RICHFIELD, Minn. - To what lengths would you go for a $179 flat screen TV? If you are Joe Geary you'd pitch a tent in front of the Richfield Best Buy and wait four days for the opportunity to buy one.
Geary's was among three tents pitched on the sidewalk Tuesday night, as shoppers vied to be first in the door on Black Friday.
Geary, who first started camping for Black Friday specials 15 years ago, now treats his annual camp out as an event. "Sit back and kind of enjoy it," he said.
This year he took three vacation days from work and was especially pleased with the mild weather. "It's been challenging at times, the temperatures have been subzero. This is unbelievable," he said. "Put the Caribbean shirt on, it's like the Caribbean."
Amy Von Walter, a Best Buy spokesperson, said Geary isn't the earliest arrival at a Best Buy store - not even close.
"We had Best Buy stores in San Diego with people in line eight days ago," she said.
Though Best Buy does not encourage the campers, it does benefit from the attention they draw. "We're being extra nice to them of course," said Von Walter.
The same cannot be said by all of Best Buy's other shoppers. "This guy's crazy," said a man from the driver's seat of his car. "All of it is stuff. It's just stuff."
For Charity Ganbaatar it's a little deeper than that. "I'm just being the good wife," she laughed. Ganbaatar's husband is after two of the 40 inch Toshiba televisions Best Buy plans to offer. The couple plans to give them as gifts to family members.
Ganbaatar, who calls herself a Thanksgiving traditionalist, says she finally gave up. "We'll just have to postpone Thanksgiving; we'll do it on Saturday."
Geary plans to purchase one of the televisions for his wife. He says he'll spend several hundred more dollars buying small appliances and electronics he will use as secret Santa gifts for strangers in need.
His answer for people who walk up and question his sanity: "I'll say it's a sale on toilet paper, two ply - great deal."
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