Diving into pool assembly is drowning experience

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If it has been a lifelong dream of yours to spend untold steamy summer hours peeling sticky vinyl off every inch of your exposed flesh then you should definitely get yourself an enormous inflatable pool.
Mr. Right and I recently decided that “we” should undertake the annual assembly of the inflatable pool in our back yard for the children.
“We” is a tricky word around these parts. When “we” assemble a swimming pool, for example, some of us find ourselves alone in the back yard, wondering where the rest of us went and why “we” are the only ones flirting with heatstroke and a second-degree sunburn.
Pre-pool days. It should be noted that until a few years ago, neither my spouse nor I ever owned a pool. We grew up in the dark days of humanity when for the most part as children we had, at best, a blow-up basin not much bigger than a dog’s bowl to swim in.
You sat in about 2 inches of water which quickly filled with grass clippings and sandbox sand and became a sort of fetid swampy muck. Those were the days.
Now, to not offer a pool at least deep enough to drown in is akin to admitting that you actually live without indoor plumbing.
Every child shall have the opportunity to watch their parents curse and be beaten by a swimming pool. I think it says that in a late amendment to the Constitution.
Thanks a lot. Thus, a few years back, a neighbor who to this day claims to be a “friend” of ours (though I have my doubts) bestowed upon us as a gift the cutest little inflatable pool after their own child had outgrown it.
It was about 8 feet across and a mere 2 feet deep and came with a little pump and filter that went “chugga chugga chugga” and kept the water a clear and very pretty blue.
We set it up in an afternoon and enjoyed it immensely that summer. This is how bad pools happen to good people. They get passed around much like a bad rash.
The next year, our children, like the neighbor’s child before, were deemed to be much too big for the miniscule puddle of water that pool held. They were like guppies fast outgrowing their bowl and we had no choice: we upgraded.
That was the short-lived slightly larger pool that went to the dogs – quite literally – last year. I have only now begun to speak of it without trembling.
Bigger money hole. Finally, in our quest for an ever larger gaping hole to throw our money into, we upgraded to this last monster. It is 16 feet of yawning nothingness demanding pampering, leveling, and coaxing to even get it to begin to hold water.
Clearly we have fallen in with the prima donna of the pool world. Thus we spent the better part of the weekend attempting to wrestle 16 flapping feet of vinyl into submission and some semblance of a pool shaped entity. We failed miserably.
Last year I delighted readers with my tale of the dogs eating the pool. An inflatable pool holding nearly 4,000 gallons of water was reduced to shreds and a puddle in a few unguarded moments by two very bad dogs.
To this day people ask “that thing with the pool did that REALLY happen?” as if I could possibly make that up!
Business opportunity. I say my children missed prime entrepreneurial opportunity when they didn’t seize upon the idea of selling small pieces of the shredded vinyl as “souvenirs of the great pool debacle of 2005.”
The real beauty of such an investment is that they could easily become a collectors’ item as we continue to offer a new one each year.
For 2006 we could offer strips of the replacement pool that has been kicked to bits by two frustrated parents who can’t get it to stay level enough to properly hold water.
How I ask you can we have 12 acres and not 15 feet of level ground on any of it? The pool, all 16 utterly flat feet of it lies deflated in the back yard even as we speak.
A recent rain has left small muddy puddles among the folds of vinyl and the children content themselves with splashing in that.
Come full circle. Thus, it took three pools and untold time and money to get us back to the exact same swim experience our parents were able to provide with a $10 discount store pool and garden hose back in the day.
I do say it’s progress when we move from worrying incessantly that the dogs might eat the new pool – to rather hoping that they do.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt will be in the swim of things – eventually. She welcomes comments c/o kfs@epohi.com
; P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt
.)

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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