Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's All About Nintendo, Of Course...

This past Saturday was an open house at the Personal Computer Museum. We called it our "Father's Day" open house since it was part of Father's Day weekend. I know there are a lot of Dad's out there who would love nothing more than to geek out at our place for a few hours and so I encourage people who have Dad's like this to bring them out. One particular family I am thinking about did just exactly that and spent the better portion of the day with us.

On Sunday I was catching up on some e-mail and received one in regards to the museum. It was asking about us being open on Father's day. "Did I miss it? Did I dream it? I can't find anything about it on your website!" he said. No, because the next day the website automagically updates and shows only FUTURE open houses. I wrote back to the mysteriously named "PRH" and told him that our open houses were only Saturday's and that it was the weekend we were referring to, not the actual day. He politely grumbled back and said that he hoped to have another chance to come out in October.

Later that same day I was spending some time with my best friend Scott. I was cataloging some software for the museum and he was testing some LCD monitors that had been donated. Part of testing these things is of course to put them into actual, daily use and so he sat down at a computer with one of these monitors connected and starting surfing. His web pointer went to Kijiji and somehow he ended up looking at the video game stuff. He called me over in excitement. "Check this out! I don't think you have one of these do you?"

There it was. The Atomic Orange (or Fire Orange as the seller called it) Nintendo 64. Not only that, it came with the box (and styrofoam) and even a copy of the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (my all time favourite game). He wanted $60 for it - a bit pricey, but ....hey, it's hard to find systems like that in this condition. He was also located in Simcoe which is around a 45 minute drive. However, it turns out that Scott works there and by the postal code literally around the corner from this guy. I told Scott I would see if he would take $50 for it and Scott agreed to pick it up from the guy on his way to work.

I went back to my desk as Scott continued to delve into the mysterious world of used goods. He called out to me a bit later and said he found a guy with two WaveBirds for sale. The WaveBird, if you don't know, is a wireless first-party controller for the GameCube but has become even more ridiculous to find as of late because it's also great for the Wii. We have gotten accustomed to wireless this console generation and wired controllers can sometimes be hard to go back to. "That's probably Chris that has those" I yelled back at him. Knowing that Scott wanted some WaveBirds, I purchased one from Chris just the month prior and gave it to Scott as a gift.

Chris lucked out in arriving at our local Liquidation World (recently purchased by Big Lots) one time when the old Nintendo truck drove up and dumped its load of unwanted GameCube memory cards and shovelware titles. Along for the ride however, was a treasure trove of WaveBirds all new in the package that ended up falling into Chris' hands for a mere $10 each. Chris has been doling them out like the golden ticket and his ad indicated he had only two left.

As luck would have it, I had *just* been in contact with Chris the day before. He said he had a couple of computers he wanted to donate to the museum and I told him to come out Monday evening because that's our usual drop off night. I sent him a quick message asking him to to bring a WaveBird if he had any left with him, and that I knew the price was $60 from his ad. Keep in mind - I never did confirm the ad on Kijiji was his I just assumed. Scott told me he would grab me the cash when he left but in the end we both forgot and we always settle up later.

Monday morning arrived with its usual amount of stresses. Things needed resetting and propping up, computers need rebooting and cuddling and people tend to have forgotten how to use their keyboards over the weekend. I checked my e-mail from time to time, looking for that reply to see if I was going to be able to land this great find for my collection (I already have the Pikachu and Gold Nintendo 64's but having another one still pleases me to no end). Near the end of the day, it finally chimed into the inbox - the e-mail I had been waiting for.

"I have four people interested at $60 and I am waiting for calls. If none end up wanting to come to Simcoe for it in the next couple of days, I will email you."

Well if that just isn't a kick in the nuts. I suddenly had a vision of Conker's Bad Fur Day and my heart sank a little as I knew I'd never be experiencing it on the "Fire Orange" Nintendo. The seller's note left me with a small opening to negotiate however. It was pretty clear that the price was going to be $60, but a lot of people won't bother driving out to Simcoe for a variety of reasons. Some say it's the smell but for me personally I've had a hard time getting a good cup of coffee down there. Regardless, I wrote back and told this guy that my buddy works right near him and that he would be there the next day, cash in fist - all $60 of it. As I hit the send button I couldn't help but sense something familiar...almost like a disturbance in the Force.

My friend Chris arrives in the evening with the two computers and the WaveBird! He hadn't replied to my earlier message so I wasn't sure if he even had one or could bring it. We went to the bank and I retrieved his $60. I asked him about the ad and he said when he posted it a couple of months ago he was down to his last two and that someone who was vacationing from "somewhere" picked up one and now this last one has remained. He can now delete the ad.

After closing up the museum and checking my e-mail I received another reply from the Nintendo 64 seller. "No wonder I missed the Father's Day open-house, I have been a bit obtuse lately. I didn't realize that you were the same Syd from the computer museum." As I looked at the e-mail, it was indeed from "PRH" - the same person who I had a brief e-mail exchange with on Sunday about the museum. What are the odds? As soon as he realized who I was, he said that for sure to send my buddy over to get the system and he further elaborated that the Nintendo 64 sale was for his daughter which was partly why he was staying firm on the price. He then indicated he also had a small palmtop computer he would like to donate to the museum (which we don't have) and that Scott could get that too, at the same time.

As I tried to wrap my head around this strange coincidence and clearly inevitable connection to PRH (whose name is Peter by the way) my mind was further warped as I sent to the details via a text message to Scott. I thought about getting the money to him and then I realized that he owed me $60 for the WaveBird anyways, so he could just pay that to PRH for the Nintendo 64. BING.

It blows me away that the Nintendo 64 came from someone who had a connection with me earlier the same day, that the WaveBird Scott wanted was going to arrive from someone I knew and was already coming to visit me anyways, and that both transactions were $60 and most importantly - they were both for Nintendo products. It is one of those things that starts as a simple coincidence but then grows larger. Really, it's like a Seinfeld episode although not nearly as funny. Oh Nintendo, look what you've done now.