So, the other day I was trying to figure out just how many Poliwag I need to get one to evolve into a Poliwhirl ...
I am curious about Pokémon Go and might one day download the app. The huffing and puffing I do when I'm bringing in groceries tells me the occasional walk would do me good. Plus, I've always been in that that older Midwest demographic who is late-to-the-party when it comes to trends. I cannot confirm or deny whether I still have a VCR and Sega Genesis hooked up at home. (Asking for a friend: Can you play Pokémon Go on a flip phone?)
OK, I'm not that out-of-touch. About the flip phone, I mean.
Before I start the process of joining Team Instinct in the hunt for little pocket monsters, I thought I'd explore the 140-character Twitter universe -- you'll find plenty of creatures are lurking there as well. Surely the Twitter-verse will have some encouraging links to stories that will get me excited to start the hunt.
Where should we go first, Twitter?
* "Pokémon Go player visits little brother's grave and finds his bro's favorite Pokémon chillin' at its side"
* "Pokémon Go -- Cemetery warns: Let Rosa Parks and others rest in peace"
* "3 Pokémon Go players got locked inside a cemetery while hunting virtual monsters and needed police to let them out."
OK, Twitter, I will steer clear of cemeteries. It makes perfect sense to avoid those places so I'll keep scrolling down my Twitter feed ... ummm ...
* "Pokémon Go players find decomposed body." (That's a fluke. I won't click on that.)
* "A second body has been found floating in a New Hampshire river by a Pokémon Go player." (Two? That's weird.)
* "Pokémon Go players have now found a third dead body." (Oh, for heaven's sake.)
So, Twitter tells me you could catch 'em all and catch a few cold cases while you're at it. It sounds like law enforcement in some parts of the country could use the help. Time for the law-and-order Twitter links:
* "Indiana sex offender arrested after probation officer spots him playing 'Pokémon Go' with 16-year-old boy."
* "There was a Pokémon Go stampede in Central Park, because this is life now."
* "Police say man robbed of cellphone while playing 'Pokémon Go'" (Probably not a flip phone.)
* "Pokémon Go player gets stabbed, continues to catch 'em all"
* "Man hits tree and crashes car while playing Pokémon Go"
* "2 former Marines playing 'Pokémon Go' help nab attempted murder suspect" (Well, there's some good news, at least.)
And it sounds like they may have a suspect:
* "Four NYPD officers caught playing Pokémon Go in Queens, catch Pikachu near boardwalk"
I've never trusted that little yellow rodent. So, Twitter, I'm avoiding cemeteries, Central Park and other places that might have dead bodies. We can go everywhere else, right?
* "Two jailed for allegedly jumping Toledo Zoo fence to play Pokémon Go" (Because animal encounters at Ohio zoos never go wrong.)
* "2 California men fall off edge of an ocean cliff while playing 'Pokémon Go'"
* "This should be common sense, but please no playing Pokémon Go around railroad tracks."
* "Coast Guard called out to rescue Pokémon Go players chasing rare creature across lake."
* "Pokémon Go dangers continue! Man, while recording, falls into water while playing the game."
* "A woman playing Pokémon Go stumbled upon an insane amount of spiderwebs"
* "Young men looking for Pokémon in church prayer garden come across naked woman vandalizing the property."
* "Pokémon Go teens stuck in caves 100 feet underground"
Donald Trump says he wishes he had time to play Pokémon Go (that's another Twitter news link you could have clicked on). But even staying home might not be so safe.
* "Pokémon Go is tracking your children"
* "ISIS will use Pokémon Go to murder Christians and spawn demons, says crazy radio host pastor"
* "When Pokémon Go threatens military secrets"
There's a Twitter bummer for every Pokémon, it seems. We could move on to the next big and safer thing -- one that keeps us at home more, one that prevents us from encountering people we don't know. Then we won't quit our jobs (as some Pokémon Go trainers have) or dump our spouses, as other Twitter headlines suggest. The Tweets sure get our attention and generate the page views don't they?
But those are the extremes -- Pokémon Go is a normal experience, with normal people in normal surroundings. I'm glad to see everyone have fun.
Just don't get trampled in your hunt for Vaporeon.