So I’m strolling through the mall (mostly to get out of the rain), minding my own business, when suddenly I pass in front of the video game shop:

Store Manager: Excuse me, young man!

Me: Yes?

Store Manager: You asked about Wii pre-orders earlier, right?

Me: Yep, thats right.

Store Manager: We started taking them today.

Me: Oh, lovely.  Can I put one in?

Store Mananger: Certainly.  What is your name and telephone number?

Me: Patrick McKenzie, 555-1234-5678. 

Store Manager: OK.  Would you like a call on release day?

Me: You’ve got to be kidding me.  I mean, no, I won’t need the call, thank you. 

Store Manager: OK then.

Me: …

Me: So this is the point where you ask me to sign up for a $500 bundle including $200 of games that you would not otherwise be able to sell and pay all of it as a deposit, right?

Store Manager: Oh, you silly Americans and your sense of humor.

Me: Wait, you mean you let me pre-order just the console, without putting any money down, and you guarantee that it will be available on launch day?  And this for the hottest product this year, which folks are probably pitching tents for as we speak in downtown Tokyo, the level of anticipation for which is so high that South Park made an episode about one of their characters wanting to by cryogenically frozen to avoid having to wait for a month?

Store Manager: I’m sorry sir, I hadn’t realized you didn’t know what “pre-order” meant.

Me: I guess I didn’t.  Thanks for clearing that up.