It was in the fall of the year 2019 that all of the Woot Forums were interested, and the bargain conscious world dismayed, by the escalating tensions in the Sino-American Trade War which threatened to wipe out the very notion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The public is now aware that Black Friday and Cyber Monday of 2019 were an unqualified and rousing success for retailers and consumers alike, no doubt due to a detente in the trade war. As a result, no further ink was spilt on just how perilously close Wooters came to being offered online transactions at (gasp ) suggested retail prices for a wholly separate, and far more sinister, reason. Only now, at the end of more than two long months, am I able supply those heretofore untold facts which paint the full picture of the criminal masterpiece which would compair favorably to the work of any of the Old Masters.
Let me say to that public, which has shown some interest in the glimpses I have occasionally given them of the mysteries that lie in Carrollton, Seattle, and various points in between, that they are not to blame me if I haven’t shared these details with them, for I would have considered it my honored duty to do so, had I not been prevented by a solemn vow of secrecy pledged to @davejlives and @ThunderThighs which only this week has been removed by their consent.
Some forum friends may recall that I took holiday in the middle part of November. Upon my return, amongst the accumulated pile of correspondence, was one particular envelope which was marked URGENT. Intrigued, I immediately investigated its contents. Here is what I found:
This request for help, from Mr. Jack from Woot Customer Service, stated in pertinent part:
“[W]e have called on you to assist with the below forum scavenger hunt. Deals are at stake! If you are unable to solve the scavenger hunt and figure out the word scramble, we will be forced to post…a bad deal!” Most chillingly, Mr. Jack made clear that “the fate of Woot” depended on my ability to solve the mystery. THE GAME WAS AFOOT!
Like a spring released after being stretched to just before its breaking point, I flew into action, calling upon all of my digital detecting faculties. Within minutes I had found the scavenger hunt answers and, per the instructions, isolated the first letters of the first words as follows:
Next, I had to unscramble the letters; an exercise I found to be quite ELEMENTARY. Having cracked the code, as instructed, I relayed this information to @manlapig. I received an immediate reply of gratitude as the crisis had been averted…or so I thought. You may recall that the Woot Black Friday and subsequent Cyber Monday sales went off without a hitch. Then CTO (Now CQO – Chief Quitting Officer) @wajeremy miraculously kept the servers online as Wooters devoured below market deals for days straight.
However as the Yuletide Season bled into Boxing Day, I couldn’t rid myself of the notion that something remained amiss. My first clue that danger continued to lurk was rooted in the failed promise from Mr. Jack in Customer Service that solving the mystery would “unlock something Wooty.” Having experienced the Woot customer service team’s unwavering commitment to Wooters, I was convinced that circumstances beyond Mr. Jack’s control were keeping him from fulfilling his promise. This caused me to investigate further. As such, I sent a follow up communique to @manlapig and received word that a package would soon arrive.
Sure enough, less than a fortnight later, I returned home from making my rounds to discover a B0C on the doorstep of 221 B Baker Street. I found this particularly odd as I was, myself, inside the 31 day B0C prohibition period having crapped earlier in the month on a Saturday Digital App Crap puzzle. Inside the box were the following items.
In addition, there was another note from Mr. Jack as follows:
Once again, my suspicions were raised by several anomalies. Clearly, the sacred 31 day rule, nay-commandment, would not be arbitrarily violated unless there was a deeper purpose. I reviewed my evidence and pondered its implications.
The first letter from Mr. Jack was a call for help to which I responded. However, it directed me to reply with the answer not to Mr. Jack, but to @manlapig…but why? I deduced that Mr. Jack wanted me to be in contact with @manlapig for an important reason and that @manlapig was the ally I needed to solve the mystery.
The Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals had been saved by my initial response. But if solving the first mystery truly saved Woot, why had I not heard back from Mr. Jack? He had stated solving the riddle would “unlock something Wooty.” What an odd phrase. I could only conclude that Mr. Jack, and likely Woot, remained in imminent danger.
Why was the 31 day B0C commandment broken? Clearly the B0C and the accompanying letter contained additional clues. Having studied the most recent B0C postings on the forums, I was well aware of the common items Wooters were receiving. What was different about this B0C? I found several groupings of items odd. First there were four books. Second, traditional party store times including balloons, plastic serving spoons, cake decorations, and wrapping paper appeared out of place. Third, the hardware store items (a U-bolt, square head screw, and light switch cover) seemed odd. Finally the seemingly coordinated set of water bottle and cycling jersey seemed straight out of a sporting goods store. It occurred to me that these items appeared to be more of the sort which one would find in a store; not on Woot.
Next I turned my attention to the letter which came in the B0C. The first line reads “Thank you once again for saving Woot HQ with your extraordinary puzzle solving skills.” As these words reverberated in my head, the final pin clicked into place, opening the lock and the secret it hid. The first letter indicated that DEALS needed saving; there was no mention of Woot HQ! I was convinced that Mr. Jack was trying to tell me that he was locked in Woot HQ! But why? And by whom? I had my theories, but as a good friend once told me, “ It is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories instead of theories to suit facts.” As such, I knew that the answers I sought could only be found in Carrollton, Texas.
I headed straight to Heathrow and boarded the first flight to Dallas, formulating my plan as I traveled. I knew that this was a dangerous undertaking that I could not face alone. Thankfully, Mr. Jack had ensured that I would be in contact with @manlapig. As such, I took to the direct message feature of the forums. Within no time, @manlapig and I had concocted a plan to get me into the Woot HQ under the guise that I was a supplier who wanted a tour of the operation. Once I landed, I headed to Carrollton by motorway.
From the street, Woot HQ is identified only by a nondescript sign.
In the event that things took a turn for the worse inside, I documented my presence with a photo which I sent to Scotland Yard prior to entering.
I surveyed the lobby.
Pretending to be on a tour, I was met by my accomplice @manlapig. He took me to the warehouse, where the noise would give us some cover to have a private conversation.
We headed straight for the B0C birthplace, where we connected with most trusted @wootstaff member, Dante, who would bring some much needed muscle to our operation.
With the feeling that eyes were on us, @manlapig quickly relayed what I feared; that Mr. Jack, in addition to several of the @wootstaff dogs, were being held hostage in the now abandoned pop socket manufacturing portion of the warehouse. With my presence causing suspicion, we had to act quickly.
@manlapig, with the pretense of moving a pallet of refurbished bidets, jumped in a fork lift and sped towards where Mr. Jack was being held. Dante and I each grabbed a returned fishing spear and circled around from the other direction. As planned, @manlapig rammed the pallet of bidets into the pop socket station, drawing out the guards who were hiding as warehouse staff nearby. Dante and I did not hesitate and apprehended them at spear point, grabbing their keys and unlocking the Apple product cages which had been placed in the deserted section of warehouse, freeing Mr. Jack and a bounding mass of happy pups.
With Mr. Jack liberated, we retreated to the Leaning Tower of Puzzle, a secure conference room deep within the Woot office where we immediately called @davejlives and @Thunderthighs who were in Seattle dealing with the instant controversy. They quickly explained that Woot had been under siege since mid November when an evil consortium of Brick and Mortar stores had taken Mr. Jack hostage. Rather than demanding ransom, they had attempted to force Woot to sell their unwanted merchandise at suggested retail prices. Thankfully, I had been able to crack their code which enabled @Thunderthighs to reprice the Brick and Mortar merchandise at bargain rates for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, new shipments were arriving at Woot daily and suggested retail prices were starting to post to the Woot website.
With Woot now safe, these horrendous deals have already been rolled back. Furthermore, Uncle Jeff took immediate retaliatory actions by launching several new targeted Amazon brands to cripple the Brick and Mortar criminals who had tried foist Bad Deals on Wooters and the public alike!