When To Let The Pokémon Go: Ten Places You Shouldn’t Play The World’s Hottest Game

I don’t want to see you catching any Pokémon up in this bitch,” Rihanna recently told an audience in France on her Anti World Tour and, once we’d gotten over the initial shock of believing that the developers at Niantic had gone way too far over the boundaries of personal intrusion with their placing of Mewtwos, we got her point. For years gigs have been being marred by forests of smartphones going up for the big hits, now they risk turning into stampedes as ultra-rare Articunos appear in the pit during ‘Work’. Or fights – one Beyonce fan on Instagram was furious at another audience member at the Stade de France playing Pokémon Go barely ten feet from where Bey was performing. Despite, um, being on Instagram themselves.

So it’s becoming unacceptable to chase tiny, yellow, rarely-seen blighters at live gigs – except, presumably, if it’s Justin Bieber – but, in Rihannese terms, which other “bitches” shouldn’t we be catching Pokémons up in? Here’s ten more situations where you should really just let the Pokémon go…

1. When On Trial

Courtrooms are notoriously hung up on people paying attention and acting with respect and restraint, so if you’re facing a lengthy stretch and the judge is about to pass sentence, it’s not the best time to scramble out of the dock yelling “come here you little Pidgey bastard!” After all, not many Pokémons will be popping up in your cell during the extra couple of years you’ll get for contempt.


2. During Sex

Besides pulling a sandwich from under the mattress, little could be as off-putting during the intimate and adventurous act of lovemaking than your partner suddenly jumping out of the bed/airplane toilet/fairground ride shouting the name of a bizarre Japanese creature. Especially if it’s not a Jigglypuff or Wigglytuff they’re chasing, which might be mistaken for deranged terms of affection, or Alakazam, which might sound like it’s all gone very well indeed, but something less complimentary. No-one wants to be coitally interrupted by someone shouting “Grimer!”, “Mankey!” or “Bellsprout!”. Although if you happen to spot a Lickitung, it may well enhance the experience.


3. During The Final Chase

The team has quizzed its collective ass off to get £56,000 in the bank on ITV gameshow The Chase and all four of you have made it home. This is no time to go hunting for invisible birds at the top of Mark ‘The Beast’ Labbett’s massive Slide Of Disdain.


4. In The Foreign Office

That isn’t an oversized Pikachu, that’s Boris Johnson. See also: When Negotiating Brexit.


5. At An Ayahuasca Ceremony

You’re tripping balls at a psychotropic hippy love-in where everyone loses control of their bodily functions. You’re probably hallucinating that Zapdos, and even if you’re not, do you really want to risk landing face-first in a bucket of shit and vomit to catch it?


6. At The End Of A PokéDate

Yes, despite our warnings in Number 2 (see above), someone somewhere has inevitably made Pokémon Go about shagging. Project Mixup have launched a dating app called PokéDates, which hooks up players to go on Pokémon-hunting dates for £15 a pop. A great idea, but remember that ‘winning’ at PokéDates involves at least pretending after an hour or so to be more interested in your date than the Pokémon. Otherwise the entire exercise only goes to prove that you’ll both be single forever.


7. When Negotiating Brexit

Things are shaky enough in the world of international economic relations right now without you entering pre-Brexit discussions with European leaders with your phone out, hoping to pick up an EU-exclusive Mr Mime – which we may now never see in the UK, thanks Leavers – between crucial trade talks. Just put the bloody thing away and listen to what Merkel’s got to say, this is serious shit.


8. While ‘Running The Bull’

Every year in Pamplona, Spain, several hundred idiots decide it’ll be a laugh to try to outrun six bulls that are released along the streets, on their way to certain death in the bullring that evening. It’s a bit like your local fun run, but with more bloodshed, and the insanely low IQ required to take part will undoubtedly mean that, at some point, one of the runners will stop to flick a red and white virtual ball at a kind of long-tailed kangaroo cat somewhere along the route. Don’t let that gored-up-the-jacksie moron be you.


9. While Working As A UN Landmine Officer

Unless you’re desperate to bag yourself a Boobybangaboom.


10. While Auditioning For Cirque De Soleil

Although it might well be even more impressive if you can bungee from the rafters onto a moving unicycle while juggling chainsaws and capture an errant Mew with your teeth, best just concentrate on the job in hand.