Misadventures in Funcoland: Gotta Catch Your Breath

July 24, 2009


Store: Sterling Heights
Notable Gaming Release: Pokemon Jungle Expansion Packs

So this story takes place the day after my last story about the brawl that ensued in front of the store.  It’s pretty much the same setup as the day before… I’m bored out of my fucking mind playing QIX and I’ve got yesterdays events still fresh in my head.  I kinda hoped that I would see the return of the family from yesterday, if only to find out what happened to the two kids in the end.  It also woulda been cool to have the mom apologize for breaking the door and for the crazy behavior of her kids that no doubt comes from a lack of solid parenting, but alas, I did not get such a treat.

Here is what I got.  This story actually does start out just the same way.  I’m playing my game, back to the front door, which if you haven’t read my previous post, is being held closed by two pieces of puffy two way tape since the hydrolic door closer is broken.  Also just like yesterday, I hear the sound of little feet running, so I pause up my game, close up the GXTV, and get ready for it.

Few seconds after I turn around, what looks like a 10 year old boy comes running up to the door alone.  Expecting him to fling the door open has me sadly let down.  While yes he does rip the door open with all his force, he grabs it and closes it behind him, I’m a little amazed.  He comes running up to the counter and I toss my greeting at him, and this is when it gets interesting.

The kid looks like he’s hyperventilating, breathing rapidly and can’t seem to catch his breath.  He’s leaning on the counter with one hand, and has the other hand on his chest and tries to speak.

10YearOld “Do you… Do you… Do… Do you…” is really all he could get out.  Rather than typing it all out every time, just imagine that this line is said between gasping breathes, repeating about every 5 seconds.  At this point, he’s got both of his hands leaning on the counter, remember… repeating.

Me “Hey kid, you ok?”  and I ask him this a couple times in various ways.  Finally, and this is maybe 2 minutes after he came flying in the store, his mom finally comes in.  She walks over and see’s her son bout to pass out and doesn’t even seem to phased by it.

Mom “Jimmy, do they have it?”

And again, he repeats the line, barely able to even get that out.

Mom “Jimmy, are you ok?  Calm down.”

And again, Jimmy can only get out his usual couple of words.  Finally Mom decides to take the reigns…

Mom “Do you have any Pokemon cards?

Me “Yes we do.”

At this point, Jimmy suddenly gets worse, I don’t even know how to describe the sound he is making at this point.  It’s almost like he’s screaming with each inhale and exhale.

Mom “Jimmy, calm down sweetie!  Are you ok?”

Jimmy nods yes while still hyperventilating.

Mom “Which ones do you have?”

Me “Well we have all the normal starter sets and add on backs, and we just got the Jungle packs on yesterday.”

Jimmy again, goes even more nuts.  Aside from ramping up his insane breathing, Jimmy has now dropped down to one knee, with one hand still gripping the counter.

Mom “Jimmy, I’m not buying you anything until you calm down!”

Me “Does he have asthma or something?”

Mom “No!  I’ve never seen him do this before!”

At this point, I’m starting to freak out.  I’m expecting this kid is gonna die in my store.  So I run to the back and grab a folding chair and a cup of water for the kid.  When I come back out, he’s sitting on the floor with his head between his knees and leaning up against the counter.  After a few cups of water and about 15 minutes, he finally gets his breathing back down to a semi normal level.

Mom “Ok, we’ll take 2 Jungle and 2 regular packs”

And Jimmy begins to start up again but mom shoots him a quick glance and he calms down a bit.  So Mom pays for the packs and I hand them to Jimmy without even putting them in a bag.  And here is my favorite part…

As Jimmy and his mom are leaving the store, Jimmy is hugging the cards to his chest, jumping in the air and clicking his heels together saying “I’m the HAPPIEST boy in the WORLD!” several times as they leave.

I don’t wanna make all of these stories about Pokemon, but god knows I’ve got plenty.  I remember during my time at Funcoland shortly after Pokemon came out, we would get this thing called the PokeCrack Report that came every couple of weeks.  I can’t recall if it was something that Funcoland sent out or if it was part of the trade magazines we would get, but it would outline all the craziness.  I think my favorite story revolved around a pair of brothers, somewhere down south like say… Texas.  The boys were really young, like 6 and 9.  This is important to remember because the way the story goes is this…

While the brothers’ parents were gone and had left them home alone (who leaves a 9 and a 6 year old home alone?!), the brothers broke into a floor safe hidden under their parents bed and stole $3,000.  What did they spend that $3,000 on you might ask?  Well if you said Pokemon shit, you are correct.  There are so many questions that I wanted answered about this.

1.  What kind of parents leave kids that young home alone?

2.  How did they break into the safe?

3.  Wouldn’t the store owner find it a little weird two kids that young coming in with $3,000 and buying all that shit.

4.  Why the hell is there $3,000 worth of Pokemon shit to buy!?

I’d like to think that after all these years that shit has died down, but I still see all sorts of new Pokemon shit popping up.  Nintendo is a marketing juggernaut, don’t even let anyone tell you different.


One comment

  1. I love your funcoland stories, brings back memories of the good old days in gaming (not that there’s anything wrong with gaming now).

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