Pokémon GO ruined my roadtrip

Maya Shen/Staff

When he said yes to a road trip, I was hella pumped. But when he said no to SoCal, I deflated.

What a killjoy.

Upon seeing my crestfallen face, he gives me some bullshit excuse like traffic or time constraints or something. Even so, this dude is my favoritest person to hang out with because we always get to do whatever I want.

I don’t understand what he has against SoCal. But, undeterred by this setback, I start adulting and plan ahead. My favorite cookies are in Santa Cruz, so I decide that that’s where we’re headed. Equipped with the wonder that is Google Maps, I manage to locate the Pacific Cookie Company. Google Maps also helpfully suggests something about a beach boardwalk, so I toss that in, too.

The night before we leave, I am so excited about our adventure that I can’t sleep. Most of our usual escapades involve him picking me up and driving to the doughnut shop across the street from his house, so this is a nice change of scenery. At long last, the sun finally decides to drag its lazy arse out of bed.

By the time his car pulls up in front of my house, the Roman Empire has risen and fallen. He’s not on his phone (a rarity!) and is absurdly late (not a rarity). He says something about the boardwalk and I am mildly surprised that he has an opinion. I tell him so.

Halfway across Highway 17, he hands me his phone. An unsuspecting me thinks that perhaps he is hopelessly lost and needs guidance. l smirk — he’s got me! Who needs Google Maps? Soon, however, I realize my mistake. A Gyarados pops up on the screen wearing the same expression as I now am: >:c

Pokémon GO.

I feel cheated. This isn’t what I signed up for. The purpose of this trip has been grossly misconstrued — I wanted to eat cookies that tasted like happiness; to sprint along the sun-kissed beach with the water hugging my feet; to feel the wind running its fingers through my hair, and he wants to wander around aimlessly while squinting down and tapping away at a dim screen. No wonder he wanted to go to the boardwalk; Dratinis run rampant there.

He glances over. “You’re judging me.”

I pout the rest of the way.

Just kidding. Like a good Samaritan, I dutifully attempt to toss pokeballs in a vehicle moving at 60 mph through a mountain pass — with varying degrees of success. This is clearly not my area of expertise; I wish he would have just asked me for directions to the cookie place.

When we stop for pizza at a place that I’ve picked out, he reclaims his phone. My presence is blatantly ignored — I am clearly not a priority. Greatly offended, I try to break his concentration, but he interrupts my interruption.

“If I can beat their gym, we’ll get a free meal.”

I am so done with this kid. But because he’s my ride home, I’m stuck with him for the rest of the day.

I sulk in the passenger seat as he drives. I don’t care that he’s trying to make conversation with me — I’m not yet done silently expressing my displeasure. He ends up prattling on in a monologue, and because I’m not paying attention to what he’s saying, we’re at the beach before I realize we’re in the wrong place.

He sees my horrified expression. “It’ll be quick, I promise. I just need to catch a Dratini. Then we’ll go get your cookies.”

I mope past the roller coasters and screaming children. He’s so tall I can’t see what’s happening on his phone screen, even when standing on tiptoe. He tries to accommodate for my height but he’s too distracted to notice that I still can’t see.

Okay, fine.

But when I take out my phone to pretend I have other things to do, I realize I’m out of data. So we go our separate ways: he in search of Pokémon, me in search of Wi-Fi. His quest is more successful than mine, however, and because I’m not comfortable setting out on my own, I have no choice but to experience second-hand embarrassment as I watch him trip over feet and bags as he stumbles around the food tables.

“There’s a Dratini nearby!”


The rest of the day passes in a haze of disappointment. I don’t even remember if he caught his stupid Dratini. All I remember is going home cookie-deprived.

He’s still my favoritest person to hang out with, though.

Contact Adelaide Chen at [email protected].