If, as a kid, you were ever at a pool near a gaggle of other kids, you’re likely familiar with the pool game Marco Polo.

Fish out of water!

At it’s core, Marco Polo is just a fancy game of tag. Basically you have 1 person who is “it.” In this version of tag, the “it” person closes their eyes and tries to tag another person thereby transferring the “it” status. The “it” individual has two tools with which to pass off their “it-ness.” The first is shouting “Marco” which requires a response of “Polo” from all the rest of the players. It’s a kind of rudimentary echo-location for 8 year-olds. The second is calling “Fish out of water” if the “it” individual thinks somebody has gotten out of the pool (or “Mermaid on the rocks” as a less common variant). If indeed somebody is out of the pool (or even sitting with their feet in the pool) the “fish” becomes it. It’s a fairly common rule that if you’re out of the water trying to sneak around the pool, you don’t have to answer to the “Marco” call, which makes it a tad more difficult to detect.

I remember, with some fondness, playing Marco Polo with my cousins in California just about every Summer when I’d go down there and visit them. Shame that I’m allergic to chlorine.

-Confusion is a state of mind, or is it?