LAKEWOOD PARK — I was reading in the park the other day, when all of a sudden I heard a thud somewhere in the near distance. Then I heard another, and another, this time accompanied by a rather disturbing squeal. I went over to investigate, and found a young man picking up a freshly bloodied squirrel that he named “Pikachu.”
Rob Smat, or “Ash Ketchup” as he asked to be called, told me he was playing Pokémon GO, and showed me his cardboard smartphone and his Pokéballs, which were just hand painted rocks. The amount of detail Ketchup put into these objects was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
“My Apple phone is in the uh…shop,” lied Ketchup. “Yeah, the shop, but I don’t need my phone to have fun. I make due with my surroundings. When life gives you lemons, paint them into Pokéballs.”
Even though he said he doesn’t need a smartphone to have fun, he enviously looked on at anyone playing Pokémon Go on an actual smartphone.
Ketchup then proceeded to show me how his “app” worked, first by framing the wildlife in his cardboard sights, and then hurling a rock at the unsuspecting animal.
While I had my doubts, the destitute manchild was a real sharpshooter. I saw him hit a turtle and nail a bird’s nest from considerable distances. I don’t know where he learned these skills, but he’s clearly been doing this for a while, maybe longer than the the game’s been around.
Upon his departure, he clipped his “captured” Pokémon on a sash, and walked off into the sunset like some sort of derelict Davy Crockett. For someone as visibly impoverished as himself, I hope he’s at least eating his catches.