Sweaty guy who’s first in line for Apple iPhone is world champ line-sitter

“Like everyone else, I was going to wait in line for an iPhone, but alas the lines have already started to gather and I have other obligations for the next day or two,” Jim Bernard reports for MarketWatch.

“Luckily, there are people much better qualified to wait in line for gadgets, signatures, pictures, ground breakings, and so on. Specifically, Greg Packer, who is reported to be first-in-line at the midtown Manhattan Apple store. Packer has drawn attention from a number of blogs. Valleywag, which follows the tech world, ruled that Packer’s ‘not quite the image that Apple Inc. might have wanted’ from a story about the first consumer to get the It gadget of the year. Which is to say Packer is strange, sweaty and not particularly photogenic,” Bernard reports.

Bernard reports, “It turns out, however, that Packer is very well qualified to be first in line for the newest product from Apple. He can draw on his previous experience being first in line for a variety of big events:”

• The opening of an H&M clothing store
• Purchasing tickets to the World Series hosted by the Yankees
• Greeting George W. Bush after his inauguration
• Signing the condolence book at the British consulate when Princess Diana died

Bernard reports, “You see, Greg Packer, is perhaps the most experienced man-on-the-street in the world.”

Full article here.

Wikipedia (of course) has a “Greg Packer” entry, “Greg F. Packer (born December 18, 1963), an American highway maintenance worker from Huntington, New York, has been quoted in more than 100 articles and television broadcasts as a member of the public (that is, a person on the street rather than a newsmaker or expert).”

“Packer’s status as a frequent interviewee came about due to his hobby of attending public appearances of celebrities and other media events and being first in line on such occasions. He has consequently had the opportunity to meet people including Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks, Dennis Rodman, and Ringo Starr, as well as at least three presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush,” Wikipedia states.

Full article here.

Ann Coulter reported for Jewish World Review way back on June 12, 2003 that Greg Packer “is apparently the entire media’s designated ‘man on the street’ for all articles ever written. He has appeared in news stories more than 100 times as a random member of the public. Packer was quoted on his reaction to military strikes against Iraq; he was quoted at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Veterans Day Parade. He was quoted at not one — but two — New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square. He was quoted at the opening of a new ‘Star Wars’ movie, at the opening of an H&M clothing store on Fifth Avenue and at the opening of the viewing stand at Ground Zero. He has been quoted at Yankees games, Mets games, Jets games — even getting tickets for the Brooklyn Cyclones. He was quoted at a Clinton fund-raiser at Alec Baldwin’s house in the Hamptons and the pope’s visit to Giants stadium.”

Full article here.

Reid J. Epstein reported for Columbia News Service way, way back on July 7, 2002, “If there’s a global or celebrity-laden event in or near New York, odds are Packer is there, or is trying to be there. He was first in the line to see ground zero when the viewing platform opened at the World Trade Center site Dec. 30. He was the first in line in 1997 to sign the condolence book at the British consulate when Princess Diana died. He slept outside in the snow in Washington last January to be the first in line to greet President George W. Bush after his inauguration. ‘This is what I like doing,’ he said. ‘You only live once, you might as well make the most of it,'” Epstein reported.

“When told of the lengths Packer has gone to to be at major events and meet celebrities, Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University professor of pop culture, said Packer has turned a passion into an art form,” Epstein reported.

“It’s important to be first, Packer said, because he tends to get impatient if the action begins without him. So he’s always near the front of the line, and often is the first to meet Britney Spears, Ringo Starr or Winona,” Epstein reported. “‘I don’t want to be in the middle of the line and start getting antsy,’ he said. ‘I get there early to avoid things like that.'”

Epstein reported, “As one with so much line-waiting experience, Packer preaches the etiquette of waiting in line. He’ll save a spot for someone who’s making a run across the street for a hot dog and a hot chocolate… but vacating for more than a few minutes is strictly forbidden. ‘Everybody understands that you can go get something to eat and come right back,’ Packer said. ‘But some of the girls at ‘N Sync thought they could go home and get their beauty sleep. That just wasn’t happening.'”

Full article here.
Well, at least he Thinks Different. Really different!


  1. Ah man, are the media that desperate that he is the only one they can think of to get a real person’s opinion on something. Try the local retirement home – they’ve always got opinions.

    Then again; opinions are like assholes – everyone got one…

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