It’s no sense living a lie anymore since I think the intelligent people of McMinnville are already starting to put two and two together. They’ve seen me out, walking the streets, milling about in the downtown area almost every sunny day and sometimes even at night.
They slow down as they drive by me. Sometimes they wave, other times they honk, many with knowing smiles on their faces because they know what I’m up to. I return the wave, somewhat ashamed of what I’ve become, realizing there will be a day when I’ll have to come out of the closet and admit my addiction – an addiction I condemned others for just this past summer.
If you will bear with me, I’ll quote my column dated July 13, 2016 where I said, “Let me just set you straight right now, I’m not one of these folks. I was never a Pokémon fan when it was a popular TV show and card game and I’m not about to jump on the bandwagon now. However, I have friends who are already addicted to the game and who are among those face-in-the-phone-zombies who you see wandering around town.”
That’s right, I’m playing Pokémon Go! There. I said it. I’m one of those face-in-the-phone zombies that I talked about last year when the craze was sweeping the country. When you see me walking the streets of McMinnville, I’m not looking for news. I’m looking for Pokémon. The merchants’ downtown, they already knew. Even the mayor asks me if I’ve found any new Pokémon when he sees me walking on the sidewalk with my nose buried in my phone.
How did I become one of the geeks I used to ridicule? And yes, I made fun of my friends who played the game even though I have one friend who lost over 30 pounds playing the game which is actually a fitness game aimed at tricking lazy folks to get off the couch and walk.
I guess it’s like most addictions. You try it once and it’s not so bad. Then, you try it again and again and again until one day you wake up and realize you’re addicted.
I don’t want to say it was peer pressure that prompted me to first download the game but rather just curiosity. What were people seeing in it? And, in my defense, by the time I got into the game, many had already stopped playing as the wash of interest had already enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame. Of course, that’s my thing, join-ing a fad after it jumps the shark and riding it to the end.
There you have it. I’ve confessed publically. I’m a middle-aged geek who plays Pokémon. I have a Pikachu, Snorlax and an army of Vaporoens, Exeggutors and Flareons that can take over nearly any gym there is. Also, it should be noted, despite being in good shape before I began to play, I now walk well over 10,000 steps a day according to my fitness watch.
So, what are YOU waiting for? All the cool kids are doing it. Why don’t you try it? No one will ever know.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.