Our grizzled line-waiting reporter dusts off his portable chargers for one last score.

He said he was done…

That angry Pikachu above is none other than our launch-event addict, Mr. Sato, after having been snubbed by his phone company, Docomo, during the launch of the iPhone7 last year. Barred from the launch presentation and even unable to purchase the phone because it was out of stock, Mr. Sato vowed to no longer support these events with his lighthearted shenanigans.

He had foregone the iPhone8 altogether, instead following his friend and fellow line-waiter Butch (a.k.a. Big Wave) over at rival telecom giant SoftBank. Mr. Sato watched and shook his head because despite being first in line and waiting for three days, Butch was denied the first iPhone8 because it had been decided by lottery – clearly an attempt to dissuade lining-up.

Nevertheless, Butch’s spirit was indomitable and he promised to return a month later for the release of the iPhoneX. His optimism, combined with the unprecedented nature of the iPhoneX, made Mr. Sato consider returning one last time.

The iPhoneX was to be Apple’s most expensive phone yet. Surely if they want it to be a success at such a price, they’ll have to promote it heavily, and that means an extravagant launch ceremony!

So, at dusk just before Halloween night, while thousands flocked to the huge party in Shibuya, Mr. Sato instead brought his camping gear out of storage and took the long and lonely road to the Marunouchi Docomo shop.

The evening grew colder, and by midnight a strong wind had blown into the empty streets of Ginza. Luckily, Mr. Sato was a veteran and had brought a sleeping bag with an extra silver-colored lining to retain his body heat.

There he lay, checking his social media accounts and the weather report for the next day. It was supposed to be a few degrees colder then, and our writer began to second-guess his decision. The fear that this would once again all be for nothing crept in.

The next evening, on 1 November, Mr. Sato got someone to hold his place in line and went to the SoftBank store. Sitting on the sidewalk in front of the doors was a familiar two-toned mohawk and color-tinted sunglasses.

Wearing only a tank-top, Big Wave happily practiced guitar while reading tablature from his new iPhone8 precariously perched on his lap.

Although also a seasoned line-up vet, Butch took none of the cold weather precautions that Mr. Sato had. His beefy bare arms seemed to be getting warmth purely from the glow of Big Wave’s youthful spirit. He greeted Mr. Sato and then took an imaginary phone call from his grandmother.

It was just the boost Mr. Sato needed, but he had to get back to his spot in front of the Docomo store before it was too late.

As he passed the cold grey facade of the Apple Store, Mr. Sato wondered what lay in store for him on the morning of 3 November. Would he be greeted by the corporate elite and celebs like in the good old days, or would this be another kick in the pants administered by Docomo and SoftBank in recent years?

Rumors indicate that the phone will be in stock this time, and no one from the shop has attempted to politely dissuade him from camping out there, so with two more cold nights ahead, at least things were looking slightly promising…

Photos: SoraNews24
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