Plumbing the Depths

water

I was never comfortable swimming, but underwater I was a poor man’s Jacque Cousteau. Knowing my limitations as a long distance swimmer, I practiced holding my breath for ungodly long periods in the hopes I could learn to swim longer underwater.  I figured the key to success in swimming underwater would be to top the record for holding one’s breath as listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.

With a waterproof stopwatch to time my improvement, I practiced daily in the bathtub. Not only did this increase our family’s water bill, but it led to catcalls from other family members wanting to know what I was doing in there. I couldn’t respond because I was underwater.

As I came closer to my goal, I began practicing in school in English class. When there was a lull, I would whip out my stopwatch, place it on my desk, inhale deeply, and go for broke. When I reached the point where I felt I had to give up, I would instead swallow a little of my prevailing air. This added valuable seconds.

As I continued my efforts, it never occurred to me that swallowing air could lead to an explosive belch. At that moment, I erupted and quite loudly. After the entire room began tittering, the teacher stood up and said, ”Will the person who did that nasty deed, please stand up?”

I slunk down in my seat with dozens of fingers pointing at me.

My inner voice spoke to me and said, ”Let me see you get out of this one!”

The teacher looked at me sternly and told me to stand up. She had me dead to rights.

When I did, the teacher stated firmly, ”Jerry would never do anything like that in a million years.” As I continued standing sheepishly, she added, ”A word of warning… if that person disrupts the class with another uncouth demonstration, he will be suspended, period, exclamation mark!”  My reputation for being quiet and well behaved saved the day for me.

However, the stop-watch went into semi-retirement and was never used again except to tell time. By the way, that record in the Guinness Book of Records still remains intact.

(photo courtesy of M_Bartosch/Freedigitalphotos.net)

About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!

About Jerry Goldberg

Jerry Goldberg grew up on the west side of Chicago. After high school, he was drafted in the Army during the Korean conflict. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined Local 130 in Chicago as a plumber, working from 1952 to 2000. Jerry has been happily married for 60 years, residing with his wife, Gloria, in Huntley, Illinois. They were blessed with two wonderful children, and have three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
When his son encouraged him to get online, Jerry replied, "What do I need that for?" But all that changed a year into his retirement, when his daughter gave him a modem for his birthday, opening a whole new chapter. Finding stained glass insufficiently fulfilling, Jerry discovered the AARP message boards and began his one-finger magic. Eventually, he became quite proficient (two fingers), starting a board called, "Jerry's Corner."

This board was the second most popular board on AOL. Jerry bantered with any and all, and began writing humorous true stories of his past life. The stories you see here are a compilation of most he has written ... enjoy!