Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another Tale of H2Woe

While we're on the subject of "disgusting" and "pools," allow me to relate to you yesterday's aqueous adventure.

We have a kiddie pool on the back porch. Now, when I was a kid, a kiddie pool held 8 gallons max and got dumped out at the end of the day and leaned against the side of the house beside the air conditioner compressor. Keeping it clean was as simple as turning on the hosepipe and giving it a good rinse. Badda bing badda bam badda boom, done.

Nowadays a kiddie pool's a whole nother ball of wax. The one we have is 10, count 'em, 10 feet in diameter, and fills to 28 inches deep. With the hose on so high that the pressure threatened to suck the washing machine, the refrigerator, the dishwasher and all the plumbing on our home's ground floor out into the backyard through the pipes, it still took three full hours to fill that badboy up. It's one of those softsided pools made of vinyl-ish type stuff, and the water itself holds the sides up and out. It's a feat of engineering, I'll tell ya. A feat of engineering.

This kiddie pool has its own pump, and it requires pool chemicals just like a regular big people pool. And I kept up with the chemicals as best I could for a busy preoccupied lazybones woman like myself. But here lately we've been getting a wee mite o' rain (constant torrential downpours), and rain, I humbly submit, appears to be Pool Enemy #3. When I sallied forth to the back porch yesterday afternoon with Bean already decked out in her swimsuit, I was shocked to find that the kiddie pool had been replaced at some point over the course of the past three days and nights with a mammoth bowl of guacamole.

This was not a problem for Bean, apparently, because when I intimated (after close scrutiny, of course) that this particular shade of green did in fact not appear anywhere on my trusty Pool Chemical Balance charts, much less in the Acceptable Level range, and therefore she would NOT be swimming in it this afternoon, she begged quite vehemently to differ with my conclusion. After several moments' negotiation, we established that to wun fwoo da spwinkler would provide sufficient alternative diversion, and arrangements for such were hastily brought about.

Which left me alone in my reverie, up guacamole creek, and without a corn chip at that.

This being our first year as proud kiddie-pooligans, we at FriedOkra Manor have not absorbed the full depth and breadth of poolology. Among the portions of said science left altogether unconsidered by us up to this point was the un-filling of the pool. To say that contemplating the dispersal of 8 million gallons of pungently neglected, infected water left me a little baffled would be a gross understatement. Nevertheless I knew the deed needed doing and was not about to inflict it upon the dear, sweet HoneyBunny, who in one recent gesture of thoughtfulness and generosity absolved himself of several months' worth of responsibility for Household Atrocity Resolution, so I rolled up my sleeves and began to drain the pool in the best way I could figure, which was to push down hard on the side of it and allow gallon after gallon of slimy, buggy, scummy sludge-water to drain out, over my hands and my feet and legs up to my knees.

This went on well past the point at which the sprinkler could hold Bean's attention. Soon she was at my side and up to her chest in the toxic flow, shreiking with joy and abandon that IT'S WIKE DA OSHIN, MAMA! WOOK AT DESE WAVES! IT'S A-MAAAAAAZING! And yes, I concurred, it was in fact amazing. Now geddouddahere!

Soon enough, the hastily exiting water and the water still in the pool reached a point of stasis or equilibrium, and the remaining water held the sides of the pool up to just such a level that pushing them down no longer created enough of an opening for any decent quantity to escape, so it fell upon me to provide the leverage necessary to bring the water UP enough to go OVER. And this is where the whole thing nearly fell apart.

Because providing leverage for the remaining 2 million gallons of slimy stagnant water encapsulated in a gigantic algae-covered blue plastic bag can best be summed up as Jello wrestling, only with STANK.

Are you with me, visually? I am slogging around in the backyard as the daylight wanes, mosquitoes draining the life out of me, managing the pedal-to-the-metal activity of a toddler while simultaneously attempting to flip a 10-foot jellyfish named Fat Albert onto its back.

In the end, I was triumphant. Wet, stanky and furious, but triumphant nonetheless. I dragged the pool's empty carcass into the garage and draped it over Al's car, then collected all the tubing, valves and wires and put them away for storage, while Bean carted all of the pool toys inside and put them away heaven only knows where.

The sign posted at the front desk in MY clubhouse?

Pool closed for season. See you next summer, sucker!


  1. HYSTERICAL! My favorite part--guacamole creek without a corn chip. You crack me up.

  2. Yeurgh. We have the old fashioned kiddie pool. I am faaaaaaaar too lazy to keep up with things like pool chemicals. Nothankyouverymuch. Too bad there wasn't anyone taking photos of you though. hee.

  3. I agree with Jenn - there should have been pictures! Sounds like quite the event. I must repeat yesterdays comment. You lead an exciting life!!!

  4. Yes, yes - pictures would be GOOD! Too funny and EW! But really, the pool stories must stop; I might be ruined for life!

  5. I can so picture myself doing the same thing! That's hilarious!

  6. I've seen guacamole creek. Our house came with an above ground pool. I think the previous owners knew they were going to sell it at pool closing time and didn't add any winterizer.
    That first spring when we took the cover off we discovered the same thing you just described.
    It took 4 weeks of nasty chemicals to get it clean. Luckily I made the agreement with Honey back when we bought the house that anything related to the pool was his job.

    But if this were to hypothetically happen again you may consider pouring in a bottle of bleach and letting it sit for an hour before dumping it - just in case the mosquitoes had started using it as a new breeding pool. Not that I would have ever seen that happen in an old fashioned blow up kiddie pool or anything. ;)

  7. We are getting ready to jump into the world of pool ownerness. This post kinda makes me want to rethink this!

  8. Oh yes, I was with you visually. Hilarious! The Stank! I laughed so hard when you wrote that!

  9. Ha! The things we do for our children eh! And yes, I agree with the others, that photos would have been priceless!!

  10. Laughed so hard I woke the baby! Thanks!

  11. Been there. yeah

    Mary, mom to many little fish

  12. I wish you would send some of that rain down here! I can't even remember the last time it rained. I know it hasn't rained at all this month for sure.

  13. Hosepipe...Classic.