Don’t need help in the imagination department

I’m sure all of you have been in breathless anticipation of my review of Pokemon Go, a game for cell phones where players catch imaginary creatures hiding in the real world. Here is the review: I have never played Pokemon Go. I don’t even have a cell phone that knows what Pokemon Go is.

My cell phone is a long way from revealing imaginary creatures anywhere. My cell phone was meant to bedazzle its users by its ability to make phone calls without being plugged into a wall.

This, of course, does not impress my children, who have never seen a phone that plugged into a wall. Phones are cell phones, to them. I’ve tried explaining rotary phones to them, but it is so hard. It’s like explaining film. They’re just abstract concepts.

We had an old rotary phone when I was a child. I really enjoyed it, watching the dial spin back with satisfying clicks. I liked it until I had to make a phone call. Then waiting for the dial to spin all the way back around was painful. It took, like, 30 seconds to call someone. Finally, we got a touch tone phone, and saved countless seconds, which I probably spent doing very important things that I am no longer aware of.

My phone now can make phone calls by just telling the phone the person’s name. Well, kind of. It works about as well as someone whose memory and hearing are fading. “Say a command,” it will randomly ask me. I can think of a lot of commands, but none of them seem to work on the phone, which must be immune to bad language.

The phone does respond when I tell it to call people. “Call my wife,” I tell it. “Did you mean Steve?” It asks me. “No, my wife,” I say. “Try again,” it says. So I shut it off and put it in my pocket. “Say a command,” it says from my pocket.

My kids would love to have cell phones. “When can I have a cell phone?” my oldest daughter asked me the other day. “In 10 years,” I said. My daughter got so excited that she started jumping up and down. Apparently she thought the answer would be “never.”

But they don’t need cell phones to chase imaginary creatures. They seem to do fine on their own. I’ll come home from work, and my kids will be mixing mayonnaise, milk and hot sauce in a mason jar. “We are opening a restaurant in our house,” they inform me. “And this is FOR REAL.” So far, the sauce hasn’t caught on, and fortunately I haven’t found people lounging around my living room.

I remember one time, they were dishing up some imaginary food, and one of them started crying because they didn’t get enough. I’m still trying to figure that one out. All I know is they don’t need any help in the imagination department, thank you very much.


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