As for the game,...well,...it's a pretty funny story...
I had a lot of change in a tall metal box in my closet. The change had accumulated over the past few months. Whenever I had change, I put it in the box. I dunno what I was saving it for. I guess for just whenever I needed. I decided to buy a computer game. I saw both Tomb Raider and Doom II: Hell on Earth on sale for $9.99.
Sometime after 12:00 PM, on Monday, September 20, 1999, I called up my friend, Mike Rohm, to tell him that I had bought an issue of the Word of Archie (that's our term for the Archie Christian comic books) for him on Friday morning at the flea market. I already had a copy of that issue. He replied, with a sigh: "How can I resist?" I also asked him if he could get a pirated copy of Tomb Raider Gold off the 'Net. He said he didn't know where he could find it. I told him about seeing the games for sale. He said he could probably find Doom II for me, so buying Tomb Raider would be best. We agreed that I'd stop over at his house at about 4:30 PM, on my way to class, and drop off the sacred Archie text. I left my house at about 3:50 PM, ten minutes earlier than usual.
When I got to Mike's house, I gave him the comic. He looked through it for a while. I read parts of it to him for a while. He asked me if I had bought Tomb Raider yet. I said I'll buy it after class. He asked if I could bring it over, so he can copy it. I told him it would be night by then. We went into the living room and asked his mom if I could stop by on my way home and let Mike copy the game (for educational purposes, of course). She laughed and agreed. I stayed at Mike's until about 5:30 PM. The last few minutes were spent outside, discussing the Word of Archie. I then went to school at the CFCC main campus in Ocala.
My "Quantitative Methods" class usually runs to 8:30 PM, but Chapter 4 was short, so the teacher let us out at about 7:30 PM. It was raining a bit when I walked out to my car. It was really pouring while I was driving to the Paddock Mall. It's a short drive, though - almost right across the highway.
I parked the car closer to JC Penney than usual. As I walked into the store, soaking wet, I was afraid someone would stop me. Carrying a box labeled "CAROLANS Finest IRISH CREAM" is a bit suspicious. I went to Waldenbooks to check out the comics first. I didn't get any. I then made my way to the Electronics Boutique. I was afraid a security guard would stop me because of the box I was carrying. No one did.
Upon entering the Electronics Boutique, I went to the back shelf (right side) and snatched up Tomb Raider. I also saw a Lara Croft jungle action figure for $9.99, but I didn't get it.
I waited by the counter. The guy standing behind it was talking with someone else. While still talking, he put Tomb Raider in a bag and placed it on the counter. I stared at it in surprise. Was he giving it to me for free? Did he think I had already paid? Nope. He and another guy finally gave me their attention. One of their names was Josh. One of them rang up the purchase and told me the total was $10.59 ($9.99 plus tax).
I took a one-dollar bill out of my wallet, placed it on the counter, and said "I hope you don't mind, but I'm paying for this mostly with coins." It was fine by them. I tried to open the metal box. Finally, I got the lid off (the lid was broken).
Now I need to explain something important. That morning, I had $8.80 in the box. I know, because I keep close track of the coins. Then I added in two quarters, one dime, and one nickel. That was an extra $0.65, for a total of $9.45.
I poured all the coins on the counter and told them that there was $10.65 there (the dollar bill plus the coins). It was really $10.45, but I forgot momentarily and said $10.65 by mistake.
They stared at the coins, and I asked them if they wanted me to count it. One of them replied "They'll have to be counted eventually." So, one of them counted up the coins. Here's the best part. He counted it up as $10.65! He actually gave me six cents back! I bought Tomb Raider for $10.39! The receipt (printed out at 7:54 PM), reads $10.59. Oh, well!
After I left the store, I went back to Waldenbooks to see if I could find a Tomb Raider strategy guide. I couldn't. But I did find a magazine that told that Tomb Raider 4 was coming out soon! I stood there and read the article for a few minutes, then left the store. I went out to the parking lot. The rain had stopped.
I got to Mike's house around 8:30 PM. I showed Mike the game. His mom asked me if I wanted something to drink. I chose Great Bludini Kool-Aid. I told Mike and his mom about how I bought the game and saved ten cents. (It's only now that I'm typing this that I realize I saved twenty cents.) Taking my drink, I went back into Mike's room with him. Mike opened the box (he had to use scissors to cut the pieces of tape).
After searching through the contents of the box, Mike put the CD in his CD-ROM drive and installed the game on his computer. His played it for a while and found it cool. All the while, a video was playing on Mike's TV. It was like "This is Spinal Tap", but it was about a rap group. Then Lara died. Mike exited the game.
At one point, I mentioned the new Tomb Raider comic book series that was gonna come out soon. He said something like "Ooh, really? This is a cool game."
He then got a blank CD and copied the game for himself (to try out, so he'll know what he's getting when he purchases the game in the store). I left Mike's house at about 9:30 PM. But before I left, Mike copied for me a novelization of the original 1980 script for "Back to the Future". It's weird!
The next morning, I played Tomb Raider for the first time. It rocks! Lara is one of my favorite computer game heroes, and I got her for twenty cents less than her usual price!
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