“Judging by her grimace, I assume she digs my taste in PokéFlirts. Either that or she’s comatose by now, hence the drooling.”
he other day, me and my girlfriend were looking for a nice picnic spot in a local park. Which is, according to her current definition, miserably located in between two PokéStops with active Lures and plenty of aspiring PokéMasters making the most out of their 30 minutes.
You see, each time a hype like this passes by and I’ve made my choice not to get involved, I also had the strength to keep my opinion to myself, as long as no one bothered me. But this time, it feels different. This time, I’m so damn proud not to be participating in this nonsense that I try to actively show how I feel about it at each PokéStop, Gym or any other social vacuum those PokéTwats are drawn towards. Sitting on my throne of misplaced arrogance, I preach cynical jokes just a tad too loud while overlooking the PokéTards in their artificial habitat. Each of them obviously very busy with their list of priorities on which catching another Ratata with a ridiculously low amount of CP, is rated higher than, let’s say, not getting in the way of my delicious Poképicnic.
As a result of my urge to confront one with his/ her behavior, I usually receive a forced smile from a random Pokéfool who, with his last remaining stamina and vague, clueless look – there is no battery pack available for real life – tries to raise one eye from behind his screen with the blue map and OMFG RUSTLING LEAVES… blank stare. To the people whose company I used to enjoy until a few weeks ago their smartphones stole every attempt at making eye contact, I continuously ask whether they also happen to see the grey outlines of new friends for me ‘nearby’. Again that smug grin and shallow gaze. On the bright side, the balance between keeping and getting rid of my smartphone is starting to reach its final conclusion, but that’s another story.
All in all, I’m starting to think it’s me, not them. At its core, I’m essentially concerned about my urge to distance myself from this hype no matter what. The mirror about society and social identity that this Pokémon playing herd is setting up, seems too confronting for me. That’s why I’m desperately seeking refuge in a sigh, a bad joke or fleeting eye contact and an understanding nod with rare Pokéless fellowmen. I squeeze in a remotely funny joke between appetizer and main course to comfort myself from this train of thought and to check if my girlfriend is still breathing.
“Hey baby, wanna give my PokéBalls a swipe later on? I promise my Pidgey will appear and it’ll be super effective.”
Judging by her grimace, I assume she digs my taste in PokéFlirts. Either that or she’s comatose by now, hence the drooling.
Either way, I have this feeling that I’m acting more like an idiot than those not being able to repel this PokéVirus. It’s interesting to see how this brief cutback in my hope for humanity and self growth, drives me towards an isolated place of criticism instead of engaging in giving this asocial hype a counterweight of optimism and encouragement. I’m dramatizing this new depth for the digital connectivity era from a feeling of superiority of which I can only assume it’s similar to that of, let’s say, vegans or yoga practitioners. Although mine is well-grounded with a proper respect for humor and reasoning, without those paranoid hallucinations from people with gluten phobia.
The fact is, I’m starting to love hating. So thank you Pokémon Go for that arrogant smirk on my face, even if it lasts only a couple more weeks. Unless, God forbid, an update is released in which they lose all their Pokéchus and people start to see their own ignorance. Of course, a hater remains dependent on language as his tool and therefore an appropriate vocabulary with all its nuances is highly necessary. Therefore, as a little foretaste, I present you:
- The buildup of frustration due to the recurrent appearance of silly Pokémonsters with low CP- values.
- The feeling of discomfort experienced during the realization that the amount of PokéBalls in one’s bag is not sufficient enough to rake in that ultra rare Pokémon and related social status.
- The void of daily mediocrity and shattered dreams felt while waiting for the log in screen to turn blue and letting your getaway to Pokéland begin.
- Paradoxical feeling of superiority and neglect one experiences when being out with ‘friends’ who play this shitty game and feel no need to make eye contact during the whole evening.
- Random location no one ever frequents unless one wishes to receive a few balls. Formerly known as ‘Rape Alley’.
- Cardiac arrest experienced by players after updating their game and erasing their entire unimpressive Pokédex… again.
- (Utopian) point in time where the moral sense of social neglect, reason, shame and guilt starts taking over the urge to catch all of those fuckers. Date yet to be determined.
- Herds of parasites that suddenly appear after setting one’s Lure on a PokéStop and crawl immediately back into their burrows after the 30 minutes expires.
PokéTip: find a calm place near a PokéStop and ask a soon to be ex-friend / aspiring PokéFuck to put up a Lure. Now count how many antisocial adepts come crawling out the depths of society just to stare motionless at their smartphones for 30 minutes, only to disappear faster than your courage to talk about that ugly rash during a doctor’s appointment. You receive bonus points if you can assign those Dickletts, Magiderps and Exeggcunts some appropriate Pokénames. And you really should be talking to someone about that rash .
Fortunately, I’m at the end of my picnic in the park. I’m still enjoying the afterglow of my hypocritical position on the throne of pedantry and cynicism when suddenly a dwarf, vertically disabled or whateverdafuck came jogging in the corner of my eye. I shit you not, he was wearing a bright yellow shirt with matching sneakers and a red blush on his face. What an extremely unfortunate timing to be running near a PokéStop with all those PokéZombies out there. It was exceptionally dangerous for this flashy Minimon to be strolling freely through the grass.
In a reflex, I mutter instinctively “a wild Pikachu appeared“, barely loud enough to address my moral compass and to continue this train of thought with my inside voice. Something with painting my scrotum red and white, yelling “poke my balls” to this Dusty Pikachu etc., all in order to bring this man to safety. My joke turned out to be not very effective with my PokéCompanion. So much potential, so little social platform.
But you see, if there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I feel a strong affinity for the little men among us. Not really in an overly sexual or derogatory way, that is. For me, they’re just kind of mythical figures and bringers of good fortune. On several occasions dwarfs were there for me as a reliable partner, completely in synergy with undefined levels of alcohol. Therefore I proclaimed them as gateways to successful nights out and overall symbols for happy times.
As he hops along the horizon, restoring my faith in humanity with every jump he makes, I briefly consider throwing in my leftover chicken wing from our picnic as a Lure. But you see, love is like a lustrous red poppy, asking to be carefully cherished in all its vulnerability. When forced or being picked, she withers almost immediately. So it was clear that this rare gem of a Pokéman deserved the same approach. Being admired from a distance – obviously not too far away given his limitations in size – living freely in all its splendor while making his way back to whatever magical place he came from…
Godspeed Midgetchu, godspeed.
Header by exceptional Polish illustrator Pawel Kuczynski.