2013-08-31 23:39:00 +0000 - Written by Carl Burks

After spending 24 hours waiting to be one of the 50 first customers at Topper’s Pizza in Conway, AR the count down clock finished. We all lined up and placed our orders. One of the “rules of the contest” was the first customers had to make at least a $10 purchase. I went with the half pound of BBQ boneless wings. The free food came in a simple nondescript white box. 52 business card sized date stamped coupons for free food. Roughly half of them were for their free cheesesticks. Their version of a personal pizza and specialty cheesesticks made up the remaining coupons. Since I was first in line beating my friend by a few minutes I had the “honor” of becoming the “king of the line”. The Log Cabin Democrat wrote an article about the  store grand opening and featured my kingly attire.

So what did I do for twenty four hours in line?  The best way to pass time is with your friends. I had two  of my friends close in line and that made the time fly. Waiting with others you begin to make new connections you normally wouldn’t. I met a few of the CompSci grad students at UCA. I even ran into a few people CosPlaying. Power Ranger, The Crow, and others provided amusement. A few games passed the time as we waited. A Pictionary-esque  game allowed me to team up with the “White Ranger” and we  began to guess. We didn’t win, but a  good time was had. Coca-cola sunglasses were the consolation prize. Music for the event was provided by a local DJ firm. They were great, playing requests from the crowd. Eventually we played a song guessing game and I won another drink tumbler. In the slow periods I kept alert by reading. I stopped off at the Faulkner County Library before I went and picked up two books. One was a large tome from the author of “Snow Crash” and the other was a small paperback copy of one of John Steinbeck’s lesser read stories. The larger of the two books was unwieldy and did not fit in my backpack. I also brought a deck of playing cards and we played a few games. Several of the people in line brought games as well. A Bat Cave Card and Comics regular brought a stack of games including one of my favorites “RoboRally” . Others played Lord of the Rings Risk, and others played non traditional “camp style” games. One of these games the player would name a movie title and the next player had to name another movie that started with the last letter of the previously named movie. After thirty seconds you were out.

Regular line checks kept people from sleeping for too long. Wristbands with the line position kept order. As we waited the line grew and shrank with some people leaving after mere hours. The marketing team from Toppers were great keeping the crowd alert and in high spirits. A group of the crowd played Frisbee, Hacky sack and simple catch. Others merely danced with the music. One of the crowd had a bicycle and road up and down the line. A few brought skateboards. One of the crowd nearby performed card tricks.

It was a blast!