And now for something entirely different….

Remember that game everyone seems to have played as kids where you pretended the floor was hot lava or a shark-infested ocean or some such, thus requiring you to circumnavigate the room without touching the floor? At my house that game usually involved my bed being a pirate ship, which necessitated much jumping back and forth from my closet (always a good hiding place) to my bed. I’m not sure why the jumping was required, but it was a lot of fun. Even better was playing this game at camp, where there were all sorts of interesting obstacles like bunk beds and storage units and multiple doors – somehow swinging on the door with your feet on the doorknob always featured prominently in the safest path around the room.

I’m not entirely sure why I thought of that a couple of times this weekend – except that I came to the realization that if my bookcases were a little sturdier, I could TOTALLY circumnavigate my entire apartment, no problem.

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  1. I was all about that at the playground, circumnavigating the large sets of equipment from the outside (the slide/fort/rope/pole/ladder conglomorations).

    And it was hot lava for me. =)

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  2. when iraq and iran were at war, my cousins would call over my persian neighbor and we’d play “war,” which consisted of us beating the shit out of him and sending him home with a warning that this is what would happen to all iranians if they fucked with us.

    we never played this circumnavigation game, but we did avoid stepping on the blood when we were done playing “war.”

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  3. The couch was a desert island with the end tables, coffee table, love seat and dad’s lazy boy being the outer islands. My two little brothers would be horrible sea monsters who would try and get me to fall into the sea. We would typically get into some sort of brawl within an hour. The ensuing commotion would usually put my mother into fits. It was the best of times. PS – I highly recommend jumping on hotel beds. I still do. It’s a tradition.

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  4. We had a large furnished basement with bar and pool table – a heavy and sturdy mahogany stereo cabinate- several couches – we did both lava and sharks – my five siblings made this quite fun and if our parents were out of town we would sometimes use squirt guns, little plastic disk and pellet guns, etc. We would generally make a mess of the basement, and that’s what it was for. My bunk bed also made a good pirate ship – or landing pad for my Super Grover impression.

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  5. Thanks for those images. I totally forgot about the swinging on the door thing. It brings back old memories for me.

    The last time I played this I was in high school. Our friend’s dad sometimes worked weekends and he’d take a group of us along to his office. We’d do all sorts of crazy stuff, like play roller skate tag around the warehouse, or play T.A.G. with origami ninja stars.

    One time we had the bright idea of playing lava in the cube farm (before the term cube farms even existed) area. The goal was to get from the front of the building to the back. Of course, we didn’t want to mess up any desktops, so we played in our socks.

    Picture a bunch of hyper teens jumping from cubicle dividers or filing cabinets onto smooth desktops in their socks. Hilarity ensued. At least from our perspective. We almost broke a coffee pot; it’s a wonder we didn’t actually break anything, considering every desk had a computer monitor and all the kipple that office people collect. Though we did ‘rearrange’ a lot of stuff.

    A few years later, after my freshman year in college, I got a summer job in that office. Whenever I walked anywhere in the building, I’d still play lava in my head.

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