Waiting in Line for the iPhone 5s: Canines, Coffee, and Capri-Sun
When I drove up to my nearest AT&T store at 11:45 p.m. last night, I saw three lawn chairs, two of them occupied, and one person standing. The wait had already begun.
Elisa Meléndez Picture courtesy of planned obsolescence.
The distinction of being the first person to get his hands on a shiny new iPhone 5s at that store would be Adam Pascual's. He saved an empty lawn chair for his girlfriend (thus making her #2 in line), who was at their nearby abode showering and taking a quick cat nap. This isn't his first time at the iPhone wait rodeo, evidenced by his well-stocked cooler of drinks and full rotisserie chicken from the Publix a few doors down.
Adam confirmed my suspicions: it was actually his fourth iPhone wait, and the third at this particular location. He likes to remain loyal to the store, as they'd treated them well in years past.
Elisa Meléndez Adam Pascual is Number One for the 5s.
A couple of hours later, Tessa, a German Spitz, showed up with her human, Eddie, in tow. Tessa would be #6 or #5.5, depending on who you asked. Tessa became the official mascot for the line, boosting morale by offering a belly to anyone who'd rub it and performing a series of tricks.
It was not until 4 a.m. that the line became more than a mere handful of people, engaging in discussions ranging from childhood fruit drinks of choice over a shared six-pack of Capri-Suns to next-gen gaming consoles. I even learned a valuable lesson -- turn the Capri-Sun upside down and punch the straw through the bottom for easier beverage access. It was as if a veil had lifted and I could see clearly for the first time.
Elisa Meléndez Tessa and Eddie, the toast of the iPhone line.
Regardless of their stances on Xbox vs. PlayStation or Hi-C vs. Sunny D, the residents of Camp iPhone5s all agreed on one thing: they were more than happy to be here and not at an Apple store, regardless of how long the wait was. When asked to offer up a reason, the chorus shouted:
"Smaller lines!" "Less headaches!" "Are you fucking kidding me?!" "The cops were kind of dicks last year when I went." "We have a DOG!"
This particular location was also perfectly well-suited for a camp-out, as we were flanked by an open-late Ernesto's and a 24-hour CVS. The core group (the first ten people in line) shared snacks and gum, and when one person went to CVS, they'd offer to grab things for anyone that needed them. It was getting pretty kumbaya all up in this strip mall.
Elisa Meléndez HBIC indeed.