I just got back from Wal-Mart, where I went to pick up my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When I arrived, the parking lot seemed somewhat busier than I expected at 11:30 PM, though there was no mass group of people waiting around anywhere as I expected. I finally found the line of people (a third of which looked as if they didn’t even know how to read) in the Electronics department, where the employees were preparing to hand out the books.
Read that again. They were selling the BOOKS in the ELECTRONICS department. Mindboggling.
The employees really dressed up for the occasion, too. The three that were working the book line were dressed in shorts and t-shirts. One lady had a faded tattoo that read “J.M.” on her arm and she was particularly enthusiastic about handing out her Harry Potter bracelets.
I got a green Slytherin one; these were supposed to guarantee that you would have a book when you got to the front of the line. The problem was no one was explaining this to you until you got to the front of the line unless you had a nice person in line in front of you who already knew by accident and shared that bit of info with you.
I was behind at least 75 people and took about 45 minutes to get my book. I also got a free poster and got to keep my bracelet. I watched a woman give a girl $20 for her bracelet and then saw the girl walk up and ask for another from tattoo chick, which she got for free. So, basically, her book was paid for by some poor sap who could have just as easily walked up and asked herself if only there was some sort of communication to the customer about what the hell was going on.
I’m home now and the book is long. I was planning to read some of it tonight to get a jump so I don’t have to avoid the Internet all week for fear of reading spoilers; problem is after this Wal-Mart ordeal I’m too tired.