If you find yourself at a dead stop behind a non-moving vehicle in the middle of parking lot, there’s a good chance the operator of the vehicle is playing Pokemon Go. This happened to me and my son the other day. The woman was staring down into her lap, obviously trying to hide something, her eyes bugging out of her head with enough concentration to burst a dam. Could it be? Of course! she’s playing Pokemon Go!
This determination is common and even more severe than anyone could have imagined. The headlines are rife with tragedies and mishaps. Players falling off cliffs, crashing into cop cars, and getting stabbed. On the lighter side, I read a hopefulstory about the rescue of a stray kitten, later named Mewtwo(yes, from the game). Poor, little Mewtwo was stuck in a tree with injuries and couldn’t get down. I’m betting it was Pokemon Go players who drove the poor cat up the tree in the first place, arriving in hoards, stepping on her tail or something much worse.
And did you hear the news? (Although it’s hard to top Mewtwo.) Nick Johnson, a New Yorker,has caught all the Pokemon!Yes, really. He did it in two weeks with a little help from Uber. No crashing into cop cars here. He caught them in two weeks with little or no sleep. It kind of feels like he got the Golden Ticket. He still needs to catch the rare creatures who only exist in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. And what luck! Marriott Rewards is going to partner with him to help him locate the last remaining Pokemon.
My son shouts, “Mom! We should have done this!” For free trips to all these places, I totally would have done this. Just picture the headline:
Mother and Son TEAM catch all the Pokemon
I mean, doesn’t that have a better ring to it?
So far, my progress is dismal. I’m at Level 6. And my son? He’s watched some YouTube video that’s shown him how to hack into the game and play Pokemon Go from a horizontal, resting position on the couch (i.e., he doesn’t have to GO anywhere!). He tells me this game is for people who need to get out and he already gets out enough.
So, he’s playing the game as if he’s walking around San Francisco and he’s catching a lot of fish. As you might imagine, this has put a damper on our Pokemon bonding experience. But he’s busy because you need to capture 132 fish to evolve one of your fishes. You need to capture like a whole school. And what will he tell his cousin, whom we’re meeting in San Francisco when he’s already caught all the Pokemon there? His secret will be out!
Meanwhile, back at that ranch, I got a new line on an old phone given to me by mother-in-law so my younger son has a Pokemon device. Sprint requires not only your account information but also your first-born and a DNA sample…and still, they won’t unlock the phone! It turns out they won’t unlock iPhones. What a bust.
My family and I have been in San Jose over the past few days for the Junior Olympics Water Polo tournament and, in between games, the hotel was a flurry of Pokemon Go activity.
Our hotel, in fact, had a PokeStop. It was this Oasis:
This made me wonder if the game makers sought permission for naming their PokeSpots. While the hotel might appreciate the free advertising, it may be a tad disturbing to their paying guests to have all these extra “guests” while ensconced poolside at their hotel. My son assured me that no one has given any permission for any PokeStop and that that trespassing is rampant. In fact, people are walking into the backyards of people’s houses looking for PokeStops. What could be a PokeStop in someone’s backyard, I wonder.
Perhaps it’s a fountain like the one we saw at the De Anza College campus in Cupertino, California:
Or a sculpture:
I vote for this turtle, who wasn’t a PokeStop:
Sometimes, a PokeStop truly is deserving, like this plaque celebrating an English professor. My son remarked that the quote was nice. Indeed:
My son used my phone to play and we let the game track our every move, which doesn’t seem to bother anyone anymore. Not in the case of Pokemon Go. Me, I’m betting there’s some other game probably already in the works. You know, like something darker out of a dystopian novel, like play or be eaten. Although what could be darker than enslaving Pokemon to fight until they fade and pass out while fighting in that innocent, healthy arena called a “Gym.”
My son ran around with his buddies later in the week. Without their devices. They were playing a game you may have heard of. Hide-and-Go-Seek.
Step in line for a summer rerun. Thanks as always to our splendid host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week’s photo was provided by Sandra Crook. Thank you, Sandra. If you haven’t read Sandra’s stories, you simply must.
Enjoy! It’s time to go look for Pokemon.
Manual for Bureaucracy
1. File in, collect a number, determine destination. 2. Sit down, complete paperwork, wait to be called. 3. Talk to the hole in the glass, return paperwork. 4. Wait. 5. Talk to the glass; learn you need a Specialist. 6. Repeat Step 2, add paperwork. 7. Walk through long, white corridor. Hint: Turn left, left, right, no left.Just follow the red tape. 8. Repeat Steps 1 and 4. 9. Talk to the Assistant who talks to the Specialist. 10 Repeat Step 2. 11. Learn it is the wrong Specialist. 12. Repeat 2, 4, and 9. 13. Take multiple flights of stairs. Hint: Follow the red tape if you’re lost. 14. Read the sign: Sorry. We’re closed. Come back tomorrow.
I figure Sunday is as good as any day for a story! I have a quick confession. Somehow I thought I saw the prompt come up in my Reader, thinking it was this other, older one we had before and I wrote a new story (for a prompt used before!). Maybe because it was Friday the 13th?! I don’t have a good reason. I mixed myself up.
And, I took this prompt to be a theater. But here’s my story anyway.
From behind creaky doors to the spotlight down to the pit of darkness, theaters hold a history all their own. Gossip, rumors, it’s all part of the show. The final review is the truth whispered in the wings.
Like the one about the dancer who languished in the back row, her arms like lead, her head drooping, a flower wilting past her prime. Except she burst; spinning in front of the star with such speed and bravado, she flew into the orchestra, toppling the cellist and his instrument.
Her abrupt entrance was their exit and they left hand-in-hand, stars of their own show.
Please visit the linkup for more stories from Fictioneers who know what they’re doing. 🙂
It’s time for Friday Fictioneers, even when it’s Saturday. Thanks toRochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this group and toKent Bonhamfor sharing his cool picture with us.
The challenge is to write a 100-word story based on the photo. My story follows.
Genre: Humor (98 words)
Insufficient Backup Storage Error
“Have you ever noticed that things that are top secret are marked top secret in big, bold letters?” asked Charlie. For all he knew, Susie wasn’t even in the room until she threw a crumpled ball of paper at his head.
“Wise guy,” Susie said. “We found it buried in a cave. And it’s not marked top secret.”
“Some kid probably buried this mumbo jumbo a long time ago and now he’s in jail, dreaming about his book.”
“You assured me the code was stored in a secure location,” said Tim Cook. “What do you mean it’s missing?”
Welcome to Friday Fictoneers, where every week writers attempt to create a 100-word story based on a photo. Thanks toRochelle Wisoff-Fieldsfor hosting the group each and every week. The photo was provided bySean Fallon.Thank you, Sean.
This week’s prompt is a repeat from three years ago. Since many of you may not have seen this and because I’m satisfied with my story, I decided to repost it with a few minor changes. It feels good to like something that I wrote! I hope you enjoy it.