I was at my cousin Cara’s house this past weekend, and it was really, really hot. So, we did the only thing we could – we drank beer. And then my cousin bought a pool.
It was probably the biggest pool you can buy that doesn’t require the use of a bulldozer or a permit. In fact, on the box that it came in there was a picture of the pool, with approximately 25 kids happily playing in it, with plenty of room to spare for other things, like rafts, and urine. The box also informed us that putting the pool together would be as “easy as 1, 2, 3!” However, upon further inspection, we realized that that was somewhat of a general statement, as in, “Step 1: Put together pool. Step 2: Enjoy pool. Step 3: Dry off.”
Actually, we soon discovered that this process would be much more complicated than the box specified, especially after we realized that it came with an instructional video, which, judging from the amount of tape it held, was longer than “The Godfather Part II.” We didn’t have time to watch a freakin’ video – not when it was 95 degrees outside and we were about to construct the first swimming pool in our family’s vast, and pool-less history. We also didn’t need the literary version of the “directions,” as we tossed them aside as well, next to some empty Coors Light cans. After all, we had plenty of manpower, albeit manpower still slightly feeling the affects of a previous night’s wedding, with a combined zero experience in putting together massive blow-up, spontaneously purchased pools.
My cousin-in-law Steve, sister Jill, cousin Todd, and several others went to work on the actual pool, and by “went to work” I mean stared at it for a half an hour, and then realized that we had no means of blowing it up. My cousin John and I put together the ladder in surprisingly efficient fashion, considering that John’s previous night had ended with him passed out, face down while wearing a tuxedo, in somebody else’s bed, and my own experience with ladders simply involved falling off of one while cleaning my neighbors gutters several years back. Nevertheless, it seemed sturdy enough, even though the “warning safety” sign we tried to install on the side of it was symbolically dangling by a thread. John’s response to this problem was, “Whatever. Nobody in our family speaks German anyway. Right?”
Steve tried to use his ShopVac to blow up the pool, until he realized that it was only “sucking” and not “blowing,” which led to several hilarious jokes. Then we regrouped and found a hand pump, and everyone took turns blowing up the pool, which was the best teamwork exhibited by our family since the time I was chased out of a minor league baseball game for dancing on top of the dugout, and everyone met me outside of the stadium so I could get home before the police arrived. After sufficient blowing, we decided this would be the perfect time to start filling up the pool. Without even consulting the video, we determined we should use water.
Cara gave her two-year old son David a hose, and let him stand inside the soon-to-be pool and commence filling. We all stood around and watched, anticipating the gloriousness of what was about to come to fruition. The pool held just under 3,000 gallons, which meant, at the rate we were going, we would be able to swim in approximately three weeks. About an hour into it, my wife and my dad realized that the pool was starting to form an odd shape. They consulted the “directions,” which explained, “If pool begins to take on an egg-like shape, drain and start over.” Our collective reaction to THIS news was a resounding “whatever.” Besides, the pool wasn’t taking on much of an egg-like shape. It looked more like a giant amoeba that had fallen from the sky and splattered all over my cousin’s backyard, and we were trying to bring it back to life by dousing it with water.
There was no turning back now. By this point, we had even begun wading in the giant splattered amoeba, at which point John discovered that two very pointy rocks were almost bursting through the bottom of the pool. Our solution to THIS problem was to have my dad try and finagle his way UNDERNEATH the pool enough to slip a piece of cardboard in between the ground and pool base. We all pulled on one side of the pool while my dad squirmed underneath, which prompted John to say, “If anyone is looking at this from above, they’re going to think a pool fell on Uncle Jack, and we’re all trying to save him.” Also, it didn’t work.
The hard work that John and I had put into the ladder was rendered moot by the fact that the pool was SO uneven, that there was actual a shallow end that you could enter simply by stepping over the side, and a deep end that overflowed onto the grass if someone so much as stuck their hand inside the pool. Also, the side of the pool that the filter was on sagged so much that the filter wasn’t even IN the pool, meaning that the only thing it was really “filtering” was the air outside. Nevertheless, we swam. Like kings. Steve did an unprecedented one-handed doggy-paddle while holding his beer above water with his other hand, with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth for good measure. My wife said it was the greatest pool party in white trash history.
Two days later, according to my cousin Cara, the pool collapsed. 3,000 gallons of water went all over her backyard, and the pool deflated, all of which may have been for the better, because I think John peed in it.