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You guys remember the Pogo Ball, right? Well just yesterday in a mall in China, they were advertising a workout video utilizing the pogo ball. These tree kids were jumping around on them like someone had just injected them with crystal meth. The workout video was pretty standard: on the beach, attractive girl leads other girls, calling out numbers and moves as she goes . . . All this while bouncing up and down on a Pogo Ball.

I never got things when everyone else got them, so my Pogo Ball must have been second, third, or dare I say fourth generation issue. It had a face on it, and I know the first ones didn’t. The face looked like Michael Rappaport with a mohawk and sunglasses and I am pretty sure that my brother’s had a cat face. I don’t know why we picked the ones we did or if they were given to us, but after waiting for them as long as we did, we got some cool ass pogo balls.

While we’re on the topic of cat faces and pogo balls, when I was about eight years old, I came home from school one day and my mom and I had this dialog:

Mom: Patrick! I have a surprise for you!

Patrick: NINTENDO!?

Mom: Nooooooo.

Patrick: POGO BALL!?!?

Mom: No!

Patrick: What is it, maaaaaaw! Tell me tellme tellmetellme!

Mom: Go look in the bathroom.

The bathroom? What the hell, mom? Did you get me some really cool exfoliating cleanser or something? I looked around, and in the sink, wrapped up in a towel was a kitten. I was still getting over the fact that it wasn’t a Pogo ball or a Nintendo so I must have had to fake excitement about getting a cat. I thought to myself, “She’s a cute kitten and all, but she’s no Nintendo. At least a Nintendo would provide me hours of fun and enjoyment.”

Of course, mother knows best. My pogo ball was sold at a yard sale or left behind at one of the houses I moved from, and my Nintendo . . . it’s in a blue typewriter case somewhere unless my dad threw it away. Loretta is still bringing me happiness and congestion to this day. Mom didn’t know that I was allergic to cats at that time, but it didn’t matter. Today, I still regard my cat as the best gift I have ever received.

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