At first, Daniel had said in a soft, squeaky voice, “Ooh! That guy’s naked.” The next thing I knew, one of the girls, Kate and my brother, Richard were standing by the side of the pool, unable to do anything but laugh. I quickly came over to see what was funny, but since no one could talk by this time, I began laughing at the group of kids who were laughing at the man in the nude trunks. By this time, about six of us were standing by the edge of the pool, some still going through the motions of stretching but others just laughing quietly at the scene. Yes, we knew better. Yes, it was really funny. No, not one of us seemed to be able to stop voluntarily. Unfortunately, by this time, we had attracted the unwanted attention of our swim coach, who just happened to be talking to my mom. Coach Jill came over and gave us “what for” since all of us had been independently stretching before getting in the water for many years now. She knew what was funny, having once been a kid herself, but she told us in no uncertain terms that we had better get busy! When Coach Jill said, “Jump!” you asked on the way up, “How high?”
I don’t think any of us ever looked at the lifeguard that day since we were in our own world. In an effort to maintain some decorum of professionalism, I can only imagine that he tried to block us from his view and look intently at the pool. Now that I’m a lifeguard, I truly sympathize with the torture of this moment, which is why I have my character, Kurt on the stand. Kurt is, as his name suggests, brief and to the point---“I really wish people wouldn’t wear flesh-colored swim trunks!”
My mom was totally clueless about the matter until she left the pool deck as we were getting in the water, and she did a double take, just like the swimmer in the first panel. Months later, she mentioned the event to Kate’s mom, wondering if she knew the story. Oh yes! When Kate was picked up that day, she began this sentence over and over again, “Today, there was this man…… (Uncontrollable laughter)……today while we were stretching…… (More uncontrollable laughter)…..there was this man…… (Unable to talk because of laughing so hard, in fact, not breathing)…… They were in the driveway before Kate was able to blurt out the truth, as tears of laughter streamed down her face. A focused swimmer, Kate must have willed herself not to think of this for the duration of the practice. All these years later, my brother and I still have a good chuckle over the memory and about what our mom told us about Kate trying to report it to her own mother!
By the way, I never knew what was funny until we got home that day. As for the gentleman in the beige trunks, he may have wondered why all the swimmers seemed so joyful that day as they prepared for swim practice or why the lifeguards couldn’t look him in the eye. Maybe he had that moment of truth with these unfortunate swim trunks. Certainly, we’ve all been there----you know, you get home from a concert, dance or some really important evening and suddenly realize that your fly is unzipped!