I Love This Pool
The cheapest city pool around (Our Pool) happens to be in the toniest city in Johnson County, aside from Mission Hills, which I'm pretty sure only has a country club. For obvious reasons (they don't make their Shirley Temples right,) Justin and I opted not to join "the club." So we go to this awesome city pool in this awesome city in Kansas. Sometimes, when all the lawn chairs are taken, I lay in the grass and pretend I actually live in this city. And the lifeguards are like, "Oh what in the ever living hell are the mothers smoking now?"
I'm smoking the air in your city, lifeguards. Because I love it that much.
Well, this year, one of our lifeguards has a tattoo. I was like, "When the lifeguards in Toni Town start getting tattoos, I start buying stock in tattoos."
Okay: so, the waterguns. They're a gray area at our pool. They're not "outlawed," but they're frowned upon. Usually, kids with waterguns get kicked out of the shallow pool and into the big pool, where the lifeguards defy them to tread water while operating a modern watergun. (Have you seen these things? Pretty awesome. But requiring two hands.)
Today was overcast and cool, so the shallow pool was pretty empty. Richie came into the pool with his watergun. He started shooting at this kid who--for reasons I couldn't understand at the time, let Richie shoot him. I was like, "Are you crazy, kid?" I mean, a kid might join a watergun fight without a watergun, but it's either with the intention of engaging in hand-to-hand combat (splashing) or tricking the other kid out of his gun. Richie actually handed this kid the gun and he handed it back.
Nearby, Richie saw a gentleman who looked to be in his 80s with a tattoo of...I couldn't see what...on his bicep. The only tattoos I take seriously are a. on people 70 or over and b. on the bicep. These people got tattoos when they actually meant something. Nowadays, everybody has a tattoo. Therefore, no one does.
So Richie shoots this guy in the chest.
The guy gets a funny glint in his eye. Is he going to tell him to get some manners? Is he going to make a joke?
I said, "Richie! Don't shoot grownups or babies!"
Meanwhile, the guy disappears. He comes back with one of those big waterguns that's made of foam. He starts spraying Richie. I mean full combat. He's sneaking behind mothers in tankinis and coming out full barrel. (At one point he had two waterguns that he was shooting at the same time.) Richie loved it. He was like, "He's got waterguns now, mom. That means he's no longer a grownup."
I looked at the tatoo again: a cannon, I think. I was like, "Of course. Only Richie would pick a watergun fight with a sailor."
Then the guy's granddaughter started attacking. She was shooting water straight into Richie's ear. The guy turned to me and said, happily, "She usually doesn't like watergun fights!"
So that's what he was thinking when he got that glint in his eye: "I'm going to go get my granddaughter's watergun. Yes!"
A little while later, the guy took his grandson over to the big pool, and Johnny and Richie continued the fight with the kid who I had thought was crazy. (Have you noticed that--to avoid getting shot with a watergun--kids go underwater? Interesting.) Well, as it turned out, every time the kid picked up the watergun, his mom went ballistic. She marched over from her lawnchair and sat him in time out. Johnny thought that she thought her son would wander off with the watergun and not be able to find us when it was time to leave. I think maybe she didn't let her kids play with toy guns. Which is great--I get that. But it made me feel bad for thinking her kid was crazy.
Anyway, a little later, I was trying to teach Johnny how to swim. (I mean, he knows how to swim, but he weaves his legs back and forth like an alligator in distress.) The same guy comes over and starts giving him pointers. He was wearing a Navy baseball cap. (I guess my Nancy Drew sleuthing skills are sharp as ever.) He said he was a Navy instructor, which touched my heart because my grandpa was an Air Force instructor. This guy had prequalified Navy Seals.
"Did you notice that he was an awesome watergun fighter, Richie?" I later asked.
"Yeah!" Richie said enthusiastically.
"Well, that's why."
Not that people shoot each other with waterguns in the Navy, but you know what I mean.
See, I love our city pool.