I was not perturbed by the new signs on the door, I knew we had secret knowledge of the inner inventory workings and shipment schedules of this place.
There were 7 of us out there, and not long after I arrived, a sales associate came out to let everyone know that the shipment had come in, and there were 9 accessory packs for the zhu zhus on the truck, and nothing else. None of those elusive little battery eaters, just their cozy habitrail homes. But since we'd gotten the hampsters, and no accessories, I took my #5 ticket gladly, and continued to wait for the store to open.
It was a friendly group, and we chatted about the history of parental torture known as the "it" toy, from Furbies to Cabbage Patch kids, and now Zhu Zhu pets. Which, not surprisingly for an $8 toy, have a tendency to break. Which is fine. When it was an $8 toy. Now it's a $40 toy built like an $8 toy.
The 9 tickets were spoken for, and a few other people arrived and left empty-handed. The conventional wisdom of the group was that you just have to hit Walmart or Target at the right time. And then the doors opened, and we got our boxes, and proceeded through the maze of aisles to the checkout counter on the other side of the store. As we did so, I realized something. I turned to one of my new friends and exclaimed,
"WE are the hampsters!"