I’ve got teenagers so I understand the need for them to join some of the latest trends. Like Pokemon Go. What else are they going to talk about? At least it’s not porn. Or cocaine. I am also able to follow a discussion as to why a kid would willingly walk around with a mobile phone and catch imaginary creatures named after Japanese demons. (If you believe everything you read on Facebook. For the record, I don’t.) I can even entertain the reality that you can raise them to battle one another. Eventually.
I did similar things when I was between the ages of eight and eleven. I used to collect comic books and run around with a towel around my neck, imagining I was some kind of superhero. I eventually stopped wearing the towel two years ago when I got myself a real cape. I never stopped loving comic books or wishing I was a superhero. Like Deadpool. But without the avocado-having-sex-with-an-older-uglier-avocado face.
I’m a Dad who gets the whole Pokemon Go sha-bang. It gets the kids off their butts and on the street. Which sounds a lot dirtier than I intended it to be. Don’t worry, I’m not pimping my kids. Besides, the Wife earns enough money. And she’s hot.
Anyhow…I was dumbstruck to learn that one of my friends, who turns 45 this year, is also an avid collector of Pokemon… Are you kidding me? An adult male running around trying to catch electronic versions of stuffed animals?
I think that’s kind of sad so I told him so. And he simply shrugged it off. I suppose I should have expected that with my track record of geekiness. (Yes, I will be Thor at the next Comic Con if you have tickets.) There was a moment when I wanted to invite him for a night out with the boys but my borderline credibility as an adult would have been destroyed if they find out I know grown men who hunt Pokemon. So I didn’t.
He claims to be pretty good at finding Pokemon. He’s already caught 53. Whatever that means.
What’s even more shocking is the fact that he seems very proud of his ability to catch them whilst driving. I know I’m no Chuck Norris but that seems a little dangerous to me. We all know drinking and driving is kind of unacceptable. And texting and driving might even be worse. But looking for Pokemon whilst operating a machine that can kill pedestrians takes danger to a whole new level of stupid.
He also has a favourite place to find Pokemon. I have a favourite place to make-out or grab a beer, and they’re not necessarily at the same place, but that’s just me. He claims to find a lot of them at one of the most manliest places in town. The mall. So he often goes there, using his boys as a decoy and walks up and down a couple of times like a stalker, just to make sure he gets his money’s worth. It’s like the modern version of a Dad and his sons gone fishing.
I didn’t have anything to say when he told me his little secret. He didn’t think he was sharing a secret but we all agree it should be one. I shook my head and tried to lift my jaw off the cracked floor. I suggested he refrains from sharing this information with anyone else for fear he might get punched in the face.
He disagrees and reckons he’s simply a modern lepidopterist. Who is, for those of you who do not have access to Google, a sad little man who runs around with a little net and a weird hat to catch butterflies, only to stick a needle through their helpless, flapping bodies and pin them to a board.
At least my friend is not so little. Nor is he sad. And he isn’t killing any of the Pokemon he catches as far as I know. Well, at least not yet…