Oh Pikachu, say it ain’t so.

By Don Rush
By Don Rush

You know, I was really feeling kinda groovy and thought I had pretty much escaped with my dignity intact. A few years back, oh about the time my boys became teenagers and girls started occupying more of their thoughts than little Japanese monsters with funny names, I figuratively wiped the sweat from my brow, “Schwooo. That was close.”
Then last week happened and my world teetered and wobbled on its axis a wee bit.
Pokémon Go – a new game released from a consortium lets players (dare I say slaves, oops I just did) blend the “real” world with the “virtual” world using their cell phones camera, GPS and an internet access.
Oh, Pikachu, say it ain’t so.
Last week there were gobs of kids actually, (yes, actually) walking and biking outside. You read that correctly. Incredible as it seems American children and teens were not inside gaming, texting or sleeping, they were walking and biking and outside because they wanted to be outside walking and biking, oh and Pokémon­ing. And, much to my chagrin, at least one of my sons is in on the gig.
So, close.

* * *

By the way, are we to trust any business run by a “consortium?” That just sounds ominous. It’s a big business, with games, toys, trading cards, TV shows and feature films. The consortium is comprised of three companies, Nintendo, Game Freak and Creatures.

* * *

I know if I were to scour every nook and cranny of Casa D’Rush I will probably find some of the boys’ old Poke’mon trading cards. I just know those cards are somewhere, hiding, lurking in the dark places and shadows of my home, waiting to make their triumphant, if not ghastly, return.
Gasp. Maybe that time — their time — is now?
There was a ton of social media chatter last week, I think mostly from folks in their mid-30s of age and up, in regards to the new Pokémon game. If my memory serves me correct, and most of the time it does (and if it doesn’t, I don’t remember, so, in my mind I’m still batting a thousand in the opposite of forgetting game) the most used phrase to describe the Pokémon Go phenomenon was “Zombie Apocalypse.”
The Z.A. was used to describe the shuffling hoards of kids outside on the streets, in the parks and everywhere else, slowly moving from building to building, in search of Pokémon to catch. (Is the plural of Pokémon, Poke`men? And what are female Pokémon? Pokéttes? And, what if the Pokémon are still questioning their sexual identity? So many questions, so little space.) While I may or may not have been instrumental in spreading Z.A. hysteria on social media, I have since lightened my stance to be kinder and gentler about the Z.A. scare — I have to since one of my kids goes for Pokémon Go.
We walked to town this past Saturday for some BBQ (I had the Texas Hellfire burger, the boys each Redneck burgers) and waffle fries and we ran into other kids, even in Goodrich, looking for Pokémon. They were polite, engaged us and asked if we were playing and if we had found some weird sounding named Pokémon. There was even eye contact!
Maybe there is a light at the end of the human connectivity tunnel!

* * *

So, I went on-line to figure out something about Pokémon. I found this website called Bulbapedia, which, according to itself, is one of the “largest” Pokémon resources on the internet. This site says there are 718 Pokémen & ettes. (Wikipedia says there are 722, and some nerd on Facebook corrected me when I said, 718 by rebutting, “there are 720.” Dude! Just saying, you know way too much Pokémon info.)
Regardless of who you believe, you can trust me when I say, there are a helluva lot of them! They have names like, Wurmple, Abomashow, Yungoos, and for obvious reasons (“obvi” in cool-speak), one I like called Donphan.

My "sprit" Poke`mon , Donphan
My “spirit” Poke`mon , Donphan

According to the Bulbagarden, “Donphan is a gray, elephant-like Pokémon with a thick, black band of hide running down the length of its back and extending to the tip of its long trunk. When this Pokémon curls up, the band resembles a car tire. This tough hide prevents regular attacks from inflicting even a scratch . . . It has . . . short legs . . . the ability to curl up into a ball . . . Once it starts its rampage, it will be almost unstoppable. . . this ability is further used as a form of courtship. The male Donphan have rolling competitions to demonstrate their toughness to females. It has been demonstrated that Donphan has a keen sense of smell . . . blah, blah, blah.”
Aside, from not being gray (I am a pasty white dude) nor having a good sense of smell, that pretty much sums me up. I do have short legs. You can find me curled up in a ball on the ground, in a corner, almost any night of the week and I wear the band of car tire around my waist as a sign of good living. Hell yeah! I am a Pokémon character!
So, I got that going for me.
(I wonder how many times I have to write #Pokémon in one column before “The Consortium” shows me some love?)

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