Pool Rules

Summer is almost here, so it seemed like a good idea to share tips about how to succeed at the next pool party you get invited to. With any luck, that will happen sometime before you have kids of your own, so pay attention.

I don’t speak often of my astonishing diving skills, because I don’t have any. But I have learned much in the pool of hard knocks, and these lessons I now freely offer.

First, regarding the “low” and “high” diving boards. The terms reflect the level of pain you will experience if you mess up on them.

One day in PE swimming class, I’d had it with being the only boy who hadn’t taken a plunge from the high dive. I can do this, I told myself. Scaling the ladder, I spit in the face of my fear and cried out, “Geronimoooo . . .”

“Oh, oh, oh!” The pain was somewhere beyond intolerable, as I had landed with an ear-piercing crack! smack on my back. My skin turned an intense shade of red, then modulated to a trendy violet hue. The agony experienced by my classmates, however, was even greater. Several of them were forced to seek emergency help for a sudden onslaught of Uncontrollable Laughter Syndrome. (If you are foolish enough to read this column regularly, you are aware that this phenomenon often occurs as a result of my various exploits.)

If, like I did, you decide to attempt a tuck and roll dive, I can tell you firsthand that making it only three quarters of the way around will put your Christian character to the test.

Now, about poolside etiquette. If soda pop is made available, belching contests may seem like a fun activity. But if you’ve ever had the misfortune of seeing a sleek, well-tanned blond-haired teenage girl fire one off, you know it’s best to keep the carbonation under control.

Perhaps you consider your etiquette to be about on the same level as that of a warthog. Often you can simply follow the lead of those more refined than yourself. But if, say, someone thinks pulling the drain plug on the pool is a cool stunt, it’s best to not go with the flow.

So have fun in the summer sun, and “let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 11:9).

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Pool Rules

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