But the real gift of this past Friday came during recreational swim when a group of young guys walked in for free swim. They were all between the ages of 16 and 19 so I knew from the moment they walked out onto the pool deck that there was going to be some limit testing. There are easily eight comics here. Do you agree?
- A few of the guys did not bring a swimsuit, so they decided to check the lost and found hamper on the deck, wearing only their underwear! (We talked about other ways they could have handled this.)
- One guy jumped into the pool with his socks on and three more were going to do the same thing but I had the first guy hop out and take off his soaking wet socks.
- One did a backflip off the side so I had him sit out for ten minutes.
- Another guy was running and slipped on the deck. I checked to be sure that he was okay and then said in a cheeky tone, “I guess we just learned why we don’t run on the deck.” Of course, he and his friends all laughed.
- Another proceeded to run after witnessing his friend slip and fall so I sat both of them out.
- I told the guys to use the two step rule when jumping in the deep end. This is just a way to slow down the momentum before hitting the water. I quizzed one of them about how many steps he really took. He hesitated and held up three fingers with a grin on his face.
- One guy acted like he was throwing the basketball into the hoop, but instead, threw it at another guy’s head.
- The second guy I sat out for running said, “I have one more minute left, right?” I shook my head with a smile and said, “Three more.” All his friends burst out laughing.
All of the stories above are true, without fabrication or exaggeration.
One of the guys was really interested in being a better swimmer and was asking about taking swim lessons. He also had the desire to learn how to do a flip turn. He was asking questions about how it was done. When I got off the stand on my down rotation, I hopped in the water and gave him the basics, and he probably wasn’t expecting that to happen. Once I gave some instruction to him, two more of his friends had joined in, and then another two. Sure enough, I was teaching all ten of them how to do a flip turn and how to dive from the side by the end of my shift.
Since Friday, I have spent time writing down dialog and thinking about developing a few teenage characters to add to the mix of Suits and Guarders. While I am still not sure where this will go, one thing is certain--it will be funny. And the characters will be very likeable because all of these guys were. Even though I don’t often work at the pool anymore, these strange, eventful and hilarious moments always seem to find me which is why I am still writing comic strips!