My father is an old fashioned kind of guy. Not so old fashioned that he rides a horse to work, or is a terrible bigot. I guess by "old fashioned" I just mean he doesn’t get any entertainment made since the advent of the talkies. One of the things he struggled with the most when I was a young man was figuring just what, exactly, this "Pokemon" business was all about. I’ve been thinking about those dark, dark days, and I now present to you The Things That Confused My Dad About Pokemon When It First Came Out:
“Are they monsters, or what?”
Never one to miss a root word, my father immediately picked up on the “mon” in Pokemon. But you know what? I had no idea if they were “monsters, or what”. It’s a question that still haunts me, the way many of us are haunted by things our parents have said to us.
“What’s the point of catching them all?”
This is my father getting philosophical, because really, what is the point of catching them all? Just to say you caught them? Isn’t that a perfect metaphor for the life we live in today’s hyper-capitalist society, pushing us to make money just for the sake of making money. Who knew that, together, my Dad and Pokemon could ponder some of the great existential questions of any person ever?
“Everyone in this cartoon looks the same age.”
Yes, my Dad stumbled upon the problem many of us have with anime, in that many of the characters tend to look very similar to each other. To deal with this problem, I’d usually mumble something like “He’s a like a teenager or something” then turn back to the show, while he made some comment about it being just like “That Dragon Balls show…”.
“How come the cat can talk?”
Another question I had no answer for (maybe because it was hard to pay attention with all these questions being lobbed my way), he seemed genuinely curious about why Team Rocket’s Meowth companion was able to talk (an irritating amount, it turned out). For a while he was sure that Meowth wasn’t a pokemon but “Some sort of mutant cat, like the Ninja Turtles”.
“The card game is the same as “War”, but with different rules and cards.”
Yes, Dad, you have just described all card games. Thank God he wasn’t familiar with Magic: the Gathering, or he would have REALLY been able to hit the nail on the head.
“Isn’t this whole thing just trying to get you to buy stuff?”
Despite the fact that this question makes it seem like my father is just discovering we live in a capitalist economy, it actually belies one of his greatest hatreds; being marketed to. He will not be a pawn in your attempts to influence how HE thinks, no sir!
“Look at this crap. What the hell is wrong with you?”
I don’t know, but I’d say it’s genetic.
NOT THE BEES! HAAARGH! MY EYES! AAAAAAHHHH! MY EYES!!!!! Let us know in the comments!