I’m pretty sure this is NOT what he signed up for.

12 Jun

While Alan’s stuck in London for work, he’s encouraged me to use his community’s pool. And since it’s been hovering around 100 degrees and humid, I’ve taken him up on the offer. Repeatedly.

Yesterday, after swimming my mile, it was so hot that I just stood in the shallow end and read 100 pages of a book.

Hell, it’s been so hot that the lifeguard himself stands in the pool half the time. I can’t blame him.

Speaking of the lifeguard, I gave Alan a full report on him the other day so he would know what he was missing. (Each year the lifeguard is a kid from some Eastern European country here as part a summer exchange program. I’m sure they envision Baywatch and are mildly disappointed to realize they’ll be assigned to a pool in suburban Virginia with decidedly American waist-lines.)

This year’s lifeguard, whom we’ll call Grigor, is a bit clumsy. Or he has bad luck. Either way, I’ve had a lot of updates for Alan.

Probably the best story is from the first day, when he attempted to perform his duties by the book, loudly announcing, “Pool break! 5 minutes!” so that we would know to stay out of the water while he tested the chlorine, topped off the water level, and fished out some leaves.

No one was in the water when he yelled that, so his announcement mainly served to get our attention, so we could watch him complete his tasks. Most everyone set their books aside and observed as he tested the pH level of the water. Then, he disappeared into the office. I’ve never known what was in there, but I quickly found out: the water valve.

There is a pipe near the lifeguard’s stand that is used to fill the pool, but it doesn’t have a handle to turn it on. Apparently, the valve is in the office, because shortly after Grigor disappeared, a 6-foot tall geyser appeared next to the lifeguard’s stand. Everyone on the pool deck started chuckling.

Grigor soon reappeared, and his eyes resembled a cartoon character’s, growing as wide as saucers as he took in the product of his efforts. He spun around, ran back in the office, and the water stopped. He came back out sporting a sheepish smile and examined the pipe to figure out what was wrong. It didn’t take long to see that the pipe (which normally directs the water into the pool) was completely missing. Hence the geyser.

Eager to put that behind him, he grabbed a net off the fence to fish out some leaves. But in doing so, he loosened the other nets and poles and they all fell to the cement with a clatter. Poor kid.

The crowd was torn — half the people buried their noses in books, trying to pretend their weren’t witnessing Grigor bumble around; the other half were sitting at rapt attention, not wanting to miss a second of the show.

And speaking of show, there have been some real charmers at the pool this year. I blogged earlier about the guy who busted ass without attempting to hide it or apologize. Then Friday I was riveted by a guy reading a book who – in what may be the craziest thoughtless gesture – repeatedly stroked his belly and twisted his belly hair between his fingers.

Rather than throw up, I fished out my iPhone and tried to film him. Unfortunately, I was BUSTED in the process. As soon as I got the camera aimed at him, he looked up at me, released his hair, closed his book and jumped in the pool. Then he left.

Damn. I was really hoping to have photographic proof of this odd habit.

I wonder what Grigor is going to tell his friends when he returns home in September. “Americans: they eat a lot, they fart, they twirl their body hair…”

I’m sure we’re making quite an impression.

4 Responses to “I’m pretty sure this is NOT what he signed up for.”

  1. thesinglecell June 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm #

    Oh, brava! I’m not the only person who tries to get video of people doing something gross/dumb and gets busted doing it. How is it that then we’re the ones who look bad? Ugh. But your account of Grigor (hypothetical name, of course) hoping for something better than the America to which he’s been subjected reminds me of when I went to Australia nearly 20 years ago and walked into a house where the kids were watching “Beverly Hills 90210” (yes… it was 20 years ago) and they eagerly asked me if that’s what all American high schools were like. They were so sad when I laughed and said, “God, no.”

    • pithypants June 12, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Right? My sister has hosted an exchange student from Turkey this year and you can tell that he’s found middle class America to fall short of his expectations.

  2. bonnie June 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Not just American waistlines. Son Ken got a ticket to Spain as a high school graduation present a few years ago. Before leaving, he confessed that he was especially looking forward to the nude beaches. When he got back, he told us the nude beaches had been his biggest letdown. He told us nearly everyone who used them looked to be in their 60s and/or were carrying 100+ extra pounds.

    • pithypants June 13, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      That was my impression of the topless beaches in France too. The only breasts on display were the ones most people wouldn’t want to see!

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