Jul 8, 2009


A few (many) years back, Wisconsin was suffering from a drought. It was so hot that my mom had put out some plastic plants that she kept in the living room, and she killed them.

OK in truth they melted, but that's not as funny.

Rob, Mike (some of you may remember him from the Disappointment stories) and I had been hanging out at Rob's house because he happened to have a pool.

It was right around noon, when I had this AWESOME idea. I looked at the fellas and said "Dudes, let's go to the pool."

I know, not my best opening line, but believe me THINGS would get worse.

Mike and Rob just started laughing uncontrollably, and in between guffaws Rob finally spit out "Dude we ARE in a pool." Which caused the laughter to begin all over again.

That should have clued me into what kind of day this would be...but like all things great, I ignored the obvious signals.

"No...I mean the public pool. At least there are girls there AND life guards." It was like a switch had been thrown. I had mentioned the life guards. The ever elusive beauties in the red bathing suit and sunglasses. The bronze goddesses who sat upon their thrones of white, watching over their dominion. These enchantresses of the sun who would forever be a part of every teenage boys fantasies.

Now you know why Baywatch was such a big deal. Every guy that watched Baywatch, was just taken back to the days of youth and rampaging hormones. Just thought I'd share that with you.

There was silence.

Then there was the enthusiastic chorus of "Oh HELL YEAHS" and "GREAT IDEA!"

Now as most people know, 16 year old boys are notoriously lazy, and we were no different.

"How are we gonna get there?" Mike asked.

None of us, at this point, had a divers license. So we were usually at the mercy of someone else when it came to automotive transportation. I would've normally asked my girlfriend for a ride but, there were two factors that put the kibosh on that idea. One, she would've wanted to come along, which would have hampered the ogling. Two, we had just broken up...again. We were on again off again couple during the high school years.

Rob questioned "How about Chad?"

"Nope, he's workin'" I said.

We went around like that for about five to ten minutes, and all of our usual suspects were unavailable.

That left us with only two choices.

Walk the two miles, or ask one of our parents.

Like I stated previously, we were notoriously lazy, so we asked Mike's dad if he would chauffeur us to the land of wet female bodies. We finally hit a stroke of good luck...or so we thought.

We had asked him if he could drop us off a few blocks down the street and he agreed. The evil smirk on his face should have sent up the warning flare, but all we had on our minds was the sun soaked anatomies that awaited us.

That rat bastard dropped us off right in front of the public pool.

"Now boys make sure you put on sunscreen, you don't want to burn! I'll pick you up in three hours! I love you boys! Play nice!" he said in this whiny nerdy voice, loud enough to be heard all the way into the pool itself.

We heard him cackling as he drove away.

After our near death experience by embarrassment, we finally made it the promised land.

For the first hour all we did was point out the "hotties" and try and make small talk, and like the MiG-28s in 'Top Gun' we were shot down.

Then the gods smiled down upon me in glorious fashion. One of the life guards was looking at me.


So I did the very nonchalant head nod, and she smiled. She smiled at me.


With every ounce of courage I had, I walked on over and said "Hi."

Can you tell even back then I was a master word smith...ugh.

On this blistering summer afternoon, the most magical thing happened.

She said "Hi, I'm Tina."

We talked for a little while, and to this day I have no clue about what. I am still in awe that this sun kissed nymph talked to me.

"I'm done in half an hour, do you mind if I hang out with you guys?"

"Sure that's cool."

Like I said a master word smith...ugh.

Rob and Mike were envious.

There was nothing on this Earth that could have wiped the smile off my face that day.

I was wrong.


Tina is sitting right next to me, while Rob and Mike are having a diving competition, trying to impress Tina.

This particular pool had three diving boards set at three different heights. Mike and Rob were diving off the lowest of diving boards.

I was on top of the world.

When Rob (that rat bastard) goes "Jose it's your turn!"

"My turn for what?"

While in my head I'm screaming 'SHUT THE HELL UP ROB!'

Rob says "We're seeing who can do the cleanest dive."

"Go ahead Jose, show them how it's done." Tina cheered on.

While in my head I'm begging in a whimpering tone 'Shut the hell up Tina.'

Now listen up close kiddies, because this is where Jose and stupidity get intimate.

"Fine, but if I'm going to do this I'm going to do it from the high dive." That little voice of reason that usually keeps me from doing the truly stupid shit that could get me killed screamed in this high pitched voice 'WHAT!!! ARE YOU STUPID!!!'

Hey, in my defense I was challenged in front of a girl who thought I was worth flirting with.

Tina gave me this wonderful little smile, and that little voice of reason that usually keeps me from doing the truly stupid shit that could get me killed says 'oh well, did you see that smile? Dive motherfucker!'

I was hopelessly outnumbered this day.

I begin my trek to the high dive. Taking a whole lot of short, shallow breaths...you know those breaths that come right before hyperventilating...yeah those.

I begin the climb up the ladder, and I glance over to the are where we were all sitting, and ooooh there's that wonderful smile, and she even added the two thumbs up sign.

I am now standing on the high dive.

I take a deep breath.

I than do this little 'skip, skip, hop thing' that brings me to edge of the diving board...although with much more speed than I expected.

And then I dove into the void.

Now kiddies, I implore that you pay attention in science class. You see they teach you things like velocity and momentum and how they affect objects in motion. I obviously had missed that particular class, but worry not, I was about to get a lesson in velocity and momentum and how it affects objects in motion.

You see, the dive was perfectly executed...but the momentum of my 'skip, skip, hop thing' ends up forcing my body to continue on it's arc.

At first I see the pool, then I realize that the pool is leaving my field of vision, then the high dive comes into my field of vision and than I see that bright blue sky.

About a half second later I feel all the air being driven from my body as I do a "back flop" into the pool. Then the excruciating pain kicks in. Then I feel two sets of hands grabbing at me. Tina and one of the other life guards had jump in the pool to save my stupid ass.

The second life guard was making sure I was OK, as Tina was packing up her stuff.

She glanced over at me and gave me this 'You ARE an idiot!' look.

The worst part of it all, is I couldn't have agreed more.

On this day...no my friends, it was SO NOT worth it.

Currently listening:
The End of Silence
By Rollins Band
Release date: 1995-12-01

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