A Public Pool-(p) Story

I have returned to the motherland. Coming home to Washington, D.C. in July is what my mom calls a “hardship post” (which I looked up and is an overseas post where living conditions are difficult due to climate, crime, health care, pollution or other factors, soooo that’s that..) Its humid as shit like someone is constantly lightly spitting on your face and its typically 104 degrees.  With this extreme heat comes the endless search for a pool membership. Half of my street is part of one town and the half I live on is apart of something else, I don’t even know what.. but I think we have our own mayor which is the lamest thing to be a mayor of, ever. “Top of the day to ye, Mayor Grimsby, what will you being doing this year on your half a street? There was talk of a speed bump”(I don’t know why but I always think mayors are English).  Its weird. Anywhos we, on this end of the street are not belonging to any pool. Even when the top half of the street has block parties I am not sure we can attend which is awkward because  I live on a dead-end street. So, not only are we not allowed to join in the block party festivities of hot dogs, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and a moon bounce but we cannot leave. It’s like a strange suburbia modern-day punishment of sorts, “Hey look, its our block party, you can’t come and you can’t go anywhere else so just observe from a far bitches” (wha?). Anyways, this is where I live and we have also not be assigned to a pool which sucks, hard. In such case we go to the public pool which is basically like saying, “Yea, you know what? I’m just going to head off for a swim in a large basin of piss for an hour and probably be thrown up on while my clothes get stolen from the changing room.” Eff’ it, its hot and my mom has a 10 visits pass.

It’s blistering hot we head over to the pool on our bikes. My mom takes in her bike basket for fear it will be vandalized or stolen by hooligans. In we go, me, my mom and the basket. We swivel through this kind of rotating metal round about gate that looks like it’s from the dark ages. The changing room is set up in a prison like fashion with just a cement room, shower heads sticking out of the walls and a few lost bars of soap. That’s it. We decided we would go over to the lap pool because there is a decreased risk of contracting Hepatitis A. As we walk over this lady sneaks up behind me and yells in my ear “WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR POOL WRAP!!!” (Oh, hello there, you are right here, and very close to me) “Oh! hi, ummm Loehman’s in 2007 I think” “WOW, its amazing. Like, I just want a plain one because my bathing suits are really colorful and most of the time you get the really busy looking one and I just don’t think they look good. I either want one in white or black but also a little trendy and stylish you know?” (yes, I do know. But why are you telling me, can I leave now? are we walking together? where’s my mom? are you on cocaine?) “Sure, I can understand that..thank you.” She continued to discuss her pool-wrap/cover-up dilemma as I listened and suggested an array of retail stores where she may be able to find what she was looking for (what? why). I have never talked to someone I didn’t know for so long and so much, about nothing.

We continue to walk over and the talk-inside-cho-face lady jumps in one of the swim lanes with some other lady and proceeds to talk at her face for the next 25 laps about her friend that is overweight. That lady didn’t know her either, she just said they could share lanes. Anywhos, chatty Roberta is now occupied and Mom and I have spotted a nice little grassy knoll to lay our towels on. Oh, at public pools you just lay about, no chairs. Once I was sprawled out it was really quite enjoyable and the lap pool is pretty clean, accept there is always one pervy man who just kind of lingers at the end of your lane, I’m not sure why. But when you reach that end your either steer clear or just cut your laps short, that’s just what it is.

actually a picture of the world’s most crowded pool. Why? Its not even fun.

We are seated next to one of those guys who talks excessively loud and seems to always be “closing deals” or yelling at his secretary, Margaret. After the longest phone call known to man he proceeded to listen to his disc-man (yes, disc-man). And starts to sing along (scream violently/yell) with the music he is listening to which to me sounded like it belonged in the Ethiopian folk song genre (you heard me). Lots of chanting, beats, a few whistles and hmmmm sounds on a loud continuous repeat.  Amidst this, a lifeguard gets on the loudspeaker….”Attention all pool patrons, you must evacuate the pool immediately. I repeat, evacuate the pool immediately” This, at a public pool means one thing and one thing only. Someone has shat in the pool. Of course someone shit in the pool (wtf? why, can you just not?). Everyone clears out like a plague cloud is storming through (do plague clouds exist?) Men in what look like quarantine outfits come out in search of the fecal sample, with equipment- nets, shovels, trapping devices, assorted face masks etc..(the net is stupid, that definitely wont work). After 2o minutes of deep sea turd-hunting, one of the lifeguards pours what has to be an unhealthy amount of chemicals in the pool to remedy the destruction said turd had caused. Meanwhile, all 1,534 children that were in the pooped-in larger pool, have to swim in this tiny-ass side pool. They literally are all just standing in there, packed in and attempting to play but there simply is no room. No Marco Polo today kids, Marc and Polo are literally standing right next to you. We decided to leave at this point. After being yelled at in my face, a stage 4 poop in the pool, and 1,500 kids stiffly just standing in the water, there was no room or time for pool day leisure. Regardless, I will be going back tomorrow. I have no choice.

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