Pokémon Go Away

, , , , | Friendly | June 5, 2017

(I’m flying home after a trip to Asia. I’m on the last leg of my route, which is a three-hour flight from Vancouver to my hometown. The entertainment screens on the plane are out of order for the flight, so I pull out my Nintendo DS to play some Pokémon. After a few minutes of playing, I realize the child sitting next to me, who is probably around eight years old, has his eyes glued to the screen.)

Me: “Do you like Pokémon?”

Child: “I LOVE Pokémon! I even have a Charizard card at home!”

(Because Nintendo updated their system a few years ago, I’ve actually got two Nintendo DS systems since the games aren’t compatible with each other; one super old Nintendo DS Lite and one of the newer Nintendo New 3DS XL. I pull the older system out of my bag and offer it to the child.)

Me: “Do you want to play too?”

(The child gets a huge smile on his face and turns to ask his mum if it’s all right. She nods. I set the DS up, and hand it to the child. After a few minutes she looks over to see what the child is doing.)

Mum: “Um, no. He wanted that one.” *she points to the system I’m using* “He wants the new one. The one you gave him is too old.”

Me: “The old one works just fine, actually. And there’s a bigger variety of games. Besides, I just got this system and I’m not comfortable lending it out yet. Sorry.”

Mum: “No, it’s too old. Give him the new one. You’re probably not really even using it. You’re too old for Pokémon. Let him use it.” *reaches for my system*

Me: “Whoa, ma’am, no. This is mine. I’m using it. The one I lent your son works just fine. Look, he’s happy playing on that one. I’m not giving you this one.”

(She scowls at me, reaches up and pushes the “call flight attendant” button. As soon as the flight attendant arrives, she starts rambling on about how I won’t give her son back -his- DS. Meanwhile, the son is completely oblivious to what is going on and is engulfed in the Pokémon game.)

Mum: “He offered to share, and now she won’t give back the game! I demand you make her give my son back his game!”

Me: “What? No! I can assure you these are both my systems. Look, both the chargers are in my bag, along with multiple games and cases. And, if you look on the systems they both have my personal information in them. I can show you. They both even have stickers on the bottom with my full name and phone number in case I lose them.”

Mum: “NO! She’s lying! She did that while we went to the bathroom! She’s trying to steal my son’s games! GIVE IT BACK!”

(She lunges for my DS again. The poor flight attendant looks extremely confused, and meekly suggests we just put the games away. Then the passenger in front of us turns around.)

Passenger: “Geez, lady, will you shut the hell up. I’ve heard everything. This nice young lady so graciously offered to let your son play Pokémon on a system she wasn’t using. Now you’ve gone and messed it up because he didn’t get the system you thought he should have. Just look at him. He’s completely happy with that one. Now you’ve ruined it.”

(This seems like enough for the flight attendant who then asks to take a look at both systems. She sees the stickers I placed on the bottom and confirms that they are indeed mine. Then she asks if I wouldn’t mind putting them away. I oblige and put them back in my backpack. The child looks absolutely devastated, and the mother is fuming. She’s insisting I stole the systems from her, and that she’s going to call the police once we land. The flight attendant confirms that yes, police will be there, but only to escort her from the plane. The lady goes pale, and says absolutely nothing for the remainder of the flight. Just before we land, I apologize to the child.)

Me: “Look, I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

Child: “It’s okay. It wasn’t your fault. She ruins everything.”

(I tried to find the child in the airport after we landed to secretly slip him the old DS and Pokémon game since I don’t really use it much, but I couldn’t find him.)

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