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!
Me: ARE YOU BUCKLED?
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.
*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.
Monkey: Second evolution… it’s Agent Spy Crab!
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.
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.
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?
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.