Adventures in Pokèmon Go

Most people know what “Pokèmon Go” is by now, but here is a summary in case you don’t. Pokèmon are fictional creatures that were first introduced in 1995 with video games designed for the original Game Boy. Pokèmon has evolved since then into television shows, movies, and other games. “Pokèmon Go” is an app that you can download on your smart phone. The basics of the game are that a player has to physically walk around, and pokèmon will pop up. The player has to use pokèballs to catch the pokèmon. The players catch and evolve pokèmon to build their pokèdex. Random statues and places have been designated as pokèstops all over the place. Now that you know the basic gist of the game let me tell you about my experiences with “Pokèmon Go.”

Some co-workers and I were talking about “Pokèmon Go” and various pokèstops that are near where we work. On of them said that a certain graveyard in town was a pokèstop. This got me thinking. Now I was imagining going to a graveyard, and being all like: “Excuse me, Mr. Dead Guy, I’m sorry I’m standing on your head, but I’m trying to catch this wild charmander.” And now I’m haunted, because Mr. Dead Guy was not okay with me standing on his head to catch Pokèmon, so he followed me home to punish me for all eternity. (Or at least until I die and become a ghost myself.) I mean, if I’m going to be haunted, I would rather it be for something good instead of just because I was tramping on dead people to catch pokèmon. All this went on in my head. Which is why I will not be going pokèmon hunting in any graveyards.

Then a few days later I found my first pokèstop. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with the pokèstop, but there it was. The following is a text conversation I had with my brother while I was attempting to figure out how pokèstops work. Enjoy.

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Sometimes My Brain Hates Me

There are times when I want to be creative and write something witty or poetic. But my brain hates me, and I cannot think of anything funny or beautiful to say. Because sometimes words fail us. And since I’m not so great at drawing or painting or sculpting I guess in this case words and actions both fail me. I once drew a horse, and my friend asked me if the horse was supposed to be dying. He said it looked sick. (In case you thought I was exaggerating about not being able to draw.) 20160724_153542

(Wow, that horse has a huge butt!) And That’s why my blogs are written three months apart instead of three days apart (like I would really like to do) because sometimes words fail me. Because. My. Brain. Hates. Me. Y’all. Some writers, Ahem…Jenny Lawson, always seem to be either witty or inspirational pretty much 24/7, and I love them for it.( I also hate them a little for it, because why can’t I be like that? And come on Jenny, you’re just naturally awesome.) So I have decided that I am going to try to write more. Even when my brain hates me; even when words fail me; and even when writing is the last thing I feel like doing. Because writing feels like life. Writing feels like not giving up. Writing feels like no matter how crappy the crap is that I’m crapping out right this minute maybe the next sentence I type will be better. And the sentence after that might be better still. Until one day maybe I will have a whole blog post of great sentences. And then a book full of them. And when that happens maybe I won’t feel like I’m just pretending to be a writer. Maybe I will stop doubting my abilities and realize that I am pretty good at this stuff sometimes. And maybe not. One thing about life though, it’s better to look back and say that you tried, and failed, than it is to say you never had the courage to try at all. I only have a smidge more courage than the cowardly lion, but I won’t get more courageous by hiding in the dark. So these are my words, this is the light I bring to the world, and I really hope you like it.

 

Of Pens and Swords and Knuckle Tasers

 

English author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said “The pen is mightier than the sword.” This may be true, but I found something that can knock the socks off both the pen and the sword. (That is, if pens and swords actually wore socks…which would be pretty weird. I mean, the sword would just cut right through the sock and rip it to shreds, and if the pen wore a sock you wouldn’t be able to write with it. So what’s the point of them wearing socks anyway? Okay, back to the topic at hand.) Someone decided to invent Knuckle Tasers! That’s right, a new take on brass knuckles, only the knuckles are plastic (not brass), and they can also tase people. Add a little zing to your punch with a new set of Knuckle Tasers!

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Check them out at: http://www.thehomesecuritysuperstore.com/zap-blast-knuckles-stun-gun-pink-zapbk950pk-gmc-p=5079?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Shopping%20-%20ZAP&utm_term=1100100648852&utm_content=ZAP .

Taser knuckles: bringing a whole new meaning to the phrase: “Punch like a girl.”

 

Of Boxes and Bombs

Last week, at work, I almost got blown up by a bomb. Except it wasn’t a bomb; it was a cardboard box. Plus it didn’t explode, so I didn’t get blown up. I’d call that a successful day; which I guess means that my most successful day last week was the day that I didn’t get blown up by the bomb that was just a cardboard box. Maybe I should rethink my life choices…. okay, wait, let me start over from the beginning.

I work at a heliport that flies people to oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. One day last week I was answering phones, dispatching flights, and assisting passengers (the usual stuff). When my co-worker, Doryon, said to Missy (another co-worker) and I, “Hey, did you guys know that there’s a random cardboard box hanging out in the parking lot?” Which was something that we did not, in fact, know. Missy and I both went to the window and looked out. Sure enough there it was. A lonely little cardboard box sitting in the parking lot right outside the security gate. No one was around the box; it was just all by itself. It was a medium sized box. (I’m judging the size to be medium because it wasn’t a small box, but it wasn’t really a large box either.) Being the proactive worker that I am, I decided to check it out. I walked outside and cautiously approached the box. I pushed on it gently with my foot. It felt very light, like it was empty. I listened carefully, but I didn’t hear any ticking. Then I noticed a thin strip of paper attached across the top of the box. The paper was a baggage tag that prints out of our automated check-ins. I picked up the box, and started to carry it toward the building. Missy opened the back door, and fussed at me. “Tonya, don’t pick up that box! It could be a bomb.” I informed her that the box had one of our baggage tags on it.

“That doesn’t matter,” she said, “someone could have found that tag just lying around, and then put it on a box with a bomb inside. You could get blown up!!”Although I appreciated her concern I decided to answer her with humor, because then at least if I did get blown up the last thing I said would have been funny. My co-workers would go to my funeral, and they could say, “She always had a good sense of humor, even right to the end.” So I told Missy, “Well if I get blown up then you can blame this customer who left his bag tag lying around for someone with a cardboard box and a bomb to find it.” At that moment Doryon announced over the intercom that I had a phone call on line one. I told Missy, “Tell line one I can’t come to the phone because I’m busy getting blown up by a bomb. It would be worth it to get blown up just so that you could say that to the customers; ‘Sorry, Tonya can’t come to the phone right now. She just got blown up by a bomb and is in pieces in the parking lot. I’ll have her return your call once she pulls herself together.'” Missy didn’t find this statement as funny as I did. Then Velina saw us, me still holding onto the possible bomb-box. She said, “Oh, that’s Mr. [passenger’s name that I don’t remember]’s box. We gave it to him this morning to put his hard hat in.”

Moral of the story: well, I don’t know if there really is a moral to this story, but if you’re me, then you almost get blown up by box-bombs that turn out to be hard hats.

Which means that last week I successfully did NOT get blown up by an exploding hard hat. I should get a cake for that. It could say, “Congratulations on not getting blown into tiny pieces by a hard hat bomb!”

Zombie Apocolypse

So, have you ever had this dream where zombies were real? You and a group of people that you have never met before are running from rabid zombies trying to bite you. (If they bite you, you will turn into a zombie too.) These zombies are partially decomposing; they move at superhuman speed, but they are not much stronger than the average human. They are also a lot stupider than the average human. (Probably because their brains are dead.) You are in this weird business office that you have never been to before, and there are lots of glass windows and doors, which would make it really hard to hide from the zombies since they can see you through the glass. So you, and your group of people, are running through rooms and doors trying to find a place to hide. The zombies are now in the building, and they are catching random non-zombified people and turning them into zombies as you run away to avoid that exact same thing happening to you. You and your people finally find this room where they have vents in the wall, close to the floor, that are big enough for y’all to fit in (in single file). So you start to unscrew one vent cover from the wall, and next to you a, very handsome, man, who is part of your group of people, starts to unscrew another vent cover. You both lay the vent cover on the floor, right next to the vent opening. You both slide into the opening (face down and feet first). You scoot back farther into the vent, and the next person slides in feet first. You grab onto that person’s ankles, like some weird linked chain of face down, non-zombified people. You do the same thing as another person slides into the vent; the person in front of you grasping that that person’s ankles. There are still two people in the room when you start to see the zombies coming. They are about ten feet away. You yell, “Hurry, get in!”. Eight feet away. One of the remaining people fluidly slides his feet into the opening of your vent. The other person does the same in the vent next door; the one with the really handsome dude in it. 6 feet. The last two people reach out and grab the vent covers. 4 feet. They each get the vent in place and manage to get two screws in place. 2 feet. The person in the front of your vent drops a screw and searches for it frantically. 1 foot.

He manages to find the missing screw and fasten it into place just as the first zombie reaches the vents. The whole chain of face-down, non-zombified people in your vent scoot backwards, like some weird backward moving caterpillar. The first zombies to reach the room pull frantically at the metal vent covers trying to get in. More zombies file in behind them and try to help. You stop watching once you are confident that the zombies won’t be able to get the vents open anytime soon. You thank the good Lord that at least these zombies are retarded, even if they are supernaturally quick. You focus on scooting backward, hoping that there isn’t a fastened vent cover at the end of the vent tunnel. Because you will never be able to turn around in this narrow space to unfasten the vent. Then you’ll either starve to death cramped in a vent tunnel with four other people, or you will have to scoot the whole length of the vent tunnel forward again, and hope that the zombies have given up and left. (Though you know they’ll still be there. Those zombies are REALLY dumb.) You reach the end of the tunnel, and your feet make contact with a vent cover. You push with your feet to find that, thankfully, the top of the cover is hinged, and the bottom is not fastened. The vent cover pushes outward and upward, allowing you to slide backward out of the vent. (As you slide out of the vent, you realize this wasn’t the smartest idea since you didn’t get to look at the room you are sliding into, but thankfully you find that there are no zombies.)

As you look around you see that you’ve come to a room that is lit with a faint orange glow, because apparently there are a bunch of heat lamps in the ceiling. The floor is covered in numerous tarantulas and those poisonous, sun-lizard things from that movie “Holes.” Which, thankfully appear to have no interest in biting you. Your entire group has managed to slide out of the vents and is checking out the room. You hear banging noises, and you realize that the zombies have managed to get into the vent tunnels from the other side and are crawling toward you. They get to the end vent, and they push open the bottom of the vent cover. One of the sun-lizards hisses at the zombie, and bites him. The zombie shrieks, this loud inhuman (because zombies aren’t really human anymore) noise. Then it backs quickly away with the lizard still attached to its arm. Your group has plenty of food and water in the packs y’all are carrying, and since the zombies seem to be afraid of the sun-lizards y’all decide to just hide out in this room for a while. Two months go by, quietly, with no noise from the outside world (or zombies). Then one day the door at the opposite end of the room opens, letting in blinding sunlight. Two non-zombified humans stare at you dumbfounded holding buckets. One of the girls in your group quickly tells them to get in the room quickly so the zombies can’t get them. Then these two strangers explain that there aren’t anymore zombies. The tell you a story about how the sun-lizard’s poison was actually also a cure for zombie-ism, and if a zombie that got bit by a sun-lizard bites another zombie then the cure is spread to that zombie. That’s how, after over a month and a half, all of the zombies became non-zombified again, and the world has been safe for half a month already while you were still hiding in a room filled with poisonous lizards and tarantulas of various sizes. Your group cheers, and you all exit your home for the past two months. (Secretly hoping that you never see another tarantula or sun-lizard ever again. Though you are very thankful to the sun-lizards for curing the zombie epidemic.) All of the members of your group goes to their respective homes to find their family members back to normal and non-zombified. Life goes on quite uneventful for awhile.

A year later, your best friend, Patricia, (who was part of the group of survivors and was in the lizard, tarantula room with you) has been dating Braden (the really handsome guy from that same group of people) pretty much ever since the end of the zombie apocalypse was averted. The three of you are in Patricia’s room hanging out. Braden leaves to go run an errand. About an hour later Patricia’s dad hollers from the kitchen. The two of you look at each other and go to make sure he’s okay only to discover that the people have started to turn into zombies again, and three of them are biting Patricia’s dad. You both run outside to escape, but there a three more zombies in the backyard. You begin to think that you are both doomed, but then Braden rides up on his bike wielding a large battle ax.

“The zombies are back!” Patricia yells at him, but you think he must already know, because he is swinging the battle ax at the zombies and chopping their heads off. He instructs you to gather the dismembered zombie heads and throw them into a big hole he has dug in the yard. Meanwhile Braden drags the headless, zombie bodies to another hole that is a good distance from the head hole. Because everybody knows that if you detach a zombie’s head from its body it won’t be able to do anything unless it gets close enough to its head to reattach it. You don’t stop to question why or when Braden dug two big holes in his girlfriend’s backyard, because you are too relieved to have somewhere to dump zombie heads and bodies. You silently curse yourself for not bringing a few of those sun-lizards home with you as pets in case of another outbreak of zombie-ism. And this is when you wake up.

Have any of you ever had a dream like that? No? Oh, yeah, me neither. I’ve never dreamed that. In fact, I never even wrote this blog. I think you are dreaming about reading a blog that I wrote about dreaming about zombies.

I think I just created a parallel universe with that last sentence. A parallel universe, a rift in the space-time continuum, or maybe a black hole. I feel that I would be successful at creating black holes.

My Amazing Revelation on Bills

The other night I couldn’t sleep. My unusual bout of insomnia brought on, what I thought at the time, was an amazing revelation.  I grabbed my cellphone, which was next to my bed, and typed my wonderful idea so that I wouldn’t forget it when I woke up the next morning. When I woke up, after finally getting a few hours of sleep, I read this amazing revelation I had written down:

“What if, instead of pieces of paper, bills were actually men named Bill who came to your house or business to tell you that you owe somebody money? They would be even more annoying than those singing telegrams. They would knock on your door, and when you answer they would say ‘Hi, I’m Bill.’ Then you would slap yourself in the forehead and think, I should have pretended that I wasn’t home. I guess the only good thing about all of these annoying men named Bill is that you can’t forget to pay one, because then he would just follow you around reminding you all the time. And then if you were late on a bill, Bill would punch you in the stomach once a day until you paid him. Let’s face it he would really enjoy this since he would have a lot of pent up anger from having to follow you around until you pay him. Then mobsters wouldn’t need to threaten to break your knee caps if you don’t pay them back; they would just send a Bill who would punch you in the stomach once a day until you paid him. Only seedy Bills would work for mobsters though. No respectable Bill would want to work for a boss who might put cement on his feet and toss him into a river if you let him down.”

Having Bills instead of bills would cut down on paper (Yay for the environment), and it would eliminate the use of debt collectors. The Bills would act as both notifications of debt and debt collectors. Which would save companies money as well. There is one main problem with this idea though (well probably more than one, but this is the problem I came up with). What if there was a guy named Bill who was not a bill collector, but just an ordinary working Bill. This Bill’s car breaks down, so he knocks on your door to see if he can use your phone to call a tow. When you answer the door, and he says, “Hi, my name’s Bill” you would yell, “I HATE YOU BILL” and slam the door in his face because you would think that he was bill collector. Poor, normal Bill would be stranded on the side of the road without a tow.

Then I realized that this was a really bad idea in general. There wouldn’t be enough Bills for all of the bills in the world. Late night insomnia revelations are not amazing; they are not amazing at all.