Where are all the Adults?

Where have all the adults gone?

 

I’m well aware of a large number of recent tragedies and moments of political upheaval that may well go onto have global repercussions, and a skilled writer would be able to generate an engaging an interesting article on any of these things. However, I am not a skilled writer, nor are the large majority of bloggers, yet it hasn’t stopped them. So instead of being another self-important piece on the cabinet reshuffle or terrorist atrocities, where I try and show how politically engaged and intelligent I am, I’m going to write another self-important piece on Pokemon Go.

Being roughly 24-25 (I honestly don’t know, I keep having to text my dad to find out), I existed in what you might call the Pokemon generation. You will notice I refuse to use the accented e. as Poke-Mon sounds cooler, like a Star Wars character. I watched the series, collected the cards, used cleverly worded tricks and promises to swindle my friends out of good cards in exchange for bad ones and even played the games. I used to dream about belonging in the world of Pokemon, so I can leave home at the age of 11 and wander the world, beating wild animals to the point of submission before keeping them in cramped conditions for lengthy periods and occasionally forcing them to fight others. So why, when I heard tell of a new augmented reality game that incorporates the real world and those scientifically questionable monsters, why was I not the least bit interested?

It turns out, it’s because I’m roughly 24-25. I have moved on. Pokemon was a huge part of my childhood and there it remains, for the very same reason I no longer hang out at The Ditch and pretend to be a Power Ranger.

Aside: The Ditch was a place situated between my house and the house of a good friend of mine. It was, as the name suggests, a large overgrown ditch, in which one might find a trolley, or on a good day, the door to a tumble dryer.

This week, I have been forced to endure endless conversations about Pokemon, where to find them and the where the gyms are situated. One heavily bearded “adult” passionately exclaimed how he found an Eve (spelling may not be correct) outside KFC. Grown men and women, with jobs and who pay tax venture out on their lunch hours in the hopes of finding that elusive Pigeott.

Why? Where have all the adults gone? When did we become this nation of the perpetual child? It’s strange, unnerving even. I’m accused of being miserable, pretentious even. I’ve even been accused of trying to ruin everyone’s fun, simply because I don’t get excited over the idea of using my phone camera to see a fictional worm sitting on my desk! Madness! Madness I say!

Someone even tried to defend it by saying, and I quote “It’s good though, because it’s helping me lose weight, because before I wouldn’t bother going out, but now I’m going for walks in the evenings to try and catch Pokemon.” He says this with a serious expression etched onto his features. Pokemon… convincing someone to go outside and walk to combat weight gain? Why is being a fat shit not inspiration enough?

It was recently reported that two people fell off a cliff whilst playing this game. I laughed. Admittedly as I continued to read I felt bad for doing so as they were really hurt, but that’s the news paper’s fault for starting an article simply saying that some people fell off a cliff because they were too busy looking at their phones. Once upon a time this might have featured in a satirical sketch show, but no, so engrossed in this endless obsession of ‘catching ‘em all’ people are walking off cliffs, off piers, strolling into the waiting arms of angry bears, crashing planes and all sorts.

It’s not just the current Pokemon Go fad that makes me feel this way. Recently, the Deadpool film hit the cinemas and people loved them. This comic book adaptation had an 18 rating, meaning it was intended for adults. I’ve not seen it, it may well be a clever dig at the superhero trend and Hollywood’s obsession with churning them out. I did see Captain America 2 not long ago. It was alright, but the story was (if one liked to over analyse) one of post 9/11 espionage and government policy and the changing nature of war and global threats and how we are all at risk of accidentally surrendering power to sinister, totalitarian regimes and organisations in the name of security, this is clearly not a theme aimed at children. It was still Captain America, and one in a never ending list of films about costumed folk beating up badguys in whatever form they come, which adults spent their hard earned money on watching.

Why WHY! Why can’t we just grow up like people did in the good old days, where they reached the age of twenty-two, decided their days of having fun were over and started wearing jumpers?

Because… the good old days.

Nostalgia, that’s what it is. We yearn for the carefree days of playing the Pokemon games, swapping the cards. Nostalgia is a good feeling. But Nostalgia is also dangerous! It’s more addictive than any drug. Just walk into a building and say “do you remember the Crash Bandicoot games?” and watch everyone go mental.

It can ruin lives nostalgia. People get so lost in the past they forget they’re in the present, they don’t see the future charging towards them before it’s too late and they’re dead. I lost my father to nostalgia, I asked him what school was like in the 70s. His eyes glazed over, he let out a long breath as he travelled back through time several decades. He’s been trapped in the 70s ever since. It’s a genuine fear of mine that he’ll try and do something differently and the paradox that ensues would leave me fading out of existence.

“So what do you do that’s so much better than this eh? If you so begrudge free independent people their moments of thoughtless entertainment in a world of constant uncertainty and woe?” I hear the Pokemon Go players screaming.

Well, I drink a lot, and when I’ve run out of money for drinking, I masturbate.

TheFuzzyRambler.

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Sad Beans and Weeping Eggs.

No stupid doodles today. Apologies if this dissapoints. Just a creative writing exercise based on a dissapointing breakfast.

I couldn’t say what system of events led me to be eating a lukewarm fried breakfast in a pub at nine am. It was one in a chain of notoriously cheap pubs. The beans looked sad, the eggs wept. I couldn’t say what led to me sitting there, on the hard backed bench at a sticky – oh so sticky table, poking listlessly at a breakfast that appeared more depressed than I was, but my mind had a good go at working out why everyone else was there.

Scattered sporadically about the place, shrouded in the dreary gloom of the building (odd to think given the glorious sunshine outside) were the local alcoholics. I often wonder what would possess a man to drink a pint of sickly sweet, synthetic tasting cider at nine in the morning. Though I have to admit, I do have some respect for them all. If I were to drink in a pub that early – not that I ever would mind – I’d order a coffee, and slip some whisky in it myself. I don’t do that obviously. I’m just saying if I was to drink early, which I don’t, that’s what I’d do – but I don’t. It takes a sense of courage, an integrity of character to sit there with a pint glass, filled with cloudy ale and boldly declare, ‘yes, I am partaking in an alcoholic beverage. Yes, I am aware what time it is.’

It’s a sorry state to be in true enough, but an entirely organic one.

Take Jane over there. Her name’s probably not Jane, but it’s the one I bestow upon her for the sake of convenience. Her face is lined, perhaps prematurely, because she smokes a lot you can smell it on her. She reeks of stale tobacco, she’s rank with it, it’s tangy and makes your nose shrivel up and your eyes go all twitchy. Like a gnome. Like a gnome having a severe reaction.

She’s old, but maybe not as old as you think is what I’m saying. Her hairs sort of thinning and wiry, it’s still black but time has dabbed it with strokes of prominent grey. She has a bitter looking mouth, twisted in a scornful little sneer. She wasn’t always like that. Obviously, logic dictates she was young once. Unless she was born old, but that’s a disturbing image.

She was once a hardcore feminist, fighting with a violent passion to smash that glass ceiling. When she was a student, I’m guessing English lit… or maybe politics. As I look at her now, taking a sip of my coffee, without anything in it, this too lukewarm (this pub has an inability to make anything even approaching hot) I think she may have done philosophy. Yeah, that’s it, I can see her discussing Wittgenstein or Plato.

She would have been beautiful once too probably, beautiful and knew it. One of those weird feminists that rails against being viewed as a sexual object, but exploits her obvious sexuality. The sort who opposes the shallow world, but keeps looking at herself in the mirror and builds her ego from compliments and lingering looks from the men whose oppressive dominance she wanted to overthrow. She marched against Thatcher I’m betting. I don’t know what. I don’t know much about Thatcher, I wasn’t born then and haven’t been interested enough to find out about her. She would have marched against anything going I bet. ‘Stop the oppressing slugs.’ ‘Down with the sexualisation of deckchairs – they have feelings too!’

Anything that made her seem like she cared. Like she was important. Like she was intelligent. Like she was bohemian and rebellious, but above all unconventional. No one liked being conventional. Her youth had been eroded and with it her looks. There was nothing to rebel against now. The world was far too liberal for her liberal mind. Her knowledge of epistemology and metaphysics hadn’t got her anywhere. Too many men had screwed her over. Too many passionate, but of course unconventional love affairs had gone awry. So here she sat. Drinking a pint of Guinness.

This breakfast really is disgusting. Over there’s Pete. He thought himself a sex icon once. Now his hair’s in full retreat whilst his belly is in full assault. It wasn’t a vanity based on aesthetics. No, it wasn’t the vanity of the mirror. IT was something else. See for his sixteenth birthday – no may have been his fifteenth, I don’t know I’m just guessing. Coffee’s nasty, but at least it’s free refills. Anyway, for his fifteenth birthday he got given a guitar, picked it up quite swiftly too. His fingers tap danced over the frets like no other. He grew his hair out and rocked the same way too. He would smoke a cigarette and wear a leather jacket.
He played his first gig in a pub. A shoddy sort of place, like this place only in the seventies. He felt like a god. He saw the way the men wanted to be him, and the women wanted to be with him, that old cliché. IT felt wonderful, in one of his lengthy solos a woman with prominent breasts whooped at him.

That night he smoked weed for the first time, got the giggles and had sex. Life was on the up for Pete after that.

He played all the pubs in his town, even some in London. He thrived on the applause, he was going to hit it big. Soon he’d be in the big venues, with some abstract concept album. He’d have all the sex he wanted – he could get it so easily – and maybe he’d die in some drug fuelled orgy, but in death he’d be immortalised and his record sales would go through the roof. If it was made of glass he’d be seen as a hero by Jane.

Unfortunately, in his excitement he forgot to write his own songs. It wasn’t long before his covers went out of fashion. People slowly stopped clapping, after a time they stopped listening.

He tried to break back into it not long ago I reckon. He didn’t get the adulation he felt he deserved. In fact people talked over his shoddy solos. He was out of practise, balding and fat. No one likes a balding fat man. So there he was, drinking the cheap cider he had always drank at his gigs. If the barman caught his eye, he’d try and talk about music. The barman would listen politely, because he was getting paid £6.45 an hour to do so.
Then there’s Christine. She’s perhaps a bit older than Jane. Hair short and in a perm. She came in every morning –eurgh! Cold slimy egg! It’s like eating snot, ever eaten snot? I don’t recommend it, it’s like eating a
cold slimy egg.

She comes in every morning. Orders herself a coffee. Says she is a coffee connoisseur. She always used to have a pot on the go when she wrote her novels. She was a keen writer. She was nice enough too, a bit dull though. Her lively prose and her poignant poetry gave an unrealistic interpretation of her personality. For all the wonderful thoughts that occurred in her head, she was just no fun. She’s a coffee connoisseur. Which is why she comes into a pub – renowned for is cheapness. For the wonderful exotic coffee. She wrote a book once, it was a love story perhaps. But a love story fraught, as they are, with difficulties, but that doesn’t matter because love conquers all. All you need is love. Love trumps hate. Love love love.

This coffee is disgusting.

But she is a connoisseur, so she’d use better words. ‘This coffee is a dark roast, perhaps from Ethiopian origins. Nutty textures, but altogether underwhelming on the pallet.’ She’s a connoisseur, but she’ll only have the one. Then, as she’s here, she may as well have a few gin and tonics. An officers’ drink that is. Maybe even a glass of wine why not? Whilst she’s here. She’s a coffee connoisseur, that’s what she came for, but she’ll be finished it soon, so why not – as she’s here – in a chain widely known for its cheapness, partake in a little
tipple?

Her book was published. One of the big companies too. She told all her friends (who thought she was boring) she told her family (who thought she was boring but would never dare admit it, she was family) she moved into a flat with the payment. She planned her next five novels (all variations on a theme). Her novel was probably called something like – A Love Best Remembered – or something like that, I don’t know, I’ve never read it. Not the only one either, hardly anyone read it. It was panned. It was dull like her, the characters two dimensional probably. The prose would have been lively though. After a matter of months it was pulped. She didn’t write anything ever again. Which was a shame, because her poetry was poignant. In her youth she would have written something that would probably have a passage like this in it.

‘I said I would love you,
Until the day I die,
But I’m still alive,
And there are tears in your eyes
Isn’t the world much better,
When it’s packed full of lies?’

I like that. I’d read her poetry if she’d write any. But she won’t because she spends all her days drinking gin and tonic and wine. That’s the problem when you go for your coffee in a cheap pub. It’s inevitable. I don’t know why she doesn’t just go to Costa.

There’s one thing they all have in common though, them and the others dotted about the place. They’re all alone. All of them. Alone.

Alone.

That was disgusting. The sausages, the bacon, the snot eggs, the sad beans. The coffee wasn’t bad in the end I suppose, at least it was free refills. I should have gone somewhere else though. These tragic characters depress me. With their sad dead youth, and their all too real presents. What’s even sadder is that very little of all that is likely to be true, how should I know? Chances are, they’re just drunks. Which is sort of sadder.

I better do something quick, lest I find myself joining them.

 

The FuzzyRambler.