Thursday, July 31, 2008

Trying To Take the Plunge

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Water, water, everywhere, and even the boards did shrink ... water, water everywhere, but nary a drop to drink!

Today's sermon: Going for a Swim?

I don't know if it's easier living in the best house in a poor neighborhood, or the worst house in a fancy neighborhood. I actually have the latter, and it don't come easy.

Most communities have public pools where you pay a couple of bucks for a swim. Here in Snobville, you've got to belong to a swim club. Swim clubs require big bucks. However, sometimes they try to maximize the profit margin by offering August-only memberships to lesser mortals. (Here in New Jersey, many towns empty out in August as everyone goes downa shore.)

Yesterday I called Snobville's three swim clubs to see about an August-only membership.

Club #1: Sorry, no. We have a waiting list.

Club #2: Yes, it costs $500.00. We don't have a half-season rate.

Club #3:
Manager: Um, do you know anyone who belongs to Segregation Swim?

Anne: I've lived in Snobville for 20 years, so I suppose I do. No one springs to mind.

Manager: Well, here's how it works. You have to get two endorsements in writing from valid members of Segregation Swim. Once we have those, you fill out an application. When that's approved, you can pay the fee and come swim with us.

(long pause as Anne tries to think of some perfect put-down)

Manager: If you've lived in Snobville for so long, I'm sure you could just come here and look around, and you'd recognize someone. They could fill out the form right on the spot for you.

Anne: Thanks so much, you've been ever so kind.

Nice restraint, huh? Actually my mind just went blank, and I couldn't think of anything sufficiently nasty to say.

Where I grew up we had many inexpensive or free options for swimming. There were swimmin holes, of course. There were also two mountain lakes, $3.00 for a carload (before the days when everyone had to be strapped into a seatbelt). And there was the municipal pool. It had recently integrated, and many white mothers wouldn't let their kids go there anymore. Some days it was pretty much me, my cousin Ray, and a bunch of very happy black kids, scattered throughout a big-ass pool with slides.

So I'm not used to having to pay a hefty fee or get character endorsements in order to loll in a friggin swimming pool.
Damned plumber. Why did he have to fix the leaky pipe in the basement? I had a lovely pool right downstairs, but now it's gone.



Anonymous said...

Here's to the swimming holes of my youth!

We belonged to one of those pools for a couple years when I was kid, my folks wanted us to have options, but I hated that place.

THE Michael said...

Ann, you can come swim with us. We allow swimming in Lake Melissas as soon as it appears after a good thunderstorm. You WILL be expected to give right of way to the cars going back and forth. You have to sign a health waver, as we cannot guarantee than an alligator won't discover the same temporary lake at the same time and disagree over occupancy rights, but so far we haven't spotted one. Oh, and yes, you have to sign over the soul of your second born.

Hecate said...


The best harvest poem in the whole, entire world IMHO is by (no surprise) Mary Oliver.

Little Summer Poem Touching the Subject of Faith

Every summer
I listen and look
under the sun's brass and even
into the moonlight, but I can't hear

anything, I can't see anything -
not the pale roots digging down, nor the green stalks muscling up,
nor the leaves
deepening their damp pleats,

nor the tassels making,
nor the shucks, nor the cobs.
And still,
every day,

the leafy fields
grow taller and thicker -
green gowns lofting up in the night,
showered with silk.

And so, every summer,
I fail as a witness, seeing nothing -
I am deaf too
to the tick of the leaves,

the tapping of downwardness from the banyan feet -
all of it
beyond any seeable proof, or hearable hum.

And, therefore, let the immeasurable come.
Let the unknowable touch the buckle of my spine.
Let the wind turn in the trees,
and the mystery hidden in the dirt

swing through the air.
How could I look at anything in this world
and tremble, and grip my hands over my heart?
What should I fear?

One morning
in the leafy green ocean
the honeycomb of the corn's beautiful body
is sure to be there.

It's in my will as one of the poems to read at my funeral.

Anne Johnson said...

Happy Lughnasadh, my dear friend!

BBC said...

Don't look at me, I'm not into all that crap that owns me, my monthly bills for living are under two hundred a month except in the winter when the electric bill goes up to about 80 bucks for one month. If I want a pool I will hike to the hot springs. But I am going to put a shower in here.

But it won't cost much to do it, got all the parts for free and I get the water for free so the only expense will be to heat it.

Now get your butt back to work for the man so he can get richer. Ha, ha, ha.

Maeve said...

Check and see if there's a YMCA within a reasonable driving distance. The rates for ours are quite reasonable, and you get all sorts of stuff, not just a pool. And year-round too, instead of an outdoor seasonal pool.

We haven't signed up, because even as reasonable as the rates are, our schedules don't leave us with much opportunity to actually go to the Y.

Anne Johnson said...

There is a Y around here somewhere, and there are other community centers/health clubs with pools. I just got hankering for a swim under the sky.

Doesn't Billy sound superbly pleased with his life?

yellowdog granny said...

hm, do i detect a hint of sarcasim there,on your billy post?
our local pool for a town of 2,000 plus the neighboring towns used to charge $4..then it slowly would go up ..and now it's $9for adults and $7 for kids..and under 6 are free...way to much money but its a terrific pool...
have a great weekend