In my sporadic and completely ineffectual quest to keep up with pop culture, I spent ten of my treadmill minutes yesterday reading not one, but two articles on Pokemon-Go. This new craze looked like fun, and even though we should feel a shared responsibility to make the world better—a task that becomes increasingly difficult by the day—fun is still okay once in a while, isn’t it?
As I read the articles I underwent a melange of emotions and reactions, from bemusement to perplexity and everything in between. (Well I guess really there’s nothing in between) but in the end only regret remained: I had never invented a craze.
I’d seen crazes—plenty of them. And paid for them. My wife and I had traipsed from store to store some thirty years ago, trying to pay a hundred dollars for a twenty-five dollar Cabbage Patch Kid Doll, the components of which comprised materials worth a buck and a half. That was the beginning.
Beanie Babies followed. They’re also worth a buck and a half these days—a dozen.
I escaped the Giga Pet and the Furby, and our kids never seemed interested in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. That’s what happens when you pass the age of ten.
Also, I’m proud to say, I never adorned my car bumper with that theoretical question for the anonymous driver behind me, What Would Jesus Do? It always seemed a bit dicey—Jesus got kind of mad a few times. I didn’t want the driver behind me smashing into me, then blaming Jesus. (He gets blamed for a lot as it is.)
But the point is, I didn’t invent these things. And my failures continued on as I grew older: I’ve been a photographer-hobbyist for most of my life, but missed out on the selfie; I’ve dressed like a slob many Saturdays but failed to exploit grunge; I had a dog when I was young, but never envisioned a digital pet, though if I had I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have awakened at four in the morning to feed the needy little…uh…thing.
With that history of failure, I shouldn’t be surprised that I missed out on resurrecting an old failing craze (Pokemon) and converting it into Pokemon-Go. And although I could criticize this new fad for offering yet another opportunity for self-absorption and battery drain, I guess Jesus wouldn’t do that.
Then again, Jesus never had a mood ring—want to guess what color mine is today?