Public Pools

“You go ahead. I’d rather not be shot out of a tube into a pool filled with a bunch of nine-year-olds’ urine.”

― Justin Halpern

Oldest granddaughter has her first-ever job this summer, lifeguarding at one of our water parks, Wild Waters, and on the park’s opening weekend she was able to procure some free passes for herself (and her boyfriend), her oldest brother (and a buddy), my son and me.

(We all spent the entire day there waiting in lines in the 100° heat to take 30-second runs down the many slides and being jostled in the pools by hordes of people and their innertubes. Fun was had by all.)

My son had popped for the rent on a bungalow. I made and brought more than enough sandwiches, chips, water and ice for all fortunately, because grandson’s friend ran into four of his also fourteen year-old friends, brought them to the bungalow and they asked if we’d let them store their backpacks of clothes, towels, cell phones and all with us. One of them saw the sandwiches and asked if he could have one. My first reaction was, “Cheeky lad, here we are allowing him to share our space and he wants us to feed him, too?” Then I thought, “Well, one never knows unless one asks, do they?”

Had to give him credit for that. But, I digress.

The first thing that hit me as we first went into the wave pool, the “Blue Wave”, was the overwhelming stench of chlorine, almost gagging me and, from my summers working as a private pool lifeguard during high school, I thought it was overkill.

Much later in the day I was in the bungalow alone taking a break from the heat and crowds, when the puppy who’d begged food came to check his phone messages and, laughing, told me before he left that some little kid had just taken a “dootie”in the Blue Wave and it had floated to the surface (ever see the movie,”Caddyshack”?)Minutes after, the rest of the gang came to get me to go to the Blue Wave with them. I went, but didn’t have the heart to tell them what I’d just heard.

A couple of days ago we went again, son, oldest grandaughter and the two oldest grandsons (no stray puppies this time.)

Again, some kid in the wave pool evacuated his bowls, requiring every one to evacuate the pool while it was retrieved and removed.

I just said to myself, “There’s no such thing as too much chlorine in a public pool.”

– Bill




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