Elden Campbell has more clout than Max WrightOctober 17, 2006
Okay, so I debated posting this story for various reasons, but it’s just too weird not to. A week ago, Electronics Boutique announced their pre-sale for the very limited quantities of PlayStation 3’s at launch, and even though their stores don’t open until 10:00 AM, a couple friends and I headed down @ like 4:45 (yes, the middle of the night) to line up. We were sixth, seventh & eighth in line at a store that ended up receiving only four units, which we found out after standing in the cold for five hours. But the worst part of it all was that at 9:30, out of the blue a giant SUV pulls up and Elden Campbell gets out.
Yep, that Elden Campbell, the washed up former center for the Lakers (during the 1990’s doldrums, pre-Shaq/Kobe). Someone asked if it was him, which he confirmed, and then he stared at his feet for a while, trying to avoid further conversation. When it was mentioned that the store had announced only four would be available, and seven of us were already in line, he smiled and said “don’t worry about me, fellas”. Clearly, the fix was in. Elden’s meagre L.A. celebrity was enough to get him a pre-order of a PlayStation 3 at the Manhattan Beach Electronics Boutique.
But the weird part is, he still had to show up. Sure, he didn’t wait, sure he didn’t stand in line, his reservation was pre-arranged. But he still had to show up, provide a credit card for the deposit and agree to come back within 2 hours of store opening on the day the product launches (or forfeit his reservation). Anyone of true clout would just call someone (and NOT someone who worked at EB), and a PS3 would be waiting on or before product launch. Clearly, Campbell occupies some sort of mid-tier celebrity spot where you can get small, meaningless favors, provided the person you’re asking is low enough to be impressed by your lingering traces of fame.
It got me wondering what celebrities in L.A. are just barely above this; like, Tara Reid wouldn’t have had to show up. Carrot Top? Would Carrot Top have had to show up in person to reserve his PS3? Worse yet, who doesn’t merit this low-level perk, but still thinks they do? Like, the guy who played the Dad on ALF. I bet if THAT guy called Electronics Boutique and said, “hey, it’s me. Max Wright. I was the dad on ALF. What? You were born after ALF was cancelled? You don’t know what you missed, trust me, it was hilarious. Anyway, I heard the PS3 is going on pre-sale tomorrow and I was wondering if… hello? Hello? I think the phone just got disconnected. I’ll try back.”