The Commonwealth Iconoclast

A site dedicated to covering issues relevant to the Commonwealth of Virginia, and nation at large, plus other interesting things too, as I see fit...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Henrico's $50 laptop give away turns into riot...

Ok, this is funny - Henrico County, Virginia a few years ago began issuing laptops computers to all students (5th grade and up) in the County. Considering that Henrico has a population of 250,000 +, you could imagine that Henrico has a lot of laptops sitting around. I even had the pleasure of using one of Henrico's laptops while living in Richmond, because my wife worked for the school system. Nice!

Well a few weeks ago Henrico decided that it needed to dump off a few laptops, and it would simply "give" them away to the general public for the mere price of $50. That's a hell of a deal, even if a 5th grader used if for two years before you.

I remember saying to my wife that maybe we should drive down to Richmond and get in line in order to get one the day they go on sale, but obviously others had that in mind too. Shortly after announcing the laptop sale, the County's leadership quickly changed their minds and limited the purchase of the laptops to Henrico County residents only - so you had to bring a valid drivers license, voter registration card, ect. in order to be eligible.

So the sale took place today at the Richmond International Speedway in Henrico. Well, loads of people turned out, and a virtual riot ensued. Today, the story even made the front page of It was so bad that even a few old people and kids were trampled by the laptop hungry mob. Awesome!

Maybe the next time that Henrico deceides to do something philanthropic - such as give away used laptops - I have a few suggestions: 1) sell the merchandise at a reasonable rate, say $200 or something, in order to ensure that every degenerate from a 50 mile radius does not show up. Not only will you sell all the laptops, but you'll also make 4 times the loot. 2) why not just offer to sell the laptops to the students who used them? Seems logical to me.

It will be interesting to see how the County handles the next laptop sell.


  • At 8/17/2005 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I love this story too! Halarious!

  • At 8/23/2005 8:21 AM, Anonymous Suzanne Chestnut said…

    How about a number system or controlled lines. I like to relate it to American Idol tryouts. If they can organize 100,000 without riots why can't Henrico organize 1,000 nicely and turn the other 3,000 away once all the numbers are gone. Good thing the leaders in Henrico are so organized. I thought the whole situation was a pathetic attempt and I totally disagree that Henrico did "everything" they could to organize this event well.


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