Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Than Vaguely Creeped Out

I don’t speak Pokémon. I mean yeah, I know what a few of them are and I know who Ash, May, and Brock are but that’s about it. We buy the younger boys cards occasionally but more often they buy their own. Honestly, I try to stay out of it as much as I can. I get involved only so far as to tell them to pick them up. They’re forever spread out over their dresser, desks, and stretches of floor. How important can something be to you if you don’t take better care of it than this?

(I totally heard that in my mom’s voice.)

Last night, after months of this and out of the blue, Kenny came downstairs to show me his usually empty Pokémon binder. It was completely full, everything in order. A place for everything and everything in its place. I was impressed.

The truth is, this wasn’t actually out of the blue. Yesterday he went to Pokémon League for the first time. Apparently we are completely geeking out.

Like I said, I don’t know anything about it and he went with a friend and his mom so all I have to go on is his account. He seemed cheerful enough when he walked in the door but there wasn’t time to grill him with pack meeting in a few minutes. Later that night he told Michael that an old guy with a beard gave him three packs of cards.

What what what what what?

Michael Jr. being the kid that he is, freaked out and ran to regale us with tales of potential child abduction and perversion. And admittedly, it sounded awfully sketchy to me. What sort of “old guy” meets up with little kids after school to play Pokémon? And then gives them things? I am decidedly uncool about this.

Feeling more than vaguely creeped out by the whole thing, I spoke to another mom who takes her sons there regularly. She laughed and told me the “old man” is actually in his early twenties or younger. And possibly albino. For whatever that’s worth (not much). She knew his name and said the cards he gave away were promotional packs he would’ve received for free. She said there are what she would call “special needs” people there—people who didn’t quite grow out of this fad at a rate most kids do. I’m still a little weirded out by my 8 year old interacting with people that age but parents are there and Pokémon’s been around long enough that perhaps even some older kids are still into it.

But still. Right?

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