After a couple of fruitless attempts at this blog entry I was about to give up. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to tie genetically modified crops in with the Republican National Convention. I wasn’t having any luck. I couldn’t even make a joke about my gene modification essay being “fruitless,” like crops not bearing fruit, like some small glitch in gene editing had rendered the entire thing sterile. I still think there is a joke there, somewhere. I’ll realize it on my deathbed, a hundred years from now, surrounded by nursing students. It’ll be the thing that does me in.
True, there were some similarities. Like the unintended consequence of wild orange flourishes atop the new crop of presidential candidate, or speeches from different seasons and political movements cross-pollinating each other, or bad seed Ted Cruz trying to poison the apple orchard. It was there, somehow, although I couldn’t pull it all together. Shame.
Lucky for me artistic relief arrived when I happened upon some harsh condemnations from world leaders about the new pokey-man [sic] app that has people actually getting up off their asses and going out into the real world, if only to locate weird little cartoons on their smartphones. The Russian Orthodoxy claims the new smartphone game “smacks of Satanism.” Indonesian officials think it is a spy tool. And the middle east? Forget it. A condemned Saudi man’s eyeballs were cauterized with hot pokers just for seeing a pokey-mon [sic] creature out in public without its husband.
Because of where I am in the timeline of life, or perhaps where I failed to be, I am not familiar with Pokey-people. The Pokey Men that live in my part of town are usually grizzled ex-cons, registered on offender lists, barred from public swimming pools, parks, jungle gyms and school property, thus kind of tough to find, not that anybody would want to, although I’m sure their ubiquitous presence can be discovered on-line in some sick, catamite, NAMBLA forum.
Now though, with the new smartphone game, it is possible to emerge from one’s cave, out in all that horrendous sunlight, on a virtual scavenger hunt to collect these tiny little greebles all over the world, or at least wherever google maps can assign them on a computer screen.
I will say that I’ve had some serious drinking nights in which I’ve polished off the better part of a bottle of Milagro tequila and went searching for little gremlins, pokey-men and pokey-women, chasing them down through the alleys of bar districts and all-night diners, puking and yelling, only to realize the next morning that I had collected about five feral alleycats who pissed all over my house and terrorized my goldfish. It is a dangerous habit and I don’t recommend it. Waking up with a hangover is bad enough. You don’t need five sickly felines with mange coughing into the fishbowl and using the closet as a litter box. At that point Alcoholics Anonymous is ready to encourage you in the first of twelve steps.
In fact I’m too lazy to go find cartoons. Waldo was tough enough, and I didn’t even have to move around for him. That smug bastard in the striped sweater and ridiculous ski cap had taunted me for years until I found his doppelganger while on vacation in Colorado one winter. Not only did I find Waldo, I beat him to a pulp, on principle, smashing his head into an icy snow drift. He was there with his wife and his kids, who stood there watching, stunned and terrified. They had Australian accents, too, Waldo and his family, which was unexpected to say the least.
I imagine some pokey-folk are more difficult to find than others, which would make sense given the tiered design of most games. It would’ve been a good public relations move to have a republican convention version of “Pokey-Mon Go.” Seriously big points for finding Senator John McCain, John Kasich, or any of the Bush family for that matter at the Cleveland convention. Those luminaries could be worth like a million gold whatevers apiece. Try locating jowly Roger Ailes there, too. Rumor has it the media mogul and conservative icon is a big fan of the smartphone game, apparently finding a pokey-man between the knees of Gretchen Carlson, which apparently was worth $60 million in a forced resignation. I can only imagine the point value for Megyn Kelly.
Security is the linchpin of the pokey-man backlash. The Muslim clerics, Muscovite Christians and Iranian officials fear the gaming public will be looking for pokey in all the wrong places. That type of pokey will land a person in the pokey where the poker can easily become the pokee! (See how I did that!)
Everyone wants a little pokey, but you have to be sensible about such pursuits. You can’t just go looking under a burka, or in the storage arsenals of Ukrainian separatists, or in the nuclear refineries that Iran doesn’t have. That type of pokey-ing will get a person into more trouble than Jimmy Swaggart in a New Orleans brothel (dated reference, I know), even though the disgraced televangelist’s explanation of trying to convert sinners seemed reasonable. When the hands are chopped off, the dogs are unleashed, or the unlucky gamer is being shipped off to some Siberian gulag, there will be no sympathy for the excuse that it was all just a harmless video contest. Hardline theocrats and the cute little cartoon sidekicks that accompany them wherever they go are rarely in the mood for games.
More Alembics to come.