There is not a word in the English language strong enough to fully encompass my utter loathing of Gamestop. I can’t stomach them. I can’t stand their upper management, their store management, their stupid employees, or anyone who has at any time willfully had anything to do with this chop-shop of video game retailers. This is one of the things that has been hard-wired into my DNA over the last few years. It is Pavlovian; mention Gamestop and my heart rate increases, the adrenaline flows, and I’m ready to bite someone’s head off. If I woke up tomorrow to find out that there were no more Gamestop stores anywhere on the face of the earth, not only would all life on the planet positively benefit, but then those storefronts could be used for something that had less of a negative impact on our culture; like a crack house.

I know this, logically. I understand this about myself. That’s why I have no idea what came over me the other day when we were at this unfamiliar mall and I spotted a Gamestop. In what could only be described as not only a lack of reasoning – but a full-on bout of temporary insanity – I turned to my wife and said, “Let’s go in here for a second.”

And God help me, we went in. Against every fiber of my being and my wife’s pleading. Perhaps it was the Gamecube I recently acquired. I wanted a cheap used game for it. I was getting to the end of Super Mario Sunshine, and my wife wanted something else that looked like a game she would watch me play. How could I turn that down?

So we went in, and we eventually settled on a copy of Luigi’s Mansion for $14.99. It was a rip-off, I know. This particular game had probably been sold by Gamestop already 3 or 4 times. But we were on vacation, dammit. Something weird happens when you are on vacation. You make bad decisions with money. Not that I’m justifying anything here.

Anyway, I take the game up to the counter, and pull out a twenty. The counter monkey rings up the game, and then pulls a different game package out from behind the counter. I notice this package has a price tag of $12.99 on it. The counter monkey quickly rips off the sticker and tells me “$15.89 with tax and everything”.

“Wait a minute,” I tell him, jokingly. “I saw the $12.99 sticker on it! You can’t fool me.”

“Yeah, well that one was behind the counter,” said the moron.

“Well…” I’m a bit confused now. For one thing, why would the price go up on a used game? “I think you should give me the game for $12.99, since you’re selling me the copy behind the counter.”

“Yeah well,” this asshole started getting that snarky, Gamestop Smirk on his face now. “We don’t change the prices of the games behind the counter.” I was getting angrier. My synapses started firing correctly and I was beginning to remember why I hated this place.

I blinked. “Why don’t you change the prices of the games behind the counter?” I asked.

Here’s the kicker: “‘Cause it’s like… a pain in the rear.”

I wanted to strangle this moron. Slowly.

“Why would you even increase the price on a used game?” I asked.

The moron shrugged his shoulders and just stood there. “That’s bullshit,” I said as I grabbed my money and walked out of the store.

Later, my wife told me, “If at any time in the future, for any reason whatsoever, you walk into a Gamestop ever again, I will physically drag you from the store.”

I love my wife.

Epilogue: I purchased the same used game on Amazon for $7.89 (plus $3.49 shipping) when I got home. And there was much singing and dancing. Screw Gamestop.