We all already know, don't we, that a trip to the municipal pool constitutes a drop-dead guarantee for some knee slappin' blog fodder, so I went with my eyes wide open, determined not to miss a single drop of blogaliciousness as I frollicked and cavorted with the family.
And my alertness did not go unrewarded.
I was slapped smack in the face with the first dose of hilarity upon arrival at the clubhouse, where I prepared to shell out the $962 it costs for two kids and two adults to enjoy the adventure at Stingray Bay (Beans swim free). It wasn't the price of admission that cracked me up though (the price of admission only triggered my gag reflex), instead I giggled at the sign slapped up boldly in front of the lady collecting our life savings in exchange for a day of splishy splashy joy, which read ABSOLUTELY NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN FOR POOL CLOSURES DUE TO FECAL MATTER OR INCLEMENT WEATHER. I read it aloud (softly) and laughed again. FECAL MATTER. Hee hee hee. I try to keep up at least a razor thin facade of maturity when there are children around, but really, you have to admit, that's just good old-fashioned funny.
Only it ain't that funny, my friend.
After we were all paid up (thank goodness they take credit cards, we'll be paying down that visit through February of '08) we marched single file through the locker rooms and out onto the deck under radiant sunshine. I procured a shady locale for our towels, shoes, assorted swim gear and sunscreen as the rest of the crew shucked off laundry and barreled into the zero-depth shore of the pool. After primly arranging all of our things and daintily slinking out of my swimsuit cover-up, I plucked up my courage and followed the rest of the gang, who were already up to their necks and splashing for all they were worth. As I splunked my way further and further into the blue depths, I looked to my left and my right and realized I was going to have to make a decision. Was I going to demure from serious water play and stand knee-deep in the kiddie area watching the action like every other mother there, or was I going to be the Mom I like to fancy myself - the one who throws vanity and dignity to the wind and gets wet all the way up to and perhaps over her own head in the name of fun? I chose the latter, mostly because my crew really wouldn't settle for less and if I didn't go in willingly, mostly likely I'd be going in over Al's shoulder with three small people cheering loudly in unison.
So I went in and I went in with wild abandon. Plunged the head under repeatedly, played a little pick-up game of hide-and-seek and splash tag with a group of 8 or 10 other kids plus our three, and generally soaked up gallons and gallons of fresh, 82 degree pool-filler like I thought I might not see water again for another decade.
And then the trill of a lifeguard's whistle.
Not the toot-toot, Hey, you, quit dunking your brother or toot-toot, WALK! or the toot-toot Ma'am your swimsuit top has to COVER those. No no, this was that unmistakeable long, harsh TWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE that unmistakeably indicates big trouble for all concerned. Noting that the sky had grown a bit dark and overcast, we assumed lightening had been spotted in the vicinity and beat a hasty retreat to our umbrella, where we gathered our picnic supplies and walked a short distance to the covered shelter where we ate our ham sandwiches, grapes, chips and apple bars and drank our lemonade while speculating on how long it'd take for the storm to pass so we could get back to the swimming.
Once finished with their lunches, the two big kids expressed curiosity over some lifeguard activity poolside and were dispatched to investigate. Al and Bean and I continued with our lunches until they returned, announcing reverently, "They said there's poop in the pool. They're going to clean it out. Can we go watch Dad, Can we?" Dad acquiesced. I mean, what kind of father would deny his children this once in a lifetime opportunity? To see real live lifeguards scoop real live fecal matter off the bottom of a pool, and then deposit it in a special red bag and carry it to the lifeguard
Once the poop had been successfully rescued, contained and tested (ew.), we saw lifeguards scurrying around all sides of the pool dumping in enough chemicals to purify Lake Michigan, and were then delighted to hear that after a brief 45 minute interlude, we'd be welcome to dive back into the cool rippling waters of the Fecal Lagoon. Al and I were skeptical as to the swimworthiness of the water what with all the elephant dung and chemicals, and began to ponder just how we could avoid such a fate without inciting riot amongst the chiddren, when a bolt of lightening answered our fervent prayers. Inclement weather prevailed, and within minutes we were in the car and on the way home for hot showers and steel-bristle-brush scrubdowns all around.
That FECAL MATTER sign probably won't strike me as particularly funny the next time we go swimming. No, on second thought, maybe it will. Hee hee hee.