For a minute I was worried there wouldn’t be enough reasons for Elijah and Luca to stare at screens. Thankfully, Pokémon Go hit the scene. If you aren’t a 9 year old or a jackass hipster, Pokémon Go is a phone game where you locate little digital animals in your neighborhood using your GPS and camera.
As much as I hate it, the game actually gets the boys out of the house and has enabled us to explore more of our hometown than the well-worn trail between our house and Chipotle. I’ve had to grab their collars here and there to keep them from strolling into a busy street like little nearsighted Mr. Magoos, but it has been 99% fun.
On Saturday, we were walking around catching Gooblesnarks or Poopledoodles and I remembered my friend Josh telling me about another game called Geocaching. Geocaching is like Pokémon Go, except instead of digital monsters, real people hide real treasures in the real world. You use your phone like a treasure map and get a little prize like a sticker or the satisfaction of existing in reality.
Eli was totally into it. He may have mistakenly thought the treasure would include gold Doubloons. I didn’t exactly discourage that line of thinking. But there was a treasure located in our neighboring park, so I thought it would be a nice, easy start to a lifetime of adventure.
It was Saturday so the cousins were with us. Eli used my phone to triangulate the thing and I had taken this opportunity to sit by the basketball court and pretend I had next game.
Suddenly, I heard screams coming from a nearby shrubbery. Eli was red-faced and howling. Stupidly I thought his screams were of delight.
“Ooh what is it? Stickers? I bet it’s stickers!”
“Wasps!” he screamed.
As he writhed in pain, I examined his knee, which had a nasty welt. Oh yeah, something got him.
“Are you sure it was a wasp?” I asked, way too calm for the situation.
“It’s in my shirt! He screamed.
“Oh my,” I said. Oh my? Why was I so calm? Shouldn’t I be freaking out? Isn’t this how the kid died in the movie “My Girl?”
The wasp exited his shirt after biting (Stinging? Pinching?) him several more times. It also decided to sting cousin Rory’s nose before it was done.
I bent to ask if he could walk, but Eli wasn’t there. He had already run three quarters of the distance home. I scooped up his flip flops and started across the field.
But then I realized I didn’t have my phone. Eli had tossed it in his attack. That’s when I panicked.
We arrived home a little later and applied ice to Eli’s wounds. Diana recalled the story of when she stepped in a wasp nest as a kid and Eli somehow convinced us this brush with death deserved a strip to Great America.
Where we played Pokémon Go.