Tag Archives: germs

Cess Pools, otherwise known as Public Swimming Pools

30 Mar

Living in a country that practically makes it illegal not to spend your summer near some form of water I sigh with relief as another hot summer seems to disappear. There are a few reasons I’m not that crash hot on the summer months. The first would be plain old vanity, my lily white skin is, lets face it, not in vogue and when you’re talking to people at the beach and you realize they’re squinting and shading their eyes when they already have sunglasses on, you become aware that your blindingly white canvas is reflecting way too much light. Of course I live in some hope that one day my freckles will gloriously just join together as one and form the perfect tan.

Other problems of significance (!) is the never ending quest for the perfect bathers, I’ve studied all the articles they put in magazines and papers at the start of all summer seasons about the perfect bathers for your shape. I think the one thing they fail to realize is once you’ve had a few kids your body has been stretched; pummeled then unceremoniously flung to the kerb (like a Christmas tree on January first) it’s not as easy as just choosing one style of bathers. I have to do more of a cut and paste of each body type and let me tell you that leaves me with a very strange looking pair of bathers!

So cry me a river, my super model days are over before they even began, lack of tanning pigment and bathers aside there is one more thing and probably the thing I dread about the summer months the most. The public pool, I can’t pinpoint the moment I started hating them, I know my vitriol started years ago and before I had kids the public pool and I pretty much just avoided each other. However after I produced a few human beings especially one with boundless energy and a desire to go into any hole filled with water I realized I could avoid it no more. Being the dutiful mother I rang around and secured a prize Saturday morning swimming lesson spot for first child. Being the dutiful mother with an aversion to public swimming pools I packed up baby and Dad and sent them on their way. Problem solved or so I thought until more children appeared and husband informed there are only so many back-to-back lessons he can do before his skin starts shriveling. I would have to share the load and venture in the pool, aargh!

I tried very hard to hide my disgust for the luke warm swill I stood in with my baby as we sang ridiculous songs and ooh and aahed at how clever they were to stand on the side of the pool and jump in. In my mind the only clever thing my baby should have done is run to the nearest shower or disinfectant gel. I endured enough lessons to make sure my little piece of happiness wouldn’t automatically sink to the bottom and nearly high fived the instructor when she said it was time for them to have lessons on their own.

Of course the pool is more than just swimming lessons so as the kids got bigger they asked and asked until we took them to the local indoor swimming pool. Now the one good thing I will say about public pools is if you’re having some self esteem issues you just need to pop along to your local pool. Regrettably I have been to a few different pools now and lets just say compared to 90% of the people there you’re going to look amazing because I don’t know where they come from or go to but most pool patrons have decided most of the common laws of grooming and general presentation standards don’t apply to them and really haven’t for a very long time! I know it’s pretty harsh but I swear next time you’re at a pool have a look around, I think you’ll find I’m pretty accurate!

So public pools are not my favourite place but I knew I had got to a place where I basically had to suck it up because my minions couldn’t be deprived because of me. It didn’t take long for me to get a reminder of why I call them cess pools. The family trundled off to the local inside pool, I took the toddler and wandered around with baby clinging to me like a koala, so much for all the expensive swimming lessons I thought! I noticed from the corner of my eye my hubby powering through the water towards us. As he got closer his expression and colour drained face told me that something was wrong. All forms of tragedies flicked through my mind before he was able to reach me and fear glued me to the spot I was in.

Even though I knew something was wrong I was pretty confident we hadn’t been there long enough for a kidnapping or drowning so I stood and waited. He said nothing and directed me over to the side of the pool where I found our other kids
standing bewildered. It turns out my husband had been having fun splashing around only to move his feet and stand on something. I bet your first thought was band aid, no that’s gross but this was grosser, no it wasn’t a pooh that had escaped from a sagging nappy either. It was a used tampon, used, I gag just thinking about it and luckily I didn’t see it. Okay so public swimming pools had just sunk to a new low in my estimation but the bigger thing to think about it is this. How would you not notice a tampon fall out? I mean what kind of bowling alley have you got down there!!!!

Now let me just admit that my family is not above reproach in these things, we too have contributed to the cess pool. I’ve been sitting dutifully at the pools edge admiring one of my kids while they’re learning to swim. I’m dazzled by their skills and warmed by their enthusiasm only to be repulsed by the neon gob hanging out of their nose as they turn around to smile at me proudly. I motion for them to come to me as I desperately search for a tissue in my bag, by the time I look up I notice they’ve fixed that problem their way, snot it off in the water. I sit their gagging and trying not to notice the kids in the next lane putting their heads in and out of the water down stream of where the snot must have gone.

So bring on the cold weather, throw that ill-fitting pair of swimmers to the back of the wardrobe and pull the covers over the outdoor cesspools. My loved ones and I have survived another summer stewing in all manner of microrganisms and because we’re dumb creatures of habit we will be doing it all again next summer!