I didn’t realize that I still had them. But as my wife and I went through the things in the basement, deciding what would be given to Goodwill and what would be going to the dump, I came across as small red bag, filled with cardboard discs and a brass slammer.
Memories flooded back. In middle school, but about two weeks, possibly a month, Pogs were the biggest thing in the world. For those who don’t remember, Pogs are a cross between baseball collecting and a game of jacks. You and your opponent place your Pogs into a stack, then take turns dropping/throwing your slammer on the top of the stack. Those Pogs that flip over are your to keep.
And so the risk of playing Pogs is losing them. And the fun of playing Pogs is winning them. I never had much fun playing Pogs, because I hated losing them. And I never played enough to get good at winning them because I was afraid to lose the ones that I had left. I preferred safety to risk.
In my defense, I had some pretty sweet Pogs. You see, my dad sold them for a time in his hobby shop, so I got my pick of the good ones. My collection consists primarily of DC Comics Pogs. I have Robin, Hawkman, Deathstroke, Black Lightning, Superboy. I have Aquaman, John Stewart, The Joker, Metamorpho, and Lex Luthor. I even have Mr. Mxyzptlk, Lobo, and Shazam. The only one that I don’t have (that I wanted) is Batman.
Of course, I had some average Pogs as well. I have a number of Goosebumps Pogs (Copyright 1995) that came free in boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios. And I have a few stinkers like a sun wearing sunglasses pitching local grocery store D&W and a buoy for some reason.
The point is that I learned at a young age that I’m not much of a gambler. I never wanted to risk much in order to get better as a Pog player. And in the case of Pogs, this was fine, because by the time I had gotten good at Pogs, the fad would have been over and my skill would have been wasted. But the truth is the same.
I prefer safety.
And so, after finding them, you might be wondering whether they went to the dump or to Goodwill. The answer is…
Neither. It’s a fine collection of Pogs. If I wasn’t going to get rid of it in middle school, I’m not going to get rid of them now. Maybe I’ll finally find the missing Batman Pog and my collection will be complete.