I am forty-nine years old, working forty-odd hours a week in an industry I have remained in for twenty-three years and, five days ago, when Pokemon Go hit the world like an asteroid, I was swept along with everyone else. I am very torn on my feelings about this. Pokemon were never a thing for me. I was already grown up when the games started so I never played. I barely know the names of enough Pokemon to tic off on one hand. Now I’m running around my city collecting pokeballs, tracking shadows and getting mad every time I look at the ‘gym’ across the street because it’s Red and I’m Blue. The gym was blue two days ago and my big, blue seahorse thingy was spinning around on the top. Now it’s red and I can’t make it go away. My nemesis is a teenage boy who is out of school for the summer and has all the time he needs to collect things, catch pokemon and power them up. I have a damn job, bills to pay and the rest of my goals to reach before I die. I don’t have enough time to whip his virtual ass!
My wife (a wee bit younger than myself) and I now have to leave for work thirty minutes earlier every night so we can collect pokeballs and not be late. The idea of the game is to -cough- WALK around and collect things and find pokemon and hatch eggs. I have a car. I cannot play the game and drive so my wife rides shotgun, holding both of our phones while I navigate our ever-expanding route, and works on her ambidexterity. We are not alone in this new habit. Once at work we join up with all of our co-workers, also playing, and we share a laugh or two about how long it takes us to get from point A to point B now. We show off our catches and offer info about where they were found. I am not alone in my age group with this but I feel like there are not many of us.
Lately I have been running out of pokeballs less than halfway through my night. There is actually a pokestop at the front door of my job but it’s not MY front door. It’s all the way across the building and I would have to take my phone onto the main floor where all the customers are and openly use it. This is not allowed. I am dying of thirst with an oasis just… over… THERE! I spend my breaks sulking now, staring at my phone, hitting the pokestop over and over hoping for a lucky strike. It happened once, I turned on the game before getting on the elevator to get to the 3rd floor breakroom my GPS got a bit wonky. I was able to tag the pokestop and get the pokeballs. It was a very small victory but it’s kind of like finding a coin in the return slot of a payphone (remember those?), forever after you will check every slot you see in case there will be another one.
This particular tale does not have an ending right now. I need to get to bed so I can get up and collect pokeballs and catch monsters so I can make them big and strong and teach that teenage boy what anguish actually means. I want to knock his horned bull off its throne and stick my blue, seahorse thingy back up there. I just need a nap first and a pot of coffee then I’ll be ready to go.
Happy hunting folks. Go Team Mystic!