope, 3G's all gone. Wifi's only in white. We're getting another shipment Monday, and another Tuesday."
Crap. Oh, I forgot to mention that while waiting for Mr. I.T. to get through Macintosh Kindergarten, I notice an iPad display, a single iPad sitting on a white plastic ring in front of a gigantic iPad poster. It faces a different direction, which is weird, because you'd think it would face into the Apple section, but I manage to see it anyway. And I go and fondle the machine, and I notice that it really is lighter than air, lightning fast, and perfectly proportioned. I want one. Heck, I want two, and maybe one for the dog, as well.
I shall be back on Monday, and if that doesn't work, on Tuesday, and perhaps Wednesday, relentlessly and heedlessly trying to fling my money at Apple until they deign to take it and give me my iPad. Then all I will have to do is fight my wife for it, but at least in that fight I have a chance.
I think. Not sure, really. Maybe I do need two of them.