Peace reigned in the air as I walked back inside from feeding my animals. Dirt and sweat stuck to my face from the blistering hot day it was, so I sighed a great sigh of relief when I came inside to the slightly cooler temperature of the house. I washed my hands in the kitchen sink after noticing the grime rubbed there from handling the dusty wheelbarrow and scratching dirty animals. It felt good to rinse them after the hot wear and tear outside. Even better was the cool air rushing to my feet after removing my boots.

It was only after all the hustle and bustle of my own activities did I even hear the quiet commotion coming from the living room. I walked much quieter now across the salmon colored carpet of the dining room and eventually into the living room. I spotted Josh playing video games. The volume on mute in order to prevent my sleeping father from waking. Briefly annoyance flashed across my face as I realized he'd been playing video games while the rest of us were busy working. The kitchen had been picked up, as was asked of him, but the real test would be to see if he happened to clean the bathroom, as also was asked. But since I wasn't going to make the trip upstairs to check, being too hot really to make it, I settled to sitting behind him to watch, swallowing my frustration as I did so.

"Dammit," he cussed, as Yoshi fell down a hidden trap and into a tube too tall to jump out of. "Do you wanna play? If I plug you in right now you can pull me out of that hole."

At first, the growing ball of frustration I had swallowed earlier bounced back up again, taking a moment to respond as I swallowed it again. "I guess," I answered, though inwardly I thought, Why is it that I always have to save you from your shenanigans?

Wordlessly I plugged in the controller and watched as my chosen character, Mario, descended onto the top of the tower, before game time resumed. I fiddled with the stick, which was loose. I frowned... Of all things... Why did you give me your controller, Josh? Is it because you wanna wear mine out, too?... Jerk... That was the straw that broke the camel's back. Originally, I was gonna help him, pull him outta the hole and unplug myself from the game... But that sheer lack of consideration of not even bothering to ask me to use my stuff was getting really old. So instead, I decided I was going to enjoy myself for a change.

Lucky me I had vent material right in front of me. However my good fortune was bad fortune on the Goombah populace.

Without hesitating I jumped on the nearest Goombah, squishing him flat until he became nothing more then deleted pixels. I walked up to the next Goombah on the wooden planks of the tower. My fingers twitched, accidentally pressing the B-button which prompted Mario to grab the oblivious Goombah in my grip... This was a very interesting twist to the Mario game that I hadn't expected. Smiling at this newfound ability, I threw the Goombah out into the ocean blue, and watched as the brown 'shroom bounced across its surface like a skipping stone three times.

Forgetting my frustration for a moment, I looked across the top of the wooden construction tower, and saw a light blue Goombah. Now I have never seen a light blue Goombah before. I assumed it was just a part of the new game and; therefore, not much different than the others. However, this one kept staring out to see, as if puzzling over some decomposer's worry. Even despite the oddity, in my mind it was another Goombah to throw away my worries with, so I walked up to him real slow...

A thought bubble accumulated above Mario's head. In his mind a picture of a dark blue turtle shell appeared. Turning, I saw the turtle shell sitting near the stairs leading down and towards the waiting Yoshi. Being familiar with Mario 64, I was pretty sure that blue shell was the fun land/water/lava surf board that I enjoyed using. If that was the case, I didn't want to use the shell just then. I was gonna drown me a Goombah.

Without further hesitation, I grabbed the blue Goombah, whose squat legs kicked out in surprise. Pressing a button sent the blue Goombah plummeting to his watery grave. He barely made a splash when another island sprouted up where the Goombah disappeared. On this island a shack erected itself with a light blue tin roof and a brick chimney.

Josh sighed with his dully noted impatience. I looked over to him questioningly and he answered my unspoken question, "Its a Goombah party house..." In his voice I could hear the rest of the sentence, 'and if you knew Mario at all you would have known that...'

Holding back the desire to give him a smart ass retort, I ran Mario across the planks and long jumped toward the island. As I fell closer, I hit the appropriate buttons that made Mario do the butt-stomp and watched as the whole house caved in. But before the island could disappear into its watery grave, I long jumped back, somehow the vacuum of air pushed me back up to the top floor, but not quite high enough to land on Mario's feet. Instead, Mario clung to the top of the tower, and just one stick tap brought Mario's feet searching for the surface.

Unfortunately, I hung from a pretty bad place, because as Mario's feet hit the edge of the dark blue slide he was careening down its slick sides. It was then that I realized that the slide must take me down to the water, and I just wasn't sure if that would be the best place to be right then. So I kept making Mario jump, searching for a ledge I might be able to reach before it was too late.

The slide was decorated with golden coins, and odd bumps and shapes that would damage Mario if he hit them head on. So I jumped over one of these devastating humps, missing two gold coins and collecting the third as I landed...

Lightning flashed in the window behind us as rain pattered heavily on the window panes. Thunder boomed... And the power went out...