Despite the fact that the GameCube hadn't impressed me all that much I was pretty excited about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. I'd been at the local video game store first thing in the morning for the launch of both Nintendo 64 Zeldas so a poor initial showing for Nintendo's next console wasn't going to put me off. The problem was that I needed to buy a GameCube. I'd sold my import Cube a few months prior to Wind Waker's arrival (university debts etc) so I hunted through eBay for a bargain PAL console. To my delight I found one.
As fate would have it my copy of Wind Waker actually arrived with the postman in the morning, before the GameCube had arrived. So I sat on my dirty university couch, waiting for the console's arrival, totally not bothered about the lectures on Java and Artificial Intelligence that I was missing. Just after lunch there was a knock on the door - my GameCube had arrived.
The problems associated with buying second hand consoles then very quickly became rather too obvious. Firstly, the box was battered to within an inch of its life. I knew the GameCube wasn't going to arrive inside its actual original cardboard box but seeing the grubby brown box arrive made me doubt my frugal ways. But I hadn't even opened the box yet; far worse was still to come.
After pulling the brown tape from each of the seals I finally saw inside the box and I wasn't amused. The GameCube was there, completely unboxed as expected, a few surplus games were thrown in (I can't even remember their names) and two controllers were sat down one side of the box (sadly one was a rather ugly unofficial pad that was offensive to look at, let alone hold) but there was also something rather unexpected.
For no reason that I could think of, packed in along with the various bits of bubble wrap was what could only be described as a head full of human hair. There was so much of the stuff that it had managed to work its way inside the vents on the console and through the lid and into the disc bay. I stood there looking into the box, completely dumbfounded as to why the seller had seen fit to include this hair. Of all the things to use for padding, human hair wouldn't be at the top of my list.
I of course had more important things to worry about, like how quickly I could clean out the hair and get started on Zelda - about five minutes in total. Of course, in my hair-induced stupor I'd forgotten that a memory card should have been included in the package. It was nowhere to be seen. It was approaching 4pm by the time I'd returned home from Brighton city centre.
"Why's that box full of hair?" asked one of my house mates as I sat down to enjoy Zelda. If only I knew.