Swimming Pool Etiquette for Dummies/Idiots/Morons

A Swimming PoolI suppose you might think my title is a bit harsh, so let me explain my reasoning.  You see I figured that if publishing companies could get away with insulting whoever feels that they need the advice, I could do the same.  The first rule of business is: always insult the customer.  You probably didn’t need me to tell you this; it becomes apparent pretty quickly if you go to your nearest drive-through “dining” option.

In my previous list of 10 Things You Absolutely have to do this Summer, I mentioned that you need to “teach others to swim” (for those of you just joining us, this meant you pushed them in the pool).  Apparently, some of you didn’t like this idea-one of you (let’s call this person “Wrong.” No names, especially because this may or may not be true) sent me an angry e-mail.  In it, Wrong mentioned how he/she felt it was awfully cruel to put this on the list, because some people don’t actually have access to a pool.

Now, I might have taken this letter seriously, if it weren’t for the fact Wrong took me seriously to begin with.  Also, I was planning on writing back, but I was worried Wrong might find my e-mail insulting, especially to those “some people” who write me angry e-mails.

Good to get that off my chest.  Are you reading this now, Wrong? Probably not, seeing as you don’t actually exist (no, that was not an insult, that means that I invented him/her for this anecdote).

Regardless, I don’t think I have properly addressed all these concerns about swimming etiquette.  Now, honestly, I know that most teens have a problem with the word etiquette, the problem being that they don’t know what it means and/or can’t spell it.  I’m going to try to fix that.

The first thing you should know about pool etiquette is that appearance does matter.  When I refer to appearance, what I am really talking about here is whether or not you are a VIP customer at McBurgTacoDonaldsVilleBelle-in-the-Box.  To put it a little less gently: have you ever exceeded the weight limit of an elevator? (That was putting it ‘less gently’ because if the answer is yes, you probably had a very painful-therefore, not gentle-fall to your death).

I have nothing against you if you fit the above criteria.  The one thing I think you should consider is what makes you look better.  For men, this can constitute wearing a baggy T-shirt until you get in the water.  For women, I don’t know.  Probably just start with a budget of around $1,000 for your pedicure and manicure, and maybe another $4,000-$7,000,000,000 for a designer swimsuit.  Actually, these tips should be utilized by anyone, regardless of weight, especially if you have an ugly tattoo or sunburn.

Continuing chronologically, the next thing you need to know about pool etiquette is getting in the pool.  Most experts (read: myself and a couple of slugs I found when I was weeding) agree there are three ways to do this: climbing in, falling in, and diving in.  Since it is impossible to choose to fall in, I’m going to focus on diving and climbing in.

For the climbers, you need to check only one thing.  You should see if there are young kids in the pool.  If so, you can still climb in, but be wary of the parent’s continued warnings that you are “splashing” their kid (if you ignore these warnings, you will get hit with an inflatable of some kind).

The proper way to respond is by making eye contact with the parent and quickly lifting your hands out of the water to a “the wave” or “I have no weapon” position.  This will probably also result in splashing, but at least you’ll see the inflated alligator coming.

Divers don’t really have to check anything.  They should, but I’ve seen everybody I know make a dive without looking to see who else is in the pool, and I know that all of these people are still alive (whereas we all know how parents can be overprotective of their children).  So, I think the most important thing divers can be aware of is how deep the pool is.  Otherwise, they might dent the pool floor.

Once you are in the pool, you should be focusing on your swimming methods.  All that really matters is the speed at which you can swim.  If you could out swim anybody chasing you, you can splash as much as you want.  If you are a slow swimmer, I recommend either swimming with no splashing or bringing some sort of camouflage (I’d recommend the classic “moving bush” or maybe the lesser-known “plastic action figure”).

All in all, if you follow these rules, you should have a great summer at the pool.  Actually, you will have a terrible pool experience, but everyone else will be content.  Have I lost my teenage mind? What am I saying? Go have fun at others’ expense! Splash all you want! Throw others in! Bring your pet shark, for all I care. Chances are, I’ll be to busy answering angry e-mails to find time to get killed-I mean, enjoy myself-at the pool.

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