So who’s the last person in the world you or I would ever think would play this infernal game? That’s right. Me. Well, maybe a close 2nd to Kim Jong Un. Then again…. In any case, Will started it by downloading it Friday night. It was “for the kids.” By Saturday morning, he was demanding I put it on my phone so we could be a family team (whatever the hell that means). That afternoon we went to a park with a lake/pond and a great nature trail. There were loads of those pokestop things or whatever, including one in the middle of the water. I have to admit I got into it, and was just as furious as Will was when the servers kept crashing. It was a really awesome idea: getting us all out together, moving around. I would put this in the “family fun” column, despite the oppressive heat.
Sunday was a very different kind of day for all reasons. The plan was I was to take the kids to the zoo while Will cut the grass. In the afternoon, I had mandatory girl scout training so I’ll be ready for my Daisies in the fall. I was also secretly convinced the zoo would have lots of pokestuff (and they do/will, once their servers get their act together). On the way to the zoo, the kids and I stopped for gas. I noticed lots of blue lights, cops whizzing by. It got worse at the gas station. As I was paying inside, 4 flew past, lights and sirens blaring. The cashier and I looked at each other, both puzzled. A very well-dressed older black gentleman behind me shook his head and softly said that “they” had killed 2 policemen. His pastor had told them in his church service.
I froze for a minute, just profoundly shocked and intensely sad. This isn’t L.A. or some major city with significant violence problems you might see on major network news. Hell, even though we’re the capital, we don’t even have an Ikea. Then again, I don’t understand any of this.
I paid for my gas and opted to continue our trip to the zoo. My kids had no idea what was happening, and taking an outing away from them would not have helped anything. We rode the train first thing. The zoo was pretty empty, it being Sunday morning and the middle of summer. There was one other family riding with us. I caught 2 pokethings while riding until the server crashed. The kids were happy. As we got off, the “father” starting loudly lamenting about the latest in the shooting. He declared that it was open season on “us,” that “they would be coming for us.” He was wearing a Trump shirt. I wanted to beat the snot out of the guy, saying this shit in front of little kids. (Mr. Trump, if you’re reading this, this sort of asshat is not helping your image or whatever.)
While we were at the zoo, a lady from Girl Scouts called to tell me that my training was postponed, as their office is only a few blocks away from where the shooting and its aftermath was occurring. Between that change of plans, all the blue lights we were seeing, and the 2 helicopters circling our house, Stella started asking questions once we got home. I love “teachable moments. But in this case, she’s only 5 and is very naive for her age. I wasn’t going to be completely honest. I told her that a bad guy was very angry about something and had hurt some policemen. She very solemnly asked how bad: this bad (hands 6” apart) or this bad (hands fully outstretched)? I told her I didn’t know, but it may be that bad. She was very worried that if the policemen were hurt, our house would get burglars. She was very worried about burglars. Call me a chicken shit, but I’m glad that’s the worse thing she has to worry about right now.
I’m glad I was able to assuage Stella with half truths. I don’t understand this shit myself, and certainly not enough to explain it to anyone else. What that nutjob did to those cops (and this goes for what happened in Dallas as well) is inexplicable. To me it’s the equivalent of a toddler with no impulse control getting pissed off at daycare when little Johnny stole his dumptruck. To retaliate against little Johnny, the angry toddler goes home, wanders next door where his buddy little Mikey lives, and shits on little Mikey’s floor. It’s like 1 + 2 = purple.
So today here there is a lot of sadness. We’re hearing about the dead men – the awesome things they did both on and off the job, their families, their kids. I will say this: I have noticed that everyone is being a little kinder to each other today. I suppose that’s something.
In the meantime, I’m going to keep looking for pokestuff. Somehow in this world right now, searching for imaginary monsters makes more sense.