Yesterday, I took a handful of kids to a water park.
I made a vow to myself yesterday: I will never again set foot in a water park. At least, my feet will not touch the cesspool of human slime they call the wave pool.
Since I came directly from work to this water park, I neglected to pack a bathing suit. Which meant that I was on “poolside duty”, watching the cell phones and wallets of everyone else in my party.
Which, in turn, freed me up to observe the distinctly unique slice of humanity that spends a Tuesday afternoon at a water park in Nowheresville, Missouri.
Without getting into the stomach-turning details, let’s just say you don’t want to know what people do at the pool–and those grubby kids picking their toes and flicking dead skin into the water were on the milder end of public pool offenses.
I’ve been willing to sacrifice my personal standard of cleanliness in order to enjoy an afternoon of fun with friends in the water…but I think I finally experienced the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” yesterday afternoon.
That final straw came when I saw the lifeguards sniffing the air, their noses turned up. They quickly cleared out the wave pool and had everyone get out of the water and stand on the side. To my absolute horror, I saw one of the lifeguards strap on some heavy-duty plastic gloves and go trolling around in the water, checking all the drains.
I happened to be talking to my mom on the phone at that point, but I distinctly heard the lifeguard yell to another lifeguard, “I can’t find it…I can definitely smell it, but I can’t find it.”
I then watched her reach into the water, grab a squishy brownish-black floating mass, and toss it over to the side of the pool with the utterance, “Well, that’s not it either..but it shouldn’t be in here anyway.”
That was literally my breaking point. The maximum-gross-capacity of an otherwise total daredevil, a person who’s never turned down a gross challenge before. Including a time in high school where I allowed six guys to mix up whatever they wanted into a cup and I ate the whole thing–horseradish, mustard, Jello, whipped cream, mystery meat, chocolate sauce, hot peppers, and all.
Hey, don’t judge. I made ten bucks off of that dare.
Anyway, that was the final straw for me–that lifeguard sloshing around, pulling squishy brown items out of the pool and cryptically yelling about something she could smell, but couldn’t find.
I literally closed my eyes and tried to block out the world at that point. So, I don’t know if that poor lifeguard ever found what she was looking for.
Sorry. I know, it’s very anti-climactic of me. But hey, real life doesn’t always tie up nicely like a movie.
Sometimes, in comparison to other jobs, the frustrations of my daily job don’t look bad. At all.
And yesterday was one of those days.