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Pool voices

Published September 15. 2012 09:01AM

On a beautiful Sunday morning at 9 a.m., Jim and I decided to go to the outdoor pool. We had our new lounge chair towels with the inflatable pillows, our books, sunglasses, and lotion. Our intent was to spend a few hours in the morning sun - before the afternoon heat made the pool deck unbearable.

The water was perfect - about 80 degrees. We swam for a while and then got out and headed for our chairs to read our books in the sun.

I found it difficult to concentrate on my novel. There were too many "pool voices" surrounding me. The 30 or so senior citizen residents who were in the pool kept up a constant chatter. As they walked back and forth across the shallow end of the pool, they engaged in loud conversations.

One woman was telling another that Restaurant X served small portions for senior citizens. The other woman insisted that her husband wouldn't frequent an eating place that gave him small portions. She pointed out her husband, who was floating in the deep end of the pool. His tummy was protruding above the water. His wife said, "He should probably eat smaller portions." Both women laughed and kept walking.

A husband and wife duo arrived at the pool, got their chairs all set up with towels, and entered the pool. The wife was annoyed and said to her mate, "Why can't we have lunch at the 'Pub'?" Her husband said, "Because I want to watch a sports event that starts around lunchtime." She huffed and responded, "Sports, sports, sports. That's all you think about. I am so tired of watching sports." He smiled and said, "We have five television sets in our house. Go to another room and watch whatever you want." She swam away from him and joined the two women who were talking about restaurants.

One gentleman started telling another man about his grandson's college fund. It appears that the grandparents started the fund when the boy was born. Now that the boy entered college, the cost was much more than anticipated. The grandfather said, "They expect us to give them more money, but we can't." The other man said, "What is it about these kids? They expect us to do so much for them." The men agreed that times have changed. Instead of caring for aging relatives, young people expect their elders to do more for them.

Struggling to comprehend the story line of my novel, I was distracted yet again by the arrival of a loud man carrying a large bag. He wore a straw hat and had on pink flip-flops. He yelled out a greeting to the folks in the water. Most of them answered back, but one man could be heard saying "Here comes Joe. He's such a big mouth." Joe found a lounge chair and put his belongings on it. Then he unrolled a beach towel that said, "Viet Nam Veteran." I figured that Joe didn't mind advertising his service - something that many vets don't like to do. When he entered the water, most of the folks ignored him and just kept walking. That didn't deter Joe. He inserted himself into a group and could be heard clearly telling everyone about his latest escapade.

A set of grandparents showed up with two young children. A collective groan could be heard from the pool. Children are allowed in the pool at certain times during the week. On weekends, there are no limitations for children entering the pool. However, they are not allowed to bring any inflatable toys or do any diving. In other words, the kids are allowed to swim. Period. These two kiddos had some plastic toys that they proceeded to line up on the side of the pool. They weren't bothering anyone. I heard a woman's voice - loudly complaining - "They aren't supposed to have toys in the pool." Everyone ignored her, let the kids alone, and they played nicely with their toys. She finally gave up her complaining.

I didn't get to read much of my book that morning. The pool voices were too interesting.


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