Look Before You Leap: A Splash of Satire

6 Jul

Summer is for swimming, and when it’s time to take the plunge there’s a lot to consider:  Cost, location, size, public vs. private . . . it isn’t easy deciding which swim club to join.   It’s especially challenging in a town like mine that has more swim clubs than swimmers.

For the budget conscious, there’s the small community town pool affectionately called “The Puddle,” where $100.00 buys you a membership, versus the country club, where it buys you a hot dog.  “The Puddle” is adjacent to the town library, which is so close to the pool that the librarian carries an umbrella and wears a Speedo to work.  The pool is surrounded by a chain link fence and concrete courtyard, which some find charming in a federal prison kind of way.

Others hold out for the reasonably priced private pool and tennis club called Minisink, notorious for its long waiting list.  Minisink, herein referred to as Minidrama (as in: Why am I still on the $%#@ wait list after 36 years when the Smiths got in after 16?!) boasts two big pools plus a baby pool.  By the time you get in, however, your baby girl has gone through puberty, bypassed the swim diaper stage and joined the teen string bikini brigade whose bathing suits provide less coverage than two tortilla chips and a bottle cap.

Conveniently situated near a major highway in a bucolic setting with woods and natural streams, Minidrama offers both convenient access to Route 124 and a myriad of wildlife, namely swarms of mosquitoes that leave festering bites and, if you’re lucky, only a mild case of west Nile disease.

Minidrama’s affordability means not having to take out a second mortgage on your house as you might have to at other clubs such as Noe Pond, aka Newly Pawned (as in, I had to pawn Grandma Bessie’s ruby broach to pay the membership fee).

Then there’s Fairmont Country Club, herein referred to as Unfairmont Country Club, where membership is by “invitation only” and you need friends in high places to get in.   If you make it through the Federal Grant-like application process, you get “posted,” which means your name goes up for questions, jibes and objections until “they” decide your fate.   If you finally make the cut but you’re late paying the bill, you’re forced to suffer either humiliation by public listing of your name for all to see or, a stoning by martini olives.

Some prefer the Lost Colony Pool, which, despite its name, is a pond.  It’s named for the colony of members unaccounted for since its inception.   Colony requires member participation in a safety drill best described as, “Peyton Place meets CSI:” Just as you’ve dozed off comfortably, you’re startled awake by a World War II air raid siren, followed by Joe from the snack bar’s bullhorn announcement: “All adults must enter the water immediately!  Hold hands to form a human chain!”

The tranquil atmosphere erupts into mayhem as members frantically race to the pond for the drown-proofing exercise in which you’re forced to hold hands with “banana hammock” Fred who leers at you while he squeezes more than your hand.  Together, you tread the murky waters until finally, someone’s toe jams into the plastic dummy serving as a dead body.

If you pass the physical, emotional and mental challenges of Phase One, you move on to Phase Two, underwater knot tying at a 10-foot depth.  Passage of the test qualifies you to join both Colony and the Navy SEALS.

These are but a few of the options my town has to offer.   If you don’t find what you’re looking for in your town, you can always explore neighboring town pools.  If you still don’t find what you’re looking for, there’s always one last option—it’s got drama and it’s free:  the Jersey Shore.

Are you a pool person or do you prefer getting sand between your toes?  Where do you take the plunge?

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40 Responses to “Look Before You Leap: A Splash of Satire”

  1. Paprika Furstenburg July 6, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    I enjoy sitting on a beach under a palm tree staring at blue water, but since NJ beaches don’t have either of those options, I prefer a pool. We used to belong to Nomahegan Swim Club. I was on the swim team and we competed against Minisink. I know that’s a Native American word, but am I the only one who thinks that you shouldn’t choose a name with the word sink in it when naming a swim club?

    Fun post!

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

      Lol! Thankfully there hasn’t been a sinking yet. The worst I’ve heard is an occasional accident in the kiddy pool, not the drowning variety . . .

      • Paprika Furstenburg July 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

        I know exactly what type of pool accident you are talking about. We went with our friends to their pool club last weekend and they had to clear the pool temporarily. We kept referring to it as a “code brown.”

      • Main Street Musings Blog July 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm #

        Paprika, if I could post every day I would, just to hear your funny comments.

  2. crubin July 6, 2012 at 11:00 am #

    I remember moving to our town 12 years ago, and, having young kids, looking for the community’s pool. I figured it was still like when I was a kid, and by that, I mean free. But no. You have to pay a membership fee, and they’re not cheap. No public pools to be found. Needless to say we made great use of our sprinklers and plastic pools in the backyard. 🙂

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

      I experienced the same thing with tennis courts too. Growing up in L.A. they were free. Here I pay more for playing tennis than I do for groceries.

      • crubin July 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

        Well, at least you’re burning off those groceries by playing tennis. 🙂

      • Main Street Musings Blog July 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

        That’s looking at the coffee cup half full! 😉

  3. Huffygirl July 6, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    With options like those, it’s enough to make it safe not to go back in the water.

    Here in Michigan we are blessed to have hundreds of lakes, most within a 30-60 minute drive. so I’ve never “enjoyed” having a pool membership. My fav of course is Lake Michigan, with chilly water, which partly freezes in winter, waves and miles of sugar sand beaches. And no lifeguards and no CSI drills.

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

      We have a lake right here in our backyard — after heavy rains when our drainage wells get clogged. Lake Michigan sounds much nicer.

  4. earthriderjudyberman July 6, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    So many choices. So little time (or money). Loved your descriptions. Hysterical.
    We have a pool which, I confess, we rarely use. It’s for our kids and our grands. But I do step in occasionally just for exercise.
    The beach – about 15 miles from our door – is off limits to me. They don’t want to scare away the other sunbathers or swimmers. Plus Wanda the Tentmaker does not have a swimsuit in my size. (Just joking.)
    Have a fun summer. Mine ends on Aug. 1st. That’s when our school district calls teachers back. Kids will start a week later.

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 6, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

      Enjoy your summer too– you still have several weeks to enjoy. p.s. I didn’t know that you are a teacher!

      • earthriderjudyberman July 6, 2012 at 10:30 pm #

        After I left my job as a newspaper reporter in 2003, I started taking classes for my Master’s degree which I earned in 2007. For the past 8 years, I’ve taught Language Arts (English) at a middle school. (I was teaching while working on my degree part-time.)

        I really enjoy working with the kids and get a real kick out of those who hated to read – and suddenly discover a book they love. That’s always gratifying.

      • Main Street Musings Blog July 7, 2012 at 6:20 am #

        Good for you! I bet you’re a terrific teacher.

  5. morristownmemos by Ronnie Hammer July 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm #

    Why does getting wet translate into summer fun? I’m a landlubber and if I need cooling off I prefer eating lots of ice cream and ice pops followed by iced tea or iced coffee. As you can guess I’m much too busy racing back and forth to the rest room than to consider swimming…

    Delightful post love the descriptions.

  6. The Bumble Files July 6, 2012 at 3:32 pm #

    That was hilarious! I loved that. I’d like sand between my toes any day of the week! Very funny and clever.

  7. Jennifer Worrell July 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    We have an inflatable alligator pool on the deck. Very uncomplicated aside from the occasional yellow stream. Hilarious post:)

  8. nursemommylaughs July 6, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    I had a good stoning by martini olives once. Only once. Very funny, girl! Loved it.

  9. Audubon Ron July 8, 2012 at 5:20 am #

    No plunging here, I can’t even afford the noodle.

  10. Perfecting Motherhood July 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    Lovely names for all your refreshing ponds! We have access to the YMCA pool in our town for $3/person. Doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s $9 every time I go with my kids, ouch. There are a few community pools around, one of them is only $4 for the three of us, I think, but it’s open to the public 1 hour a day, 5 days a week. Don’t miss it! And I understand we live in San Diego and the weather is mostly nice, but all the pools are outdoors and the water (and the air) are really cold in the mornings and the evenings except in the heat of summer. My kids have to wear light swimsuits to avoid hypothermia or manage to enjoy more than 10 minutes in the pool. Whoever built these pools doesn’t live here year-round for sure!

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 9, 2012 at 8:26 am #

      One hour! It takes me that long to ease into the pool! Our outdoor pools are only open in the summer. The only use for an outdoor pool of water in the winter is to ice skate on it.

      • Perfecting Motherhood July 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

        My kids and I are not the walrus type so we stay out of the pool except for summer, which sounds silly for Southern California. But honestly, if I really wanted cold water, I’d just jump into the Pacific ocean, which is also for walruses only.

  11. simonandfinn July 9, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    How did you even think of this topic! So creative! I wouldn’t mind a stoning by martini olives, it’s a fight to get more than two per drink around here.

  12. mj monaghan July 11, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    What a swimmingly great topic. I’m a swimmer from WAY back. I love swimming pools, but REALLY love surfing in the ocean. That’s the best, and no entrance fees – except maybe to park! 🙂

    As they say, “different strokes.” hehehe

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 12, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      A surfer dude, eh? That takes me back to my college days at UCSB!

      • mj monaghan July 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm #

        You went to UCSB? That would have been my dream college. Hope it was good to you.

      • Main Street Musings Blog July 13, 2012 at 9:28 am #

        It was like going to college at a resort! (It also took a lot of discipline to study)

  13. Kourtney Heintz July 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    My family has a pool and I love swimming laps in the summer there. But the ocean is my favorite place to swim. Love the salt water. 😉

  14. sdunnebacke July 28, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Okay, okay, I’m starting to catch on to the trend here. My suspicion is that yours is one of those blogs wherein I ask for a “Like All” button, so I don’t wear out my mouse with every post I read.

    We live in the swath of Michigan where none of the Great Lakes is less than two hours away, and as a result find ourselves at mid-mitten hotel waterparks more often. I far prefer the lake atmosphere.

    • Main Street Musings Blog July 29, 2012 at 7:04 am #

      Ha! loved your reply, thanks for the nice compliment.:)
      The great lakes! So close yet so far! I know what you mean, we are just far enough from the Jersey shore that we typically don’t bother. Maybe we’ll have to settle for a photo–a beach/lake screensaver ;).

  15. Woman in the Middle August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Dear lord…your post made that pool in my back yard look way better!!!!! Thanks for the laugh!

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