I can remember all the people who had pools when I was little. We were middle class in a blue collar small town, so pools were kind of a big deal, and so were the pinto beans my mom would buy me at Taco Bell when I was a good boy. When I got old enough to pay attention to such things, I noticed that pinto beans at Taco Bell costed like $0.59 and I sort of felt like I should've put a higher price on my contentedness. Maybe held out for bean burritos more often.
My friend Curtis's grandmas had pools. BOTH grandmas. He was lucky in the grandma department, but not so lucky in the dad department because one time when I was on vacation with Curtis's family his dad put all the bikes on a roof rack on top of the van, and then pulled into a motel with a low clearance carport. It was the first time I had heard a lot of those swear words.
One of Curtis's grandma's pools had a waterslide -- it was in this context that my mom first taught me the rule that you should not invite yourself to other people's houses or, worse, to their relatives' houses. And it was also in this context that I first wilfully and repeatedly disregarded my mom's rules.
Also, my Uncle Gary and Aunt Karen had a pool. Growing up we generally kept the Sabbath Day holy, but it was in Uncle Gary and Aunt Karen's pool that my mom first modified the commandment thus: "It's okay to swim on Sundays as long as you don't have fun." So I swam with a large, joyless smile and bubbled with mirthless laughter that day.
Now that I'm a dad, times have changed. My kids are kind of spoiled when it comes to pools, to be honest. For two years in Saudi Arabia, you could take 20 steps from our front door and be in the pool. Now, here in El Salvador it's a 10 minute walk. This is nearly too much for my weakling children to bear, so the only way I could get them to agree to walk to the pool was to promise to buy them burgers and fries once we got there. Which costs $3.50! That's almost six times the price of my happiness when I was little. Fortunately, by the time they remembered to ask for food the kitchen had closed for the day, so I was like, "Tough break, you entitled brats." Just kidding, I didn't say that. I just smacked them and said, "Be grateful that's all the beat down you're getting today." Just kidding, I didn't say that either. I just took the picture above of Halen being hungry and grumpy at his dad's unfulfilled promises.