Dr. Wiilove or: How I learned to stop being an adult and start buying game consoles for myself

Ok, I know that the age limit on requesting video games for Christmas doesn’t extend into your 20s, but dammit if I didn’t really, really want the Wii this year. Went so far as to cajole Ana’s coworkers and their spouses into lobbying her to buy me one. But, alas, on Dec. 25 the only console under the tree was a Playstation 2 for the triplets — just not the same thing.

And so, being the obsessive, infantile person that I am — and given that this is the slowest week of the year at work — I set my mind to purchasing one on the 26th. Only problem? The console is completely sold out in Westchester. Actually, the first thing that turned up when I started Googling “where to buy Wii” was an article about supply shortages, which said that stores wouldn’t start getting new ones until March. Nooooo.

But I wasn’t quite ready to give up. I searched a dozen or so message boards, called around, and then visited a dozen stores after work. Still no dice. At some point I stumbled onto a site called iTrackr, which claimed to be:

The only tracking service that sends you an instant notification when the hottest and hardest to find products, like the Playstation 3 or Tickle Me Elmo TMX, are in stock at your favorite local retailers.

Sounded like it was worth a shot. I signed up, paid their $1.99 tracking fee, and then waited for the good news to roll in. Bingo: the first search turned up 1 store in my area with Wii in stock. Unfortunately, when I called, they were already out of stock.

So I resumed calling, searching the internet, and grinding my teeth. I’d all but given up when I arrived at work yesterday and there was a message from iTrackr in my Inbox:

Before you can say “early lunch hour” Ana and I were down in Mt. Vernon, picking up my Wii at Target. When I called to double-check that it was in stock, the store clerk sounded shocked; they hadn’t even put the new Wii boxes on the floor yet. And sure enough, I was the first one to inquire about the shipment.

Afterwards, one of my colleagues at The Journal News, Allison Bert, posted about my quest on her blog, The Cost of Living. And then later in the day I got an email confirming that all of the store’s 22 Wiis sold out by 3:12 pm. You snooze you lose.

Anyway, I’m a very happy boy now with my Wii. Although I haven’t been able to get a second controller to go head-to-head with Ana (iTrackr hasn’t been much help with that), I’ve been happily boxing my own virtual TurkeyMonkey, playing tennis with four Ted clones, and practicing my golf stroke.

Now if only I could make good on my Suburbarazzi promise to take on Ang Lee at the bowling alley …