Wednesday, July 13, 2016

pokies in the meta

only one of the four kids remaining at home is totally obsessed with the new pokemon game, and fortunately, he's the white one, because they say it can be deadly for colored kids to go around latched onto their phones and walking into places like police stations not paying attention. in this small town, where we are, the two main pokey places are the library and the post office, besides the convenience store, but we see kids walking up to each. at the library they're trying to get pokey balls, apparently, which they can use to catch pokemon once they're out there. at the post office, that's a pokey gym, apparently. my son doesn't need to go there, yet, he says. he's not an expert but he's caught a few pokeys here and there.

so we took a walk out to the meadow (pronounced 'meta') this morning and he checked his phone at the trailhead signs. you find pokeys at the signs sometimes, he said. they try not to make the pokeys fly way out in the woods, but if it's a well-worn trail, a common place, they might have them there, he said. so what do i know, it just looks like mountain path to me, i wouldn't know if it has pokeys or not, and, though i carry my phone, i haven't started in on this pokey game yet so wouldn't even know what value a pokey would be, if i would happen to encounter one.

but, way out in the mountains, there are other concerns. there could be bear out there, or elk, or even deer - one day we saw about five deer, and the black lab about had a cow. on this particular walk, we took a chih-weenie, who being part chihuahua is totally fearless and would easily attack a bear if he even saw one. this would not actually be a wise move, but wise is not part of his vocabulary. he's a faithful dog, and very alert, so i felt that whatever we'd encounter, he'd be right on it. with the exception of pokemon, of course. he's not much for augmented reality. it's all he can do to manage the reality he's got.

the other dogs are pretty much the same way. you could tell them about the pokeys, but they wouldn't believe you, unless they had an actual smell, or made some kind of noise that wasn't clearly born in the phone itself. you'd think you could train them to discriminate - the good pokeys from the bad ones, for example, or to alert you if there's a pokemon son says that he leaves his phone on, and the dog is with him, and no pokeys will come around for hours at a time, then other times, they'll come stomping in, right in his little basement room there, all at once, no reason whatsoever.

which bring me to the intent of the gamesmaker. it could be that they're going after my son - they want him to take a walk down to the meta - or, they want him to know where the library is....if so, that's a kind of cruel humor, to make him go, and stand in front of the library, and play with his phone, when all the pedophiles and armed robbers know he'll be coming around and not paying attention. i could alert the librarian, but she's already a little down on these phones, and the lack of general awareness they cause among the populace of kids under twenty. no, instead i alert him, because he knows what a pedophile is, and he knows what's happening to people, and he actually reads quite a bit too, and under better circumstances, might even go into the library, if they would carry the certain books that he always devours. no, he doesn't really want me interfering, and he admits the game is addicting, but, he willingly goes along on mountain hikes now, and says that the pokey game has probably done more to alleviate child obesity than eight years of michelle obama's programs. there you have it. kids are walking around, in the fresh mountain air, and every once in a while they stop and swipe their phones, and even teens and pre-teens can get involved, though hopefully his younger brother and sisters will shoot right past it to some other ridiculous game. and pokemon go is definitely the story of july. this town, 9000 feet, tucked away in the high sacramento mountains of south-central new mexico, is just as full of this pokey-chasing as any other. it's what they're doing. and if they walk right through a weather-caster's television production, not noticing because they're glued to their phones, perhaps catching a pokey, well, i guess that's part of the weather. weather or not there are any pokeys around.


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