Friday, October 2, 2009

"The Great Hamster Race '09" or "The Things We Do"

What is everyone waiting for?

Zhu Zhu Pets... maybe you've seen the ads on television. They're these little battery-operated hamster toys that squeak and run around. Word on the street is these babies are the hot holiday item.
We're not that hip. We just happened to strike up a friendly conversation with our local Toys 'r' Us manager, Oscar, last week. Oscar told us that our particular TRU location gets a shipment of just 48 hamsters each Friday morning, and that there's a line out the door before they open at 10am. They've imposed a "4 Hamsters per Customer" policy. Last week the hamsters were gone in less than fifteen minutes.
You'd think that story might deter some folks. But this morning, Michael hopped up and headed out to the hunt. He texted me that he was second in line, behind a grandpa. So I called his dad, who in turn called his sister and mom. I loaded up the baby girls as quickly as I could (Wait, did I brush my teeth? Quick tongue scan... Yup, I'm good) and showed up just as the other Hansens arrived to wait it out in our various spots in line (no, we did not "cut" or "save spotsies").

I didn't know how to explain to Sophie what on earth the rush was all about, so I told her we were going on a special mission to save Daddy at the toy store. I shouldn't have been so dramatic; when we got out of the car, she asked if the other people in line were "the bad guys" that we needed to save Daddy from. Then again, after our experience, maybe it wasn't too far from the truth...
Here are the two cousins waiting in line. I may have brushed my teeth, but I certainly didn't brush Sophie's hair.

I couldn't take any photos during the actual melee. I was runnin' and gunnin'. You see, they opened the doors promptly at 10, and the first of us in line started in orderly. All of a sudden, desperate lame-os in the back of line sent their KIDS running past all of us! So of course, with the ante raised, we all started hoofing it. Michael grabbed as many as he could, but one was snatched right out of his hands by some lady. Grrr. His dad and I didn't get any at all. Even carrying my baby, I was getting pushed around. Insanity.
Grandpa Guy in front of Michael grabbed more than his quota, but it was understandably because he didn't know which colors he was supposed to get. So while he was waiting for like two seconds for his wife to help him, these VULTURE ladies descended on him, yelling at him and eventually reaching in and grabbing toys out of his basket violently. It was horrible! He was finally left alone to go to the registers, and he was nice enough to give one of his extras to me.
The hamsters come with all of these accessories, little tubes and wheels for hours of enjoyment. Post-race, we had a family conference in aisle 9. Michael's sister examines the goods...

With our crew, we could have snagged four each for a total of 20. We ended up with seven (thanks for your donation to our cause, poor Grandpa Guy). But with only two toddlers between us, why on earth would we need so many hamsters? KSL, I say. They're going for three times their value online at the moment, and it is only October. I wonder if I'm savvy enough.
Below is a group shot after we finally got through the registers, after we were approached by other dejected customers hoping for our extras, and after one of the vulture ladys' husbands came up to us to try to justify her poor behavior with "Can you believe that old man? We had to steal one right out of his basket!" Yeah, dude. Hope you feel awesome giving that to your kid (who, ironically, was randomly pushing Sophie in line pre-Race) on Christmas morning.
This photo-- with harried parents and grandfather, baby in carrier, two antsy toddlers on the move, and big bags in hand -- just about sums it up.

See you next Friday morning...


Katie said...

Hilarious post! (And as soon as I'm done laughing, I am looking up the nearest Toys r Us...)

Laura said...

Wow, that's crazy! Don't you live in Zion where everyone should be giving and charitable? J/K