Back when I was 8 years old, my mom would take me and my younger brother, Jason, to K-Mart in which we both would become immensely bored with, quickly.
The K-Mart store we went to had white tiles throughout the store, interspersed with a sporadic and randomly placed black tile which never seemed to have any predictable pattern reason to it’s placement.
With one exception.
A small child could jump between these tiles.
So one day, I looked at my brother, and said “All the white tiles are hot lava. If you touch one you will die. “
My brother, always good at playing along with me, agreed.
So as we followed my mom throughout the store, we both jumped from black tile to black tile, occasionally bumping into things, which my mom would be very quick to chide us on.
“Will you two behave?,” she’d scold.
We both stood motionless on our black tiles.
“Ok mom,” we’d say.
My brother was the first to hit a white tile.
“AHHH,” I yelled. “you just died. Now pretend you’re dead and you have to wait a minute before you can start again!”
He protested, mildly, but then he conceded and put on his best act, acting like he was melting, after he eventually slumped and rolled over on the ground with his tongue sticking out of his mouth.
I’d just gotten a new watch, the kind with the calculator on it, so I timed him.
“Ok. You can get up now!,” I said.
I died a couple times.
He died a couple times.
Along the way, we did have to extend the rules to handle the absence of black tiles.
Clothing racks and shelves were acceptable places to jump to avoid the lava.
Much to our mom’s chagrin.
But eventually, we both made it through the fiery maze of hot lava in K-Mart and lived to tell about it.