Mom needs a bed

Now, Dave Sisson insists that he is abiding by the rules. No drugs and no alcohol on the property.

But then he shrugs off the monotony of camping on concrete outside the soon-to-open West Sacramento Ikea store. And there’s something about the way he says, “We pass the time.”

Oh, and there’s the medical-marijuana prescription. The guy has a broken back, from being the tail end of a three-car pileup, crushing both his airbag-less ’93 Buick Regal and a few of his disks.

Dave, from Carmichael, and two other grown men have pitched tents here, within easy earshot of Reno-ward Interstate 80 traffic, waiting for the doors of the store to open March 1 and for their Ikea gift-card prizes.

It’s 8 p.m. on Saturday night. And it’s cold. An hour ago, it briefly hailed.

“Mom needs a new bed,” says Dave, a salesman at Performance Chevrolet, who just finished watching A Knight’s Tale on his portable DVD player.

Then there’s third-in-line Johnny Vela, a West Sacramento local who works seasonally and whose wife just gave birth three weeks ago. He could use the dough to buy baby furniture.

But this Glenn guy. Glenn Reynolds, from Quincy, Mass. Fifty-one years old. He’s been set up here since Super Bowl Sunday. He flips quickly through the current Ikea catalog and finds the sage-green Ektorp sofa. $495. It’s what he plans to purchase.

“Now that’s a comfortable couch,” he says. “I sat on that in Stoughton, and that’s a nice couch.”

He means Stoughton, Mass., where last year he camped for 11 days outside an Ikea. He was second in line to that opening and won $2,000.

In December, Glenn booked his flight from Boston to Sacramento. At about 1 in the morning on Sunday, February 5, he pulled up to this store in a cab, and he hasn’t left. By the time you read this, he will have slept on concrete for at least 19 nights. All for $3,000.

But for Glenn, it isn’t about money. It started with doughnuts. First, a couple of Krispy Kreme outlets, where, he’d heard, the first person in the door would get a dozen free glazed per week for a year. Next it was Big 5 Sporting Goods store openings. He’s been to six of them and received $50 gift cards. Then it was on to the Stoughton Ikea for a free chair. Then here.

Glenn says there’s nowhere he’d rather be. Back in Quincy, he might be out at a bar with some friends and a cold beer. But this is better.

“I’d much rather be fishin’ right now,” Dave chimes in, laughing and gesturing out past the parking lot, off the Ikea property and toward the freeway. “If you showed me titties and a steak over there right now, I’d be gone!”