Wednesday, August 19, 2015

P is for Pogs

Exhibit A:  Sonic the Hedge-pog
If P is for pogs, this might be a nostalgic post. gives this helpful definition of pog…
disc used in playing a game said to have originated in Hawaii and popular in U.S. during the mid-1990s; said to be from the name of a brand of juice, the bottle caps from it being used to play the game originally. 

…and this somewhat humorous example in its definition.
A small cardboard disk used by children in games : Hey, gimme back my pog! (1990s+)

You needed cases for your pogs.
An informative Wikipedia article—is there any other kind?—explains the origin of pogs and rules of the game. I also learned, “Because many children would keep the pogs they won in games from other players, many school districts considered pogs a form of gambling. Pogs proved to be major distractions from classes and the source of various playground arguments. These elements eventually led to the banning of pogs from various schools across North America.”

So pogs became a major distraction from classes and the source of various playground arguments? You think? Along with Pokemon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now smart phones. Back in the 1960s, my best friend and I were sentenced to detention for playing Cat’s Cradle in class. And our string was confiscated.

The Pog Mothership back in the day
During the 1990s, my hub and I took the Brosius brood to vacation in Ocean City, NJ—is there any other OC worth visiting?—every summer. One year, the Surf Mall on the Boardwalk overflowed with pogs . My boys and I bought dozens upon dozens of the colorful discs, for I craved them as much as the boys did for two reasons.

The primary pog purchases were for Vacation Bible School later in the summer. The Surf Mall had Christian pogs! Let me rephrase that:  They had Christian-themed pogs. The pogs themselves had not actually prayed the sinner’s prayer, although I also saw some disturbing pogs that needed to ponder the 4 Spiritual Laws. 

Are these Christian pogs? No, but they're under conviction.
Anyway, I stocked up on pogs with Bible verses, Christian slogans, and pictures of crosses, Jesus, and Bibles to use as VBS prizes. I (may) remember I taught third and fourth graders that summer. Or maybe first and second graders. The pogs proved to be a wildly successful incentive. Children were seen wandering the streets of Montandon each afternoon, repeating words from little cards to memorize the day’s scripture verse. The next morning I administered a written quiz, yes a written quiz, on the verse, and presented the precious pogs to the pupils who prevailed.

Somewhere in that hoarder’s paradise I call home, I still have the children’s scripture quizzes, misspelled in ways that generate guffaws while bringing tender tears to my eyes. 

I'm sure I still have these...
and these.
Also in hoarder’s paradise are my pogs, the ones I didn’t give as prizes. The ones I bought just for me: My Star Trek and Muppets pogs. That’s two separate categories, although I surely would have bought pogs that combined the two. Who wouldn’t want to see Miss Piggy
striking a flirtatious pose with Lt. Commander William T. Riker?
I wonder if my high school Bible students would respond to pogs…

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