Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Dummy Part 1

I lived in Annandale Virginia when I was a kid and we had a neighborhood pool everybody swam in during the summer.  During the winter, the lifeguards and staff stored what they could in the shed, stacked the pool furniture up and locked up the bathrooms tight.  Water remained in the pool.

At the mischievous age of 13, my friends and I were always finding ways to get ourselves into trouble and during one of the 'snow days' of that winter, we had gotten bored of the snowball fights and snow fort building, and sledding, and decided we would try skating on the pool.  We cut through my backyard (there was an opening between a 10 foot hedge and our fence) and wandered over to the pool complex.  It was deserted.  All of us climbed the fence and stood at the edge of the frozen pool.  The ice didn't look very thick.

John, my next door neighbor decided to test it by putting his weight on one foot while his brother Jimmy and I held on to him.  Carefully he put his foot on the ice and leaned out over the water, slowly putting more and more weight on it until he was standing on the ice with one foot.  He looked up and grinned at us.  That's when the ice broke and his foot dropped into the water.  Luckily Jimmy and I had a good grip on him and yanked him right back up but not before his shoe and pant leg up to his knee dipped into the frigid water.  He wasn't grinning anymore.

Since sliding or walking on the pool was out, we decided to take all the pool furniture and slide it out to the middle of the frozen pool.  We thought this was hilarious since no one could go out and get it as the ice was only strong enough to hold the furniture's weight but not strong enough to hold a human's weight, even a 13 year old. 

There the furniture sat until the ice melted and then it all sank to the bottom only to be retrieved by the angry pool staff before the summer swimming season began.

The next winter was even colder than then previous one and the ice over the pool seemed thicker but none of us were willing to test it out.  The pool staff had learned their lesson and chained all the furniture to the pool deck so we couldn't slide it out on the ice again.  We had a better idea anyway. 

Part 2 tomorrow.

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