At the Swimming Pool: What Lies Beneath

Exposed at Bar

Finally, the day arrived that my family and I would be on our way out of snowy Buffalo and on to our highly anticipated trip to Florida.

We had not yet had the opportunity to visit Florida since we were preoccupied with small annoyances like a mortgage, unpaid debts, and school schedules among others. Our enthusiastic little six-year-old, Mary Jo, was the turning point in making this year the fulfillment of a longtime desire, regardless of all the obstacles. Her bubbling personality, sparkling eyes and pleading ways were too much to overcome. Succumbing to her wishes, as well as our sublimated desire, we ventured off to be like all the other beachcombers lying on the sand listening to the surf crashing on to the shore.

After much research, we identified Fort Lauderdale as our destination city and the Yankee Clipper as our Vacation Resort Hotel. Ostensibly, it was named after the famous Joe DiMaggio- the hero of every baseball fan in the country. We later were amused to learn that the natives named it “the place where the Southern Floridians clipped the Northern Snowbirds”. Mary Jo marveled at the pictures in the tourist brochure highlighting the Hawaiian dancers, an outdoor swimming pool, and the beautiful white, sandy beach. She couldn’t wait to see it all. Neither could we.

The flight down was comfortable and the model-like stewardesses made a fuss over Mary Jo. They brought her coloring books, tasty treats, and above all a captain’s flight pin which they pinned to her new traveling dress. It was a special pin because the Captain himself sent it to her and personally visited with her. She beamed as she looked into his handsome face and neat uniform. She was a princess pursued by prince charming- who I have reason to believe was also on his way to the men’s room.

Our well intentioned plan worked perfectly until we arrived at the Clipper, where the smiling hostess announced that we had arrived too early and our room was not ready. Like a lightning bolt from Zeus himself we were told that our vacation was put on hold.

Eva, my wife, tried to soothe our injury with her motherly love, hoping to divert our attention to the boutiques, lounges, and a pleasant stroll on the beach.

Of course, her efforts were futile. Mary Jo and I were certainly not going to wait and firmly announced our decision to slip into our swim suits and jump into the beckoning outdoor pool. Our little princess was elated to don her newly acquired bathing suit, which made her look like a lotus flower, delighting all who met her.

I wasn’t so fortunate. My old bathing suit size did not shrink proportionate to the slimmer body I purposely modified in anticipation of our Florida trip. All that exercising and dieting worked; I lost some weight and now needed a smaller sized suit. Too late now, I philosophically concluded, but better too large than too small. I tightened the suit strings and figured all would be well.

We dashed into the swimming area and Mary Jo jumped right into the water followed by me: “big pants.” I was troubled that every time I jumped in, my baggy suit kept slipping down to my knees. I comforted myself with the thought that there were no other bathers, so who would see me anyway, yet I secretly wished that I had replaced the swimsuit before leaving home.

We enjoyed a couple of hours frolicking, swimming, diving and splashing one another. A bit tired and ravenously hungry, our thoughts eventually turned to lunch and the status of our hotel room. Having no towels, we jumped up and down and waved our arms into the warm sun until we became dry enough to enter the building.

As we happily strolled through the lobby, we heard loud laughter in the distant bar area where a number of guests were enjoying their bar and grill delights. We scurried into the entrance and were surprised to be greeted by applauding, laughing patrons led by our own Eva.

It became immediately apparent why we were so warmly welcomed. Like a fish tank at the aquarium, the wall behind the bar was made of glass, allowing bar dwellers to see everything going on under the water. Unknowingly, we had become the entertainers for the Clipper’s guests. They were quick to imitate the funny looks on our faces as we swam underwater by the window, to say nothing of the many times they enjoyed my indecent exposure before restoring my shorts to their rightful place. Although I was literally “em-bare-assed”, we enjoyed our newfound notoriety and joined the fun.

This is the way we started our vacation and the rest of it was just as eventful. But you may rest assured that I immediately sought and bought a new bathing suit.

Oh, to be young again!

Old Tone About Old Tone

Old Tone is a widowed 84 year old retired University administrator and Graduate School professor; one married daughter, four grandchildren, enjoys the Arts (music, theater, painting), Etymology, travel, reading, loves eating and cooking, limited gardener, devoted Catholic, outdoors man. Banks robbed and parole records available upon request.

Old Tone About Old Tone

Old Tone is a widowed 84 year old retired University administrator and Graduate School professor; one married daughter, four grandchildren, enjoys the Arts (music, theater, painting), Etymology, travel, reading, loves eating and cooking, limited gardener, devoted Catholic, outdoors man. Banks robbed and parole records available upon request.

  • HA! You see, I told you diets don’t work!!

    • TheBigMilkshake

      Actually, it sounds like this diet worked perfectly…if your goal is laughter and free entertainment for everybody at the bar.

  • michael Oshins

    Brilliant story old tone! I love the picture you painted of Mary Jo beaming as she received the pin, while it just being a pit stop on the way to the bathroom. Haha!

  • Michelle

    What a wonderful story!! Makes me want to go on family vacations again 🙂

Smiles For All