As a young kid I played a lot of Mario Bros on Super Nintendo. One time I came down with this illness that gave me fevers night after night. A temperature starts causing brain damage at 107.6 degrees. My mom tells me my brain matter stewed between 105 and 106.
I lay delirious in my parents’ bed. My PJs were sweat-matted to my scrawny frame. I started hallucinating. I still remember. Clear as they were in the games, I saw Mario, Luigi, Toad, Bowser, Chomp, and those horrifying Boos.
They shifted in the shadowy corners of the room, leering at me, engaged in some sick ritual dance with my subconscious. My brain fried. My child’s mind mistook the fever for death throes and must’ve conjured these characters in an attempt to ease the process. It didn’t work. My mom tells me I screamed at them to get away. I learned young that almost anything can become sinister given the right circumstances. Even friggin’ Toad!
Anyway… I might’ve died from a heart attack if my hallucinated Mario looked like this.