This is supposed to turn our nation from fat couch potatoes into supple adventurers, but don't hold your breath is my advice.
Of course when you wander around in the world you can find real things, and dead bodies and stabbings are two things Pokémon Go players have already happened across when they were searching high and low for Squirtle. In Bosnia, they have been warned against searching for these adorable digital beings in minefields left over from the last war there, lest they find themselves playing Pokémon Go Blam.
The neighborhood I currently live in is incredibly dull, and it hasn’t been enlivened by anybody searching for Pokémon as far as I can tell. Dead bodies, stabbings and minefields are also things that don’t happen much around here. These things are good, but the lack of Pokémon is better, because they would only remind me of yet another fortune I have thrown away.
Pokémon was a card game at one point in the previous century. I found out about it when my son, who was around seven at the time, introduced me to it when he returned from a visit with his mother with a bag full of the cards. Despite my extreme lack of interest in Pokémon, I played the game with him many times, losing every time because of the aforementioned lack of interest and also because of my boy’s quick ability to alter the rules whenever the Pokegods seemed to favor my hand.
His collection grew to hundreds of cards at one point because he constantly begged for them and I was an indulgent father and also the cards were cheap. I didn’t mind them. They hurt a lot less than his other obsession, Legos, when you stepped on them, for one thing, and when you lost one, also unlike Legos, the whole collection didn’t look stupid, or at least more stupid than it had in the first place.
But, thanks to Go, I am now wishing I had kept those cards, because they are worth a fortune. A First Edition Shadowless Mewtoo is now worth a hundred and fifty bucks. At one point I am sure we had seven or eight of them. A First Edition Shadowless Venasaur goes for a nifty 900 simoleons. I am nearly certain that was the one I spilled milk on and spinelessly threw down the trash chute so I wouldn't have to listen my kid whine about me ruining it.
Oh for God’s sake, I hear you saying. What’s a Shadowless Venasaur anyway? Worth nearly a grand, is my reply. You don’t have to like it. Spell check doesn’t like it, either, but if I still had one, it would pay off my current credit card debt.
And then there’s Pikachu, the Jon Snow of Pokemon, omnipresent and impossible to kill. 500 smackers in mint condition. I could have papered a wall with Pikachu at one point, so many of him lay amidst the filthy toy debris that littered my days of single fatherhood.
None of them remain. Between leaving Hawaii, moving back East and then returning to California, I managed to discard every one of them. Most were stained with McDonald's sweet and sour dipping sauce (my boy's favorite) or stuck to juice boxes or their edges were curled from much sweaty fondling, so they were less than mint condition and likely still not worth much. I comfort myself with that thought.
I’m sure some people were advising me to buy Microsoft when it came out, but I never paid attention to them, but I am equally sure nobody was saying “Hey, buy Pokémon cards and keep them away from your kid. They’re your retirement someday.”
Wish they had. For now, I’ve got to go back to work.