Somewhere in my own neighborhood, there is a child.
Right now, they are down for their nap and sleeping soundly. They’d been bathed and powdered sufficiently, and now they rest like a darling angel.
That child is a terrorist.
Yes, I said it.
Terrorists or the threat of terrorists ruin everything and anything fun. They incite fear and hysteria. They cause good people to alter their way of life and always wonder if they will be attacked.
So under my definition, that child is a terrorist, hence ruining my summer or at least one day of it.
Their parents are harboring a terrorist, and they know it because they were there when it happened or some unfortunate auntie or uncle or teenaged brother/sister/cousin had to bring the terrorist child back to the apartment and explain that the little cherub just closed down an olympic-sized swimming pool for an entire day, leaving many traumatized.
Maybe that is an exaggeration.
I wasn’t there, but I was still traumatized.
It took me 20-minutes to decide on a swimsuit that was most flattering. I slathered on my sunscreen, selected a book for reading pool-side in between dips, and I was ready to go.
I took a walk in the sweltering heat in hopes for a relieving wade in the lovely blue water and as I approached the pool, I was excited to see that it was quiet and no one was there. No loud children splashing me, and no nasty adults covertly relieving themselves. This was going to be a lovely time.
I was greeted by the lifeguard.
“The pool is closed.”
I pulled my sunglasses to the brim of my nose, as the classy women do and looked at the sign displaying the hours of operation. The pool closes at 7 p.m. it was only 4:30. Then I looked at him.
He looked exasperated, as if he didn’t want to break the news. And in his lovely Carribbean-accented baritone he replied, “Someone pooped in the pool.”
I scrunched up my face as if I discovered the chocolate log myself.
“Pooped in the pool?”
He shook his head.
“Someone has to ruin it for everyone,” I said shaking my head. It suddenly felt hotter outside as I looked at the seemingly serene, refreshing, blue crime scene.
He explained to me that in the event of poop, the pool must be closed for at least four hours.
I told him I guess I’ll have to come back another time.
His eyes lingering somewhere near my bosom, let out a sigh. His eyes found mine again, he leaned against the fence and said,
As I walked back, it didn’t dawn on me to ask if during that four-hour mandatory shut down, was that for intensive decontamination?
Or is that how long it takes chlorine to breakdown biohazardous waste? Either way, four hours just didn’t seem quite long enough for me.
I saw no hazmat team. No men in yellow suits. I didn’t even hear a hum of a pool cleaning machine.
So thank you terrorist child, and thank you chaperone who brought the terrorist child, who isn’t yet old enough to verbally confirm they need to get out of the pool and take a number two.
(No, I’m not a parent yet. Because of this passionate, public gripe, no matter how hard I try, I will probably end up with a child who will poop in the pool and well after the age it is socially acceptable as karmic retribution. I will be embarrassed, and he or she will still be my munchkin. Leave my baby alone!)
As much as the lifeguard may be looking forward to my return, and seeing what exactly was under my sundress, I’m scared to go back.
Poop trumps pervy glances from bored lifeguards on my fear meter any day.
We all know there is nastiness in the pool. We go to public pools and beaches with that expectation.
But still, we solider on in what I consider healthy delusion, so we can enjoy our lives, keep cool and waste some time on a hot, summer day.
Now that I know it really happened, and that I almost would have been in the pool when it happened if I had left earlier as I had originally planned, I am particularly haunted.
On my walk back to the apartment, I thought of the Nirvana Nevermind album cover.
Now that kid, he’s too cool to poop in the pool.