Thursday, March 10, 2016

Back in the Outlet Groove.

After two and a half years I finally returned to the Goodwill outlet store, and boy what a return it was. A few months ago it was announced that they had opened a Goodwill outlet store closer to my house, which filled me with nostalgia and excitement of getting back into the treasure hunt. Yesterday was the day, the day to get back into the swing and reward myself for facing anxiety and attempting to put it in it's place, and get my Goodwill outlet groove back.

The day started out with disappointment as the first Goodwill store I stopped at only had an overpriced DS soft case that only interested me because of the pair of stylus inside. I wasn't about to pay $6 for a case I didn't want, nor was I about to become an asshole and pocket the stylus, so I walked away defeated. After lunch at Hardee's, the big chicken sandwich by the way is AWESOME, the day cracked open and laid forth it's bounty of goods.

The second Goodwill store seemed barren, not a good deal in sight, until I looked down at the lowest shelf in the electronics and saw a Wii Fit Plus box. The box was wrapped in tape like a mummy, seemingly covered in blood stains, and it was HEAVY, which is a good sign that the Wii Fit board would be inside. I found the manager and asked him to cut the box open for me so I could take a look inside, just to make sure what I would potentially be purchasing be worth the $10 they were asking. As I peaked inside the box my heart sank to see that there was no Wii Fit board, but the rest of the goodies inside were definitely worth the price! Needless to say I bought it without a second though.

With my blood stained box of miscellaneous Wii parts safely packed into the vehicle it was time to finally go to the only Gamestop within 100 miles that had Lunar Dragon Song. I've been wanting this for a long time, as I've had the case and manual for the game, which I found at the outlet store, for many, many years. As I stepped into the store, my eyes quickly scanned the store and found the manila envelopes Gamestop keeps them in. My anxiety was already fucking with me all day, and the last thing I wanted to do was search through, literally, hundreds of these little envelopes to find a DS games. I had gone through at least 90% of their loose DS stock before I finally found it. After my purchase it was only a quick jaunt over to the next Goodwill store, which is literally just behind Gamestop.

Goodwill store stop number three seemed pretty barren as well. Tons of VHS tapes, tons of CDs and DVDs, and enough PS2 and original Xbox sports titles to build a bullet proof fort. Back in the electronics section was an old lady trying to get a small portable TV to pick up any signal, in vain because all TV signals are now digital, poor thing. Apart from the screaming children, who should have been in school, and the old people trying every single electronic device they could turn on, the store was a complete bust. Or was it?

As the crowd of unintelligible screaming children were cleared from the toy section and cornered into the clothes, which helps muffle their unrest, I took a crack at seeing what items I could find in the aftermath of their tornado. The first thing I found was a tiny piano with what appeared to be a GBA game attachment at the top, so for laughs I decided to pick it up and call it the Nintendo DS's Miracle Piano. (Video game humor) As I kept digging I found what was to be my favorite find of the day. There it was, sitting upon the shelf, looking at me and waiting for me to take it home, clean it and give it a good home. I've wanted one of these for years, and now was my chance to finally own one. At only $1.99, I knew that this purchase wasn't going to slip through my hands, and I actually proclaimed out loud "Mine!", as I snatched it off the shelf and checked the price tag. A Nintendo Wii Classic Controller Pro.

Next up was the trip to the outlet store. My nerves and anxiety were at their peak, but I wasn't about to let that stop me from at least giving this Goodwill outlet store a thorough checking out. Within the first few minutes of checking I found a green Afterglow Wii remote. After that came some empty video game cases, followed by a Dazzle DVC-170 for video game capture. What happened next was unexpected, and my reaction to it was even more unexpected. I had an internal struggle to stop myself, but I was too determined. With the flow of the day going the way they already had, this was now my chance, this was another item I had wanted, albeit for a short time.

Just as I had done with my NES top loader from another Goodwill outlet, from beneath a ton of miscellaneous stuff came a Nintendo Wii Fit Board. I was stunned, it was heavy and as I carried the behemoth up to see how much it weighed I made a choice in my mind that there was no way I was going to pass this up. Sure it was $9 and I could have found a better deal at another time, but I had just picked up the Wii Fit Plus box earlier and there was absolutely no way I was going to pass this up. I tried to stop myself and use my frugal mind, but I felt myself blocking such thoughts. Blind determination and the same will power I used to block out the anxiety had now locked me into the purchase of a $9 video game peripheral I have only used once, to make sure it worked. Even so, I still feel like it was destined to happen that way, and there was no other way it could or should have happened.

Everything cleaned up quite well and functions as it should. The only dud of the day is currently the Afterglow Wii remote, which seems to be a common issue, but for the outlet store price I really can't complain. Whether I fix it or part it out, I'm sure there is a reason I current own it, it's just not currently known. The Wii Fit resides within the box, which is now 99% clean of it's blood/juice and tape residue. The Wii remote that was inside the box had some batteries corroding inside, which cleaned up really well, but it does work.

I'm excited to go back to the outlet store and see what else I can find. With the serendipity of the day proving that there is a reason to some of the madness within one's life, you just need to push through and make things happen. Sure the anxiety was extremely rough, and like a scolded child it still is, but the prizes of the day were both physical items and reassurance that I can do this, and I will do this more often.

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