I am eight years old. We're visiting my grandfather who has a brand new floor television to take full advantage of the cable only recently run to his house. He is reading the paper, so I lay down on my belly to watch one of my favorite cartoons. I'm trying to figure out how tall Smurfs really are (do they make mushrooms so big a tiny thing could live in or under them?) when my mouth drops open. They're blue! Smurfs are blue and many of them have tattoos in bright colors and Smurfette's hair is yellow. The amazing wonders of color television!

I am thirteen years old. I've conquered worlds one and two in Mario Bros but can't seem to get past world three. I jump from mushroom to mushroom, dodging turtledoves and always missing that sneaky slider that hangs between me and finally completing the level. I watch my sisters, my cousin, and my neighbors fly through the level. But not me. Then I learned how to skip from world two to world four and never worried about world three again... until I got to world seven. Those were the days.

What memory does a patch of mushrooms rising up overnight make you think of?


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