Just forget the words and sing along

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Meets Small Town Alberta (Or, the Destruction of Expectations)

The Last Copy in Athabasca
So I wake up this morning, and I immediatly go, "Hmm...what am I going to talk about on this week's podcast?" I think that just about every Saturday morning.

As I checked my morning news, I was reminded that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows comes out today. The seventh and final installment in the adventures of that boy wizard. As they've been fond of telling us about it in all the build-up, "Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary tale! In this issue, someone dies!" I was reading about the launch parties across the country...clerks in costume...hightened security so no advance copies got out.

That's when I had a brilliant idea. I grabbed my handy-dandy clip recorder - Clippy, I call her - and hit the streets of Athabasca. I would chronicle Pottermania in Athabasca. Oh, it would be hilarious! Go to the drugstores - the only places in town that really sell new books - ask them about their hightened security, the mobs at midnight, and record their awkward silence. That's comedy gold!

How wrong I was.

I arrived in downtown Athabasca. I hit the streets at 8:30, a half hour before anything opened...and I noticed there were already a half-a-dozen fans camped out in front of Rexall Drugs. Apparently, they'd been there since 6AM.

This lone poster was the biggest splash in Athabasca
I then walked down the street to Value Drug Mart. Value Drug Mart was the only place in town that was making a splash...and by a splash, I mean the lone poster in the window. And there was a father and a daughter standing outside. "Yup, we're out at our cabin on the lake this weekend," the father told me, "and [his daughter] just had to have it. We thought there'd be ridiculous lines...but there's nothing!" At that moment, the store opened up, and I watched them buy the first copy on sale in Athabasca.

I wandered back down the street to Rexall. Yup, they were selling them. They were making no fuss whatsoever. The clerks were hiding them under the counter. YOu wanted one, you had to ask the clerk for it, and they'd produce it from under the counter. It was almost like buying pornography, excpet for the fact that the one customer I spied buying one was a 14-year old girl.

At this point, I wandered over to the only other place in town that might be selling it...Extra Foods. Or, as I still affectionatly refer to it, the seventh circle of Hell. "Not 'till Monday," the surly customer service person told me.

I went back to Value Drug Mart. Value Drug Mart did have a bit tighter security than Rexall. They were keeping it behind the pharmacist's counter, where they keep all the hard drugs. "Can I help you with something?" the parmacist asked.

"Where's the book?" I asked.

She handed me a copy. I snapped that picture you see at the top of this blog entry, and then I handed it back to her.

"Are you sure you don't want it?" the pharmacist asked. "We just got word that Rexall sold out. And that's our last one."

"You mean to tell me...?"

"Yup. That's the last copy in Athabasca."

I write this at 10AM. I'm fairly certain all the stores are sold out now.

Tune in to tomorrow's episode of the Targ for all clips and details!

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