Did you ever play the lava game as a kid? The subject came up again last night as we were steam cleaning the carpet for a houseguest this weekend. It seems like everyone I talk to has played it, or at least some minor variant. Technically, I think the label “game” is less accurate than something like “activity,” but you probably already have recollections of this “game” forming in your head, so you likely know what I mean. The floor of the house is lava. You then jump around between the sofa, loveseat, and various other pieces of furniture, trying to creatively get around without touching the floor. Even if there is a newspaper on the floor, it is somehow stout enough to repel the lava. Just as card games have “house rules,” so does the lava game. Sometimes it is played at home on the furniture. Sometimes it is played by friends at lunch time in the sandbox at school, jumping around between monkeybars, swings, and other playground equipment. Sometimes there is a person acting as a lava monster, trying to pull people into the lava. Regardless of the locale or specific scenario, everyone I encounter has played some form of “the floor is made of lava.”
Last night, it was fun to see the cats leap around, trying not to touch the (wet) floor. To them, it was made of lava.