Let me introduce my two eldest children…
Tom: Master’s in Engineering. Jessica: very shortly to be awarded an honours degree in Journalism.
Both currently at home pending a) going off to design formula one cars and b) going back to uni to do a Master’s.
Both intelligent; both with a great work ethic. And both currently wandering up the road in search of Pokemon.
I vaguely remember Pokemon from when Tom was 11 or 12. Peekaboo? Pikachu? Something like that…
Anyway, they’re back. And apparently the most important thing happening in the world. Failed coup in Turkey 1.54m results on Google. Pokemon Go 33.9m results.
Clearly it wasn’t just a passing fad. And clearly – as an engaged Dad who has his finger on the pulse – I need to show some interest…
“So what do you do?”
“Well, you go places and you catch Pokemon.”
“Why do you have to go somewhere?”
“Duh. Because that’s where they are.”
“But why bother?” (Asked the clearly confused elderly person, finger a million miles from the pulse.)
“Because then you can battle people…”
I shook my head.
But I need to look on the bright side. Tom and Jessica have never had that good old brotherly/sisterly love. The exact opposite on many occasions. But now they’re up in Tom’s bedroom having a detailed discussion on tactics. Or whatever passes for tactics if your name’s Zubat, Pidgey or Rattata.
I looked out of the bedroom window. Yep, there they were. Off again…
“Where are they going now?” I asked Jane.
“Up towards the pub,” my wife replied. “Jessica says it’s a PokéGym.”
I didn’t have time to be impressed by my wife’s general knowledge. I’d suddenly found something new to worry about. My own fault for carelessly browsing the internet.
Muggers lure Pokemon players to deserted building.
Woman looks for Pokemon: finds dead body
Pokemon players wander into Area 51: never seen again
OK, OK, the last one is an exaggeration. For now. But I bet it still has more results than ‘Failed Coup in Turkey.’
They were finally back. Time to impress the Beloved Daughter with my Pokésmarts.
“Been to the PokéGym, sweetheart?”
“Didn’t go that far.”
“But you’ve been to the pub. That’s a PokéGym.”
“No, Dad. It’s a PokéStop.”
“What, like a bus stop?”
Withering look. Must try harder.
“So there isn’t a gym?”
“The Sea Life Centre is a Pokégym.”
“Of course it is. How foolish of me not to know.” I retired, defeated by the modern world.
But I was back in the good books two days later. Can you give me a lift home? I’m finished in town.
…And then I received the ultimate accolade. “Dad! Your office is a Pokéstop.”
Probably best not to tell the Council, I thought. Don’t want the rateable value increasing…
And sadly, the adulation didn’t last long. “You’re driving too fast,” she said an hour later.
That was a first. I’m usually under a three line whip to overtake Lewis Hamilton. “That’s rich, coming from you.”
“I can’t catch any Pokemon if you’re driving this fast. Can’t you get stuck in a traffic jam?”
“On the grounds that we promised to pick your Mother up at two, I’d prefer not to.”
Why was Jessica in the car? Why were we collecting Jane? Because we were driving to Sheffield. Because today was Wednesday: and on Thursday the Beloved Daughter was due to walk across a stage, shake hands and become the Beloved Daughter B.A. (Hons).
But not before the M1 contraflow had trapped us for thirty minutes. To the despair of a father and the delight of a Pokemon hunter…
Thanks for reading this post. If you enjoyed it – and you’d like something light and “very, very funny” to read – you can buy the ‘Best Dad I Can Be’ sample book with 27 of my favourite posts covering all the years I’ve been writing: it’s all of 99p on your Kindle. Alternatively the first chronological book, ‘Half Dad Half Fish’ which covers the time when the children were 9, 7 and 4 is available here.