I went into school early the other day, which means that instead of walking with my normal group of friends, I met up with Jeremy. Jeremy, for those of you who don’t know, is not only freakishly obsessed with Bob Dylan and Phish, but is notorious for being able to run the two mile in 49 seconds. While walking with him, we discussed insightful topics including how fast the school year flow by, different forms of cheating on tests, and how much it would suck to be Brazilian.
Then, out of nowhere, Jeremy let out a territorial howl, dropped his backpack, and scampered under a car grabbing for something. My mind raced as to what the fortune could be. Money? Jewelry? Bin Laden? But when Jeremy rose from the ground he was clutching something far more valuable than any treasure. He held in his hand an icon of youth, something so precious in sentiment that no money could ever equal it. He was in possession of an original Pokemon Card.
The card was of Cubone, an unknown Pokemon that only few remember. Many people only recognize the main Pokemon; those being Picakachu, Jiggly Puff, and Charizard. But it’s not just the Pokemon that was so great, it is the memories we all shared as Pokemon opened our young minds to the hardships of compulsive gambling. So with Cubone being my motivation, I have decided to break down the Pokemon addiction and painstakingly explain why it was such a big hit, how it was such a big hit, and how it contributed to the hatred everyone shares towards women.
In 2nd grade I opened my first Pokemon deck, and the whiff of potential victory had me hooked. I really don’t remember whether I got into Pokemon on my own free will, or whether it was pushed onto me by the Arlington drug dealers; all I know is that I couldn’t get enough of it. I needed to have more cards; better cards. I started researching statistics, studying stronger cards, and gossiping about who had what. All my time was dedicated to Pokemon and every cent I earned went towards another pack. In a word, I was addicted.
Most people—and by “people” I mean girls, seeing as how Pokemon engulfed the lives of every boy in North America, China, and Japan—asked why we devoted every moment to buying Pokemon cards. And the answer is simple: we wanted a “rare card.” A rare card is a special card that the manufactures of Pokemon make less of in an excuse to sell it for 19 times the price. This card is usually no better than all the other cards besides the fact that there are only 7 of them world wide. And because there are so few of these cards, eager collectors like me are willing to chance getting it by purchasing hundreds of booster packs. Or, for the rich kids—or as I like to call them, only childs—you can obtain a rare card on Ebay for the small price of 350,000 dollars.
What made rare cards so frustrating was that no one understood them. Every time I would beg my mom to bring me to buy cards, I would have to remind her that if I ever obtained a rare card, I could potentially become ruler of a major plot of land, like, for example, Russia. Similarly, when I was out on the playground bargaining with other guys, girls would always ruin our fun. “Why do you boys do that?” they would ask in a whiny, snobby tone. What girls didn’t seem to comprehend was that Pokemon prepared us men for the real world. It showed us that the world wasn’t going to hand us our ambitions on a silver platter, and that if we ever wanted to achieve the goals we set for ourselves, we were going to need to do so by buying millions of booster packs. Girls, on the other hand would never understand this way of thinking because they were too busy playing “Double Dutch”; something that will never help you in the real world no matter what profession you chose. Unfortunately, we couldn’t inform the girls of their naïve mindstate, because at that time girls were dangerously infected with the cootie virus, preventing us from ever going near them. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that 4th grade girls were the downfall of the Pokemon phase when they started collecting “cute cards.” The disgust of women managing to bring looks into the fierce environment of Pokemon simply made it unattractive to us. Nice going bitches.
I learned many life lessons from Pokemon; the main one being “no trade backs.” This was something you yelled once you made a good trade on the playground. It simply confirmed the fact that the card you just traded for could not be revoked. It know that the no trade back speech varied from state to state, and I would love to hear what it was in your school, but at my Elementary School it was—and this is true:
I call no tradebacks no recalls black magic, white magic, skull and crossbones in the skeleton’s tree house with the chest closed.
And if you were uncertain about an exchange and thought you may want your card back, you yelled:
I call tradebacks no recalls black magic white magic skull and crossbones in the skeleton’s tree house with the chest open.
I suppose certain versions would be longer and shorter, but it didn’t really matter. Once a trade was made the two collectors would just holler out any sound he could in order to confirm the deal. It usually went like this:
Kid 1: Okay, so I’ll trade my Zapados for your Blastoise.
Kid 2: Okay deal.
Kid 1: I call no tradebacks no recalls blgatchuzigunskijuctioncroilingkthchen!!!
Kid 2: Are you choking?
Another life lesson I learned is probably the most controversial one, but in my opinion the most sensible: The Pokemon Gameboy game should be used to elect government officials.
When I was in 4th grade, my mom attended a kickboxing class every Saturday. Whether she went to it to get in shape or to protect herself from the savage rapists polluting Arlington, I don’t remember. All I know is that every Saturday my mom would drag me to the kickboxing place and leave me in the basement while she exercised. Luckily I wasn’t alone, and there were six or seven other love-deprived children whose mothers also hated them enough to lock them in the cellar. Now, normally a basement full of young kids surrounded by kickboxing equipment would lead to smack-down battles and pummeling wars; ending when someone started bleeding. But thanks to the Pokemon Gameboy games, we did not quarrel; we didn’t even yell. Instead, we set up our own little government. This kid Nate Lim was the President because he had the strongest Pokemon, Mike Lence was the Army Commander because he could beat the bosses the fastest, and I was the Treasurer because I had the most Pokemon. That’s right, you heard me: Pokemon turned a basement full of rowdy 4th graders (well, Nate was in 6th grade) into a fully functioning government; arguably better than the one we have now. We had no wars, no protests, and if anyone wanted to run for President against Nate they would simply link consoles and duel. If it was up to me, George W. Bush would own Pokemon Blue (five bucks says he already does).
If the world found a way to stop battling over oil, land, and religion and learned to solve their problems through Pokemon, we would all live in a better world. Rare cards would be the currency, card shops would replace banks, and girls playing Double Dutch would be the annoying people we curb stomp. America would no longer be a feuding country split between Blue and Red parties, but rather a feuding country split between Blue and Red Gameboy games. We will swap our corrupt government for a functional, kickboxing-basement government. And after we have made that exchange we will all gather together and yell “No tradebacks no recalls black guttrijkantanousjumanchitomotuquild!”