By Mir
February 8, 2006

I would like to meet the person responsible for the Pokemon empire and chew up his face while twisting off his nipples and kneeing him in the groin.

Of course, I assume there was a Y chromosome involved because no female would’ve sat down one day and said to herself, “I know! How about a cartoon… no, wait, a cartoon AND TRADING CARDS… based on magical creatures who live to fight and can say nothing more complicated than their own names–over and over again–and who periodically evolve into some other, equally annoying form. But we need a few humans. How about a 10-year old who’s travelling the dangerous countryside with no parental supervision and nothing but a backpack and a bright yellow electric rat? And a couple of teenagers? IT’S GENIUS!”

That man deserves to die a slow, painful, nippleless death.

Here are the things which are positive about Pokemon:
1) It promotes memory. There is a LOT of crap to remember.
2) Although it’s all about fighting, the duels are called when the creatures are wounded and there’s a lot of emphasis on taking care of your Pokemon. They don’t ever seem to actually die.
3) Knowledge is highly touted/valued.
4) Patience is highly touted/valued.
5) If I ever needed to go out of town or on a bender or something, I could probably leave the boy with a stack of cards and some DVDs and he’d be fine.

And here are the correspondng things which I personally find to be negative about Pokemon:
1) It is filling my child’s head with a lot of imaginary information, taking over precious brain space that might be better utilized for things like remembering to put his dishes in the sink or get out of bed to pee.
2) It’s all about fighting. None of the annoying creatures ever die.
3) The main character is a 10-year-old who doesn’t go to school and spends all day, every day, immersed in Pokemon. I suspect that his mother committed suicide.
4) I’m sure my child has learned that becoming a Pokemon Master takes patience, but somehow this doesn’t translate into greater patience while his sister is taking too long in the bathroom or I don’t get him a glass of milk quickly enough for his liking.
5) Although number 5 would work in theory, it’s probably illegal.

Monkey is OBSESSED. They have had to ban trading cards from school, which I think is a great idea. But just guess what kindergarten boys will do when they cannot bring their believed Pokemon paraphenalia into class? That’s right! They will spend every “free choice” time MAKING new cards! And the fine private kindergarten to which I hand over all my money each month appears to have a schedule whereby only an hour is needed for work and circle time, and the rest of the day is spent MAKING A BILLION CARDS.

Every day there is another stack of them in Monkey’s cubby. He and two of his little friends sit and make them together, and then swap around a bit, and at the end of the afternoon each child has a new bundle of cards to litter their home with.

I gave that kid something like 300 actual Pokemon cards for Christmas, as much as it pained me to do so. He fingered them lovingly for about a week, then realized it was infinitely preferable to make his own. Because his homemade cards do not require him to be able to read. And Monkey? Still cannot really read very well. Perhaps because he’s spending 8 hours a day reciting Pokemon facts rather than trying to learn a useless skill like written communication.

I am often spared the litany of Pokemon recitation in the afternoon because it’s a well-known fact that no one within a 5-mile radius of Chickadee is permitted to get a word in edgewise. He will manage a couple of “MAMA! You know WHAT?”s and then give up as his sister railroads over him again and again.

This afternoon, Chickadee was off at Tae Kwon Do and Monkey had a fresh stack of cards. I knew I was in for it when he continued his animated discourse even after he’d gotten into the car and I was still walking around to my door. I may have walked a bit more slowly than necessary, getting around to my seat.

Monkey: Mama! You know WHAT?
Me: No, what?
Monkey: Have you seen THIS one?
Me: Nope. Oh. That one’s nice. Are you buckled?
Monkey: THIS one is a special VACUUM. With a cord that can CHANGE DIRECTION.
Me: Cool. Are you buckled?
Monkey: And see? The cord? Here? I drew that!
Monkey: What?
Monkey: YES. You don’t have to shout.
Me: Apparently I do. Please answer me when I ask you a question.
Monkey: Okay but LISTEN. Do you know how the vacuum WORKS?
Me: Uhhh… no?
Monkey: Okay. You know WHAT?
Me: No, WHAT?
Monkey: The vacuum card? When you play that, if you put the cord one way, you get to suck a card into the graveyard. But if you put the cord the other way, you get to take a card from the other player’s DICK.
*crickets chirp*
*I try to think. Did my son just say…?*

Me: Honey… tell me again?
Monkey: You can put a card in the graveyard or take one from the other player’s dick.
Me: Uhhhh… OH! From the other player’s DECK?
Monkey: That’s what I SAID.
Me: Of course you did.
Monkey: And you know WHAT?
Me: No, what?
Monkey: This one, this is POISONOUS DOT.
Me: Sounds… dangerous.
Monkey: It IS. And it does lots of evolving. First evolution, it becomes Baby Crab.
Me: Great.
Monkey: Second evolution… it’s Agent Spy Crab!
Me: Great.
Monkey: Third evolution… ummm… let me think.
Me: Take your time. Please.
Monkey: Oh! You know WHAT! It’s Water Crab. Third evolution is Water Crab.
Me: Ooookay….
Monkey: Fourth evolution is… ummm… I’m thinking….
Me: Crab Butt?
Monkey: Don’t be silly, Mama.
Me: No, we wouldn’t want to be SILLY.
Monkey: Fourth evolution is Ocean Crab.
Me: Okay.
Monkey: And the FIFTH evolution is Special Crab!
Me: Of course!
Monkey: And Special Crab has a hundred million billion thousand life points!
Me: That’s a lot.
Monkey: Okay, you know WHAT?
Me: What?
Monkey: I have MORE cards to tell you about!
Me: Oh look! Here we are at Tae Kwon Do! Let’s go find Chickadee!

This is what my life has become. Come on over, won’t you? Just watch your, uh, deck.


  1. Carol

    LMAO! Please tell me it reassures you to know that “YOU KNOW WHAT?!!!” is also a part of my own Kindgartener’s vocabulary. Thankfully he does not know of Pokemon. He does however know of Star Wars. Thank gawd they don’t have cards for that…or do they? If so, he’ll never know!!!! Muwhahahahah!

  2. DebR

    Look at it this way – at least Monkey chose to share with you about the Special Crab Card and the other players dick while it was just the two of you in the car, rather than bringing it up in the grocery store or in church or something.

  3. barbex

    I almost fell off my chair laughing!
    “Monkey: Don’t be silly, Mama.
    Me: No, we wouldn’t want to be SILLY.”
    That one just killed me!
    I can’t think straight, I’m still giggling.

  4. Mr. Fabulous

    Geez, I thought the whole Pokemon thing had been over for a while. I gotta get out more.

  5. David

    Would that be a real deck, or a returgical one? *snickers*

  6. bob

    I only hope that the few thousand cards my children (now 18 & 20) have from when they were Poke-children will turn out to be their generation’s baseball cards. I seriously need weathly kids to take care of me when I retire.

  7. Ms Sisyphus

    Reading that made me feel so much better about Diva Girl’s newfound WInx Club obsession. At least she (mostly) just watches the show and reads her books on her own.

  8. Tracy

    want a few thousand more cards? as if I can pry them from my son’s possession. You’d think he would move on? at 12? but every so often, I find him on his bed surrounded by some of his zillion cards.

    thankfully he did learn to read in spite of them. And they don’t die. just faint. over and over and over and over and over…

    he and his sister don’t even need cards anymore. I have heard them “battling” without cards. Just talking. as in, I am now laying down my super duper baddest pokemon card in the universe, but then the other has one that will trump.

  9. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    Are they STILL doing that? The Pokemon thing? I used to have to take my kids, every Friday afternoon, to a local toy store where they a weekly trading card event for all the suckers – I mean, kids with devoted parents – who were into the whole thing.

    That’s one part of their younger childhood I don’t miss!

  10. Chookooloonks

    Aww, man… I liked it better when you took a card out of someone’s dick.

  11. laura

    I am inspired to holler out “ALL HANDS ON D(I)ECK!”

  12. Vee

    The good news is by 10 years old they are SO over Pokemon. I feel your pain though, I went through this for 5 years!

    I have to say I think it’s amazing they make their own cards. Such creativity for young boys! My son’s school also banned Pokemon and Yu-gi-oh cards and I was SO happy. I’m glad they never thought to make their own!

  13. Aimee

    hahahahahahaa! Oh my god…too funny. That reminds me of my nephew who, right after seeing Toy Story, was busy contemplating which characters from the movie he wanted to get the toy versions of. He settled on Woody and Little Bo Peep, and shrieked to me and my sister: “I want a Woody, and a woman!” And thus, it begins.

  14. Lil

    Pokemon, and Yu Gi Oh! The bane of conversations with my kiddo.

    Seriously though, I have *tried* to figure out all the rules to that game. I have sat and really TRIED to get through all the different permutations of a play.

    I figured that might help me tolerate the endless descriptions of the cards.

    Still – I don’t get it. And I am a smart person, even! Or mostly anyway. But I don’t get it. Nor can I shake the notion that none of the kids understand it either – they just make up the rules as they go.

  15. Amy-GO

    I’m known as the cruelest mom around in these parts because despite having three boys, I live in a Pokemon-free zone. Also a Yu-gi-oh free zone. Years ago I announced that I would NOT be spending my money on any of that crap and that NO, you’re not allowed to spend YOUR money on it, either. Periodically this leads to great firestorms of whining and pleading, followed by choruses of “you’re the meanest mommy ever” to which I reply “GREAT! Now I know I’m doing my job!” Because there are just some things I cannot live with, And loooooong conversations about Pokemon is one of them. Star Wars is bad enough. I suggest headphones? Good luck. ;)

  16. Cele

    My daughter was always.Always into baseball cards – thank heavens.

    But now my grandson is in to Power Rangers and at age 4 will strike a Power Ranger’s pose repleat with Emergency SPD, shouted at full outdoor voice volume, where ever he maybe. I am counting my blessings he does not – to the point he turns the channel – like pokemon. But he’s only four, I realise there is much time for this to change.

  17. Casey

    My son also went the way of Pika Pika!! and um, let me tell you. It was the precursor to the wonderful world of Dungeons and Dragons. Hit points and classes and oy vey. D&D is at least all about MATH, but it is the bane of my existence and “play outside? we don’t have that game” ugh.

  18. Tammy

    LOL!! Amen!

  19. Jenn2

    Oh Lord, you are great and worthy. I officially take back every prayer I have uttered over the past two months requesting that the child I carry be a boy. I retract every exasperated utterance about my girls. Please, let this child I carry be a ….puppy. Yeah, a puppy.

  20. Sabrina

    And the sad thing is, Pokemon has been around for like YEARS and it just won’t fade out. I thought that was hilarious about the “deck” I mistake what my daughter says all the time.

  21. Betsy

    Here’s the secret: don’t listen. Pretend like you’re listening. Nod your head, chime in with a ‘yeah?’ every now and then – but don’t actually listen.

    See, that way lies madness. And with Yu-G-OH! right around the corner, you’ll need to have your wits intact. Trust me.

  22. Contrary

    My oldest (now 18) had every freakin’ pokeman card known to man. He was convinced that they were valuable.

    Ok, they *were* valuable, in the sense that I could have bought a new car with the money I spent on them.

    I gotta keep my 3 year old from finding out about them.

  23. Jenny


    My HUSBAND used to play Magic: The Gathering and while that has thankfully gone the way of the dodo, he’ll still trot into the kitchen after an hour of online gaming and say things like “ooh, I was on a great run in the butthole abbey and then this giant buttholian came running at us, and I was all Death Ray, sucka! and it froze and then I was down to 4 hit points and Joe died because I was in a coma but then at the last minute I used a star ember of dork and killed the buttholian. Awesome!

    When you’re done with the inventor of Pokemon, I’m sending you after the mofos who made World of Warcraft.

  24. Cori

    Yep, we have a Pokemon obsessed boy here too. Of course, I’m the mean mommy and just tell him that I really don’t like Pokemon that much and we need to find something else to talk about. That slows him down for approximently 2 seconds and then we’re on to…Star Wars! Yay! *sigh*

  25. Mary

    You know what? We have a gazillion Pokemon cards my kids have outgrown. Every so often I stumble across another thirty and chuck them out. You know what? I hated them, too! You know what? When they give up Pokemon, they find equally obsessive ways to spend their time. But you know what? The Sims is waaaaay more interest!

  26. Mary


  27. vee

    Jenny – My son is obsessed with Warcraft! You are the only other person I’ve heard mention it! I’m seriously considering intervention because my son is developing a big problem.

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