Pressure's On

At the End of a Backflip

Back when I was a lifeguard, I was a wee bit insane.

Okay, so I still am. But back then, I had a partner in crime.

Pesha was a fellow lifeguard. You may remember reading about her. We were quite adept at entertaining ourselves with silly things.

Like calling people by the wrong name. Pesha liked to call everyone "Susan."

There was a girl who came to the pool almost everyday. We'll call her Patty. She didn't have many friends, but it may be because she was a bully. She whined a lot, too. We weren't especially fond of her.

One day, Pesha decided to play the name game with Patty. "Hey Susan!"

"My name's Patty."

"Nu-uh! It's Susan!"

At this point most kids would realize Pesha was just playing around. But not patty. She got angry and argued with Pesha about what her name was.

And the more insistent she was, the more Pesha denied her name. "You're being silly, Susan!"

Oh man! i know it doesn't seem all that funny, and it was probably kind of mean. But the way Pesha would say "Susan" . . . I'm pretty sure I peed the pool that day!

With all the mean-ish things we did to those kids, you'd think they would have hated us. Au contraire! They loved us!

One kid found a turtle and brought it to us.

We made a cage for him out of one of the pool baskets.

"We'll make it our mascot!" Pesha decided.

"We shall call him Jorge," I decreed.

We wrote his name on duct tape and stuck it on his basket. (I know. You were thinking we put the tape on his shell. We loved Jorge! We wouldn't be mean to him!)

We knew Jorge would't last long in his cage since none of us had any knowledge about taking care of a turtle. As much as it broke our hearts, we had to set Jorge free.

For years, Jorge's cage still sat waiting for him and reminded me of all the great times we shared. But the last few times I've been at the pool, the cage has been gone.

When we took The Boy swimming, some of the lifeguards were talking about a giant spider they had caught. "It's our mascot!"

I tell you, I choked up a little. It's lovely to see a little of the insanity Pesha and I brought to the pool lives on.

Of course I had to take a look. "What's his name?"

I was horrified by both his size and the fact that they hadn't named him! What kind of mascot doesn't have a name?

This is their mascot. We shall call him Spidey.


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