VAN NUYS : Procrastinators Pay the Price--Toeing the Line


Eileen Anzaldo took one peek at the procession between her and the cash register and hoped it was some mistake.

“Is this the checkout line?” she asked.

It was no mistake.

Anzaldo, 19, like so many other last-minute Christmas shoppers Friday paid the penalty for procrastination--lines. She spent about 25 minutes in line at the Toys R Us in Van Nuys to buy her 3-year-old son, Jordan, a toy truck. More than a dozen people waited in each aisle.

The toy store had no monopoly on waiting. At the Sam Goody music store in the Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, customers waited about 10 minutes to make their purchases.


Ruben Luma, 26, was growing a little impatient, but preferred to take the philosophical approach. “It’s ridiculous, but if you like your music, you do it,” said Luma, of Van Nuys, who bought two CDs for himself. “We’re always in a hurry, anyway.”

Linda Meichtry, 43, of Van Nuys, purchased the new Robert Plant-Jimmy Page CD, “No Quarter,” for her husband.

“I didn’t think there’d be a line,” she said.

It was the same story at the mall’s Disney Store, but Shelby Blackburn didn’t seem to mind. “I had to wait for 35 minutes last night at Bullock’s to get picture frames,” said Blackburn, who left the store with a stuffed Simba from “The Lion King” for her 21-month-old daughter, Layla.

But the worst waiting took place at Toys R Us, though Manager Margie Quioan said she has seen much worse. Sometimes the wait in line is up to 90 minutes.

“I knew I was in trouble when I saw the parking lot,” said David Jackson, 31, of Sherman Oaks.

Friday’s wait seemed especially tiring for Granada Hills resident Carol Shapiro, 36, who came with her husband, Jerry, 49, to buy toys for their three kids.


Carol is pregnant. She’s due Jan. 15, but couldn’t make it to the store sooner because they didn’t have enough money.

“This is our end of the year bonus,” she said.

They spent about 90 minutes shopping, and then had to face the line.

About half an hour into their wait, Jerry pointed to his wife and then turned to fellow shoppers.

“She wasn’t even pregnant when she started in line,” he said.