During the summer between fourth and fifth grade, I spent some time at my grandpa's house with my cousins. My Nintendo was there, I had Super Mario Brothers 3, and my cousins and I spent as much time as we could playing it. Our time was usually severely limited by my mom's insistence that we didn't spend too much time playing. She used to "hide" it in the cupboard where the cups and mugs were kept when we weren't supposed to be playing it. My oldest cousin, Dino, used to regale us with tales of spending entire nights, from dusk til dawn, playing Nintendo.
"Yeah, me and Ryan waited until everyone was asleep, and then we played Contra until the sun came up! It was awesome!"
One day we formulated a plan for us to experience such a night of pure bliss as he had described. We would wait until 2:00 AM, when the adults were soundly asleep, and we would silently move to the living room, where we would spend the entire night playing Super Mario Brothers 3.
When nightfall came, we went to bed, but we didn't sleep. We laid in our sleeping bags, awake and waiting for the right moment.
"Is it time yet?" I asked.
"No, we still have two hours and forty minutes. We have to wait until they're definitely asleep," my cousin said. He was the one with the clock, and the one with the plan. We trusted him, because he had done this before. I tried to lay there silently, every so often asking him if it was time.
And then, after much waiting, it was finally time.
The house was silent, and we slipped out of our sleeping bags and tiptoed into the living room, gleeful that we were about to spend the rest of the night gripping a plastic brick, mashing buttons, and making 8-bit pixels move across the screen. The ultimate goal was to defeat the evil Bowser, but the experience of the mission was more important than the final objective; Nintendo had to be played all night long.
The kitchen, and it's cupboard where the prize was held, was directly connected to the living room. We snuck to the cupboard and swung it open. Our hearts sank as we gazed upon shelves of mugs and cups, the Nintendo Entertainment System conspicuously missing. Somebody must have gotten wind of our plan.
Dejected, we went back to bed and fell asleep almost immediately.