Friday, June 22, 2007


I was actually, no lie, sitting beside the pool tonight as the little girls were splashing and having big fun and thinking to myself: I should go get the camera to snap a few of girls and my Mike's Hard Lime to illustrate a blog entry along the lines of all's well that ends well, but it hasn't ended well, yet. Bastards.

Yesterday we had 14 Girls Scouts and assorted siblings in the pool for an end of year shindig and badge extravaganza complete with exhortations by Juiliet Gordon Low from beyond the grave. I don't know the netiquette for loading up photos of other people's pre-teen kids in bathing suits, but I'm pretty sure I shouldn't, so here is a photo of Ellie finishing up the requirements for her small craft safety badge. All I ever remember getting badges for was embroidering and making puppets, man, did I grow up in the wrong generation.

So, it gets to be the end of the evening, I'm inside scooping up root beer floats like I'm on a conveyor line when I'm informed by one of the troop moms fresh from ouside that the pool is giving shocks. Electrical shocks. Not big shocks, but still, I'm pretty sure it shouldn't be giving shocks of any size, big or small. I run outside to turn off the pump, not because I think it is the pump causing the shocks, but because I have no earthly idea what could be causing the pool to give shocks and it is the only thing electrical that is on and operating around the pool and I had to do something to make it look like I was in charge and had a handle on the whole pool giving shocks thing. I didn't try to duplicate the problem by getting my own shock because I was needed on the rootbeer float assembly line and by the time everyone left, I wasn't really thinking about it until Ellie started asking about shock and it started to appear to me that maybe the whole thing was a product of over-wrought pre-teen imagination and maybe some girls had seen the empty bags of Sock It To Me chemical shock in the crap bucket in the corner by the deck and thought it was fun make everyone get worried about getting "shocked" ala the Salem Witch Trials where innocent women were burned at the stake based on the testimony of attention-seeking teen-aged girls. I thought no more of it and assumed that I had been witch trialed and my pool was in fine working order after all.

I thought nothing more of it that is until this evening when I thought better and thought that maybe I should question Ellie to see if the "shock" was a product of empty chemical bags and fevered imaginations. I asked her good leading questions and she fell in line and agreed with me: it wasn't an electrical shock, it was because of the empty shock bags. But even I knew her answer was based on my big person intimidation style grilling and the apparent lack of distinction in Ellie's mind between an electrical shock and chemical shock. So I backed off a bit, gave her a chance to explain. She reminded me that it was a troop mother who told me the pool was giving shocks and Ellie confirmed that the troop mother got a shock when she touched the surface of the water NEAR THE POOL LIGHT while standing on the deck. And guess what, you CAN get a shock when you sit on the deck and touch the surface of the water because I GOT a shock when I tried it too.

Which brings me to the bastards. Those pool guy bastards. Drain my pool to the bottom, a thing I should never have had to witness, pull the fixture out, leave it hanging for awhile, then reinstall it so inexpertly that I get a whole new amusement park quality feature in my back yard pool: think hair-raising, thrill-a-minute, Terror Ride, you never know what's going to make you jump out of your skin or Speedo as the case may be. Bastards.

Then add the dust storm in downtown Baghdad that's been happening just over the property line as the excavators tear out a small mountain of dirt to make way for the new Jr. High and didn't have the good sense to get the damn water tank trucks on site to spray down the dust like the damn contract says they should and the money the sub-contractor saved by going thbbbpt to the contract terms should be disbursed equally to all the neighbors to clean the dust off of every surface imaginable. But I kind of doubt that's going to happen, but I think I'm more pissed off about the time it took me to get all the right names so I could call and complain oh so diplomatically right after I made the first call to the county DEQ. Wouldn't you think the school district or the general contractor would have had the sense to warn the neighbors that this shit was going down and wouldn't you think the general would have the good sense to at least apologize when confronted in person by a calm but assertive home owner about the lack of any attempt to mitigate the dust? bastard.

So, no photo evocative of warm, relaxing summer evenings poolside with a cold bottle of alchopop and wet kids enjoying the hell out of the water after a hot hot day. Just my meandering diatribe about the bastards and yes, I have let them get me down, just a bit. I'll review a motivational poster this weekend about the bastards and how not to let them get you down and I'll be better when the pool isn't giving involuntary eletrolysis and the air on my street doesn't go crunch when you get some in your mouth.


Yes, Minister... said...

As I read this, my comments pop into my mind. Sorry if you don't find it appropriate, but this was all I could think of.

Ian just made guillotine (we watched Marie Antoinette)~ want to borrow it for the bastards :D

Anonymous said...

Marji - Whenever *I* have to deal with sombitches like the pool company, I use the magic words: "If you do not fix it NOW, I will contact my attorney."

Nevermind that I don't HAVE an attorney, it simply seems to make folks pay attention. However, you DO know an attorney. You ARE an attorney. I think that notifying the pool company that their negligence caused near fatal electrical shock should do something to mitigate their bill to you.... At the very least, it should make you feel a whole lot better!

And if not, I'd go with the guillotine.

Missing you all,


Nancy said...

Oh my! Electric shocks??? I will stop complaining about brushing, shocking, backwashing . . . you know the drill.

Last summer our light shattered . . . no explanation sort of like my Honda Odyssey back window . . . hmmmm. . . do you see a pattern here?

Anyway, even with the light broken and filled up with water, no one got shocked, please let us know how this ends.


Anonymous said...


We have had great results with a similar phrase, "Attorney General".

Give it a try!

Works for us...

(from Iowa)