So one night, I was on the subway to MIT. This happens often, sometimes several times a week, and I have it down to a science. Go down to the lower level of the Harvard Square T-stop, walk all the way down to the second last bench on the left side of the station, and get into the second-to-last car so that I enter Kendall Square exactly in front of the the exit.

This particular Friday night, the others who had decided to inhabit my car were three men. They were young (18-25ish), black, and looked about as stereotypical urban youth as it got. They sat down about 10 seats away from me.

Lost in my own thoughts, I paid them no attention at first. At one point, though, I noticed that they were passing around several colorful binders. Family pictures or something? I thought. Not exactly the swag one brings to go pick up ladies at the club. I kept looking.

They chattered animatedly, but the noise of the train drowned out their words. They gestured at the binders, passing them to and fro. Finally, on one such pass, one whole side of a binder was pointed at me.

I lost all tact and STARED.

Little colorful paper rectangles peered out at me in neat rows and columns from the pages of the binder.


This was by far the funniest thing that had happened to me all week. Not that M:TG wasn’t an equal opportunity game, but it doesn’t exactly enjoy too much of a market overlap with Fubu and Roca Wear. You can’t really find ads for it on BET. Mana burn probably was not one of Jay Z’s 99 problems…you know? Besides, Magic stopped being cool even for most geeks years ago. The surrealness of the situation almost overwhelmed me.

Then, as the train pulled into Central and all became quiet for a second, the only thing that could have POSSIBLY made this better happened.

“I’ll trade you two of these for an Abras,” said the guy whose hair looked like Huey Freeman‘s.

My eyes swam with barely contained tears of sheer mirth. POKEMON? POKEMON CARDS??? Upon closer examination, it was true. Amidst the reds and greens, there were yellows and purples. Pokemon cards.

Teenagers playing Pokemon cards–okay. Teenagers dressed in Roca Wear playing Pokemon cards–kind of rare. Teenagers dressed in Roca Wear playing Pokemon cards in 2007?!

My only response is this:


First the preps adopted geek clothing because it was “cool.” Then it was trendy to be nerdy in Hollywood. And now this. Who’s too White and Nerdy now?!

(Edit: I’ve disabled comments on this post because I’m tired of all the people posting about the merits of the Pokemon cards I chose and being otherwise totally immature. If you have something REALLY IMPORTANT to tell me, email me or something.)