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Wish He Would Pokémon Go Away

| Friendly | February 8, 2017

(I’m waiting in a salon for a hair appointment, idly playing a Pokémon game on my handheld. A boy of about ten or so who is waiting with his mother sees and immediately gets excited.)

Kid: “You have Pokémon! Do you want to trade?”

Me: “Haha, sure, if it’s okay with your mom.”

Woman: “Oh, as long as he isn’t bothering you, of course.”

(I open up my Pokémon to find something to trade. I’m not expecting to get anything good; I’m mostly just charmed by the kid’s enthusiasm and the experience, until…)

Kid: *leaning over my shoulder watching me scroll through my Pokémon* “Wow! You have a shiny [Rare Pokémon]! I want that one!”

Me: “That one’s not for trade. But all these—“

(Before I can say anything else, the kid begins screaming in my face. Like someone has flipped a switch, this ten-year-old turns red faced and howling at top volume, with tears streaming down his face, fists bunched angrily at his sides. It’s the sort of wild, hysterical tantrum you’d expect a toddler to throw.)

Woman: “Just give him the stupid thing!”

Me: “Lady, with all due respect, if this is how your kid reacts to being told he can’t have something in a VIDEO GAME, I’m not going to enable him.”

(The salon owner came over and told the woman she needed to control her kid or leave. I missed the resolution of it because I got called back for my hair appointment. As she was leaning me back into the basin to wash my hair for the cut, my stylist murmured, “I don’t know about you, but that made my uterus shrivel up.” You and me both, sister.)

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