I've never been to Mecca, nor have I ever played Pokémon Go.
The closest I've come to the Kaaba is writing a parody about it.
The closest I've come to playing Pokémon Go is handing out little Pokémon trading cards to my kids. (Someone gave me a gigantic box of them about fifteen years ago.)
But apparently Pokémon Go is a thing. People are crashing cars, falling off cliffs and literally venturing into churches in order to find and manipulate cartoon characters whose virtual location is revealed on their smart phones.
"Gyms" are virtual areas where characters can fight each other. They are often located at famous places or landmarks.
Hence a gym on top of the Kaaba.
Accordingly, Muslim gamers have been spotted playing inside the central Mataf area that surrounds the monument.
This article implies that while the game is controversial in the desert kingdom, some Saudi Arabian authorities have been fairly tolerant of it, which, frankly, is surprising.
Women can't drive but you can goof around with a supremely Western artifact in the holiest place (to Muslims) in the world.
As long as you don't do it with bacon.
Maybe the imams think the Pokémon are djinn.
Or maybe they're still scouring Bukhari for the relevant Hadith.
Meanwhile, their counterparts in the West are crashing cars, falling off cliffs and literally venturing into churches.
I'm immune to all of this silliness.
Today I was doing laundry in my building's basement. Sometimes I bring my kids down to keep me company and to give them an exciting time "helping" me by putting the laundry card in the card slot and pressing the button. Everyone knows I'm the guy with all the kids.
But today I was alone, which gave me the chance to loudly curse the company that maintains the dryers. One of them (of course the best and hottest dryer) had been out of commission for two weeks. Two whole weeks. Damn company. I've lost five bucks in the machine already. (Slight kick to broken dryer.) They don't care about people. It's just the corporate mentality. No one takes pride in their jobs anymore. And so on and so forth.
Sometimes I wish I could run the world.
"Don't worry," said the building manager, walking in. "The repair guys visited yesterday and all the machines are working fine."
"What was the matter?" I asked
He looked at me significantly. "They found a Pokémon card in one of the card slots."