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Gotta Catch 'Em All:
Quest For Remote-Controlled Ivysaur!

Matt - 1.31.01

This might be one of those articles that you should glance at very quickly and move on to avoid suffering the longterm effects of what I feel to be a comparably normal story on a site about toons and toys. I guess warning you is pretty moot at this point, but eventually I'm going to have to figure out whether things like this are actually formulaic, or resulting from insomnia. We'll see.

I wish I could explain away Pokemon appearances on this site with the fact that I get financial bonuses for mentioning 'em, but truth is, I probably just make Nintendo that much closer to suing me, not to mention alienating those in our audience who browse the internet like true men. I've found a great loophole with Poke. There's no real way for me to fit cryptozoology or something like that on here, but since Pokemon's got toys and toons and movies, at least we're on topic.

With that, three times in the past I've done articles on quests for Pokemon toys. I guess I was a little overconfident with the success rate, since I was duped into going through hell today for another. I mean, by C-3P0 of all people. Here, take a look..

Bulbasaurs: bulba.....bulba...

Bulbasaurs: SAUR! BULBASAUR!

Matt: What the fuck is wrong with you guys?

C-3P0: Your Bulbasaurs don't like Ivysaur. They're jealous of his pretty pink bulb.

Matt: Well, what should I do?

C-3P0: Simple. Kill the Ivysaur, he has no friends.

Matt: I'm not killing Ivysaur, C-3P0. I spent like a hundred dollars on that thing.

C-3P0: Fine. Then you must go hunt down a baby brother for him. Something of the...remote controlled persuasion.

C-3P0: You must trek out into the wilderness. This is where you'll find Ivysaur.

Matt: Really. 'The Wilderness'. Could you be a tad more specific?

C-3P0: Nah, we're pretty much talking general wilderness here. Get going. And use common sense!

Matt: What the fuck does that mean, anyway? 'Common sense.' As opposed to all the uncommon sense people usually utilize? I never understood that.

C-3P0: This isn't the time to debate tired cliches - Ivysaur awaits!

Matt: So, the general wildnerness, huh? 3P0, its friggin pouring rain outside. I'm not going out there. Would you go out in the middle of that storm looking for Pokemon?

C-3P0: I was never satisfied with casual encounters...

Matt: Well that's all fine and good for you, but I'd like to ---

C-3P0: ...I can't hide my need for two hearts that bleed...with burnin' love, that's the way its got to be!

Matt: Hmmm...

C-3P0: Romeo and Juliet! They never felt - this way - I bet! So don't you underestimate my point of viewwww!

Matt: Okay Madonna, could you at least describe what I'm looking for out there?

C-3P0: New breeds of Pokemon are being discovered every day. Every damn day. This particular Ivysaur comes with a remote control, and can shoot razor leaves.

Matt: Why would a remote controlled Ivysaur be out in the middle of the 'general' wilderness?

C-3P0: I stashed it there last night for you to find. I think you need to build character.

Matt: Great.

3P0 basically had my hands tied here. I wasn't going to kill Ivysaur just because the Bulbasaurs wouldn't play with it. At the same time, finding this Pokemon wouldn't be as easy as playing a few crane machines at amusement piers. I couldn't throw my quarters around for love this time, I actually had to work for it.

Feeling unprepared, I started to realize that catching wild Pokemon without a plan was basically walking into defeat. Besides, why would a wild Ivysaur trust me? He doesn't read X-E. He has no idea what I'd do for him. Obviously, I needed something to lure the Pokemon. So, I went to the local tackle shop.

Or, I should say, Fred's Bait Machine. When I was younger, this was a full-fledged tackle shop, complete with sandworms and a crusty old fisherman. As the tale goes, it took the poor guy around 35 years to finally accept the fact that this city has absolute no fishing territory or even a slight public interest in fishing, so he closed up shop...but not the tackle vending machine!

I could go on for hours about the idea that a machine that peddles live bait actually exists, but let's just say that the number of kids buying live bait for prank purposes must outweigh actual fishing sales by a ratio of 20 to 1. Be that as it may, today was my lucky day. The had Pokemon bait!

Sadly, Fred's idea of Pokemon bait turned out to be imported squid jerky. I'll give them some bonus points for the great shrink-wrapping job, as everyone knows squid is highly perishable and needs all the help it can get. On the flipside, this was pretty blatant false advertising. Squid jerky won't attract any Pokemon. And it looks disgusting to boot. We're not off to a great start, but there's no turning back now.

Unarmed, I faced the wilderness. Actually, it was sort of an combination of various wilderness aspects, that being forest, mud, snow, and beach. C-3P0 wanted 'general', and this was the closest thing I could find. Of course, while the ease with which you can murder someone is a definite NY plus, we have infamously shitty beaches and harbors, which serve more as a dumping ground for any type of drug paraphenilia or dead babies one needs to rid themselves of. Not the safest place to be, but that was all the more reason for me to go here. If Ivysaur was trapped in this hellhole, I had to save him.

That isn't to say I was thrilled with the idea of crawling through all that crap. The other Pokemon weren't this hard to catch. Before trekking through 3P0's general wilderness, I began to reminisce about the time I caught Ivysaur.

Now that was a fun time. All I had to do was play carnival games and tolerate the ever-present asshole who changes your bills for quarters. What's up with those people? They're the most hilariously miserable people on the planet. Try it out, go to any casino arcade, ask for quarters, and watch the shit hit the fan. But that's another story. I didn't have to go through hell to catch Ivysaur. Remote controlled Ivysaur though...this is another story. Electronic walking Pokemon are historically flighty, and given the rain, could easily be killed out in the general widerness. This wasn't the time for memories...I had to act fast.

He-Man: Sister, is he friend or foe?

She-Ra: I know not the answer, brother. Mayhaps we best contact thy Sorceress in the hopes for vague reasoning.

He-Man: I'm sick of going to the Sorceress with all of our problems. Maybe he's like Fisto. Villainous forest dweller who just needs a little love?

She-Ra: I must protest, his hand shows no signs of elephantitis. Now, why do you never remove thy chestplate?

He-Man: Farmer's tan, sis. Can't be showin' that off.

I continued on with my mission, all the while getting more wet and progressively more miserable. Most people get advice from their parents or Larry from Three's Company. Sure, its not always the best advice, but I'm sure not too many people get to go on excursions through hell at the wishes of a sadistic mafiosa C-3P0 who likes Madonna.

Not helping matters any was the level and type of debris all around me - everything from discarded used diapers to broken glass to what looked to be the most immense puddle of vomit to ever survive outdoors. If remote-controlled Ivysaur didn't appreciate this kind of effort, I'm not so sure that's a Pokemon I want to train.


C-3P0: Hey, I heard about this great new pirate movie today.

Jigglypuff: Puff?

C-3P0: Yeah, its rated arrrrrrr.

Jigglypuff: .....puff.

While that was going on, my search continued with little luck. The flash on the camera wasn't working properly, so you miss out on seeing the part where I enter a cave and eat all the bats. Maybe next time. You also missed the part where I did battle with a giant, mutant land crab. You missed all the good stuff, but the point is, I was having no luck finding Ivysaur. In a moment of total desolation, I looked to the floor in a heap of despair. And just like the time my mother bought me a Sega Genesis for being depressed, despair again has worked in my favor - what's that mysterious box near my now-completely-muddy foot?


Indeed it was the remote-controlled Ivysaur. A Japanese import, this Pokemon figure one-ups North American contributions by not only looking cute, but having the ability to walk. As an added bonus, the pretty bulb shoots plastic leaves at the push of a button, giving a clear reason as to why this toy was never released in the US. Some type of health hazzard lawsuit would definitely be a matter of time. As per the norm, if we want something cool, we've gotta turn to the Japanese. They're the only people who could get me to eat eel and watch gameshows. Likewise, they really know how to make their Pokemon toys.

Matt: These controls are preposterous. Someone put the 'L' and 'R' stickers on in the wrong spots.

Matt: Wazzat?!

C-3P0: I challenge you to a match! My Cubone! Your Ivysaur! To the finish! Winner gets the other one's Pokemon!

Matt: You can't challenge me to a match, we're friends!

C-3P0: Insolent fool! I just wanted that Ivysaur! Your feeble brain didn't put two and two together...I just wanted you to go out and fetch him so I wouldn't get rusty! Haha, you stupid...turtle!

Matt: Turtle?

C-3P0: Don't give me any shit, I didn't script out these insults. 100% AD LIB, baby. Now let's go. If you're a real man, you'll battle.

Matt: Well, you're forgetting one very important thing, 3P0. Not only am I not a real man, I'm barely a man at all.

C-3P0: Point taken - but the Pokemon guidebook clearly states that no trainer can turn down a challenge. You have to fight! Muahaha!

Matt: Any special rules for this?

C-3P0: Yes. If I win, you have to sing Like A Prayer with me.

Matt: You know you can't win, right? Grass Pokemon are strong against ground-type Pokemon. Why are you even bothering?

C-3P0: Camera time. Let's battle.

Of course, remote-controlled Ivysaur won, bringing me another victory, but more importantly, a new friend. But the thing I'm most happy about?

My 'saurs, now each side with equal force, all get along famously. Looks like all the hard work was worth it. So, what about C-3P0? What happened to him after this brutal defeat?

Never one to let one little loss get in his way, 3P0 managed to finally realize his lifelong dream of winning an Academy Award.

Its funny how the world works.

- Matt
AIM: xecharchar
Voicemail: 1-877-767-8600 - ext. 878 (whoever left the message consisting solely of the theme from Perfect Strangers, I think I love you)


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