Water and dumb remarks do mix

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Watch your words at Cape Girardeau's city pools -- the lifeguards are listening.

Some lifeguards at the pools this summer are compiling a list of stupid remarks.

"We write down every day every time someone says something we think is funny," said Colleen Burke, one of the pool managers.

At the end of the month, Burke said, Stephen Smith, the lifeguards' supervisor, picks the top five dumbest things they've heard and copies them down on a master list.

Smith is the keeper of that list, which so far has the 30 most incredible comments made at the city's two swimming pools. The lifeguards don't need the list to remember their favorites.

"Will my hair get wet if I go down the slide?"

A gaggle of giggling teenage lifeguards all agreed on that one.

"There's a sprinkler thing at the end of it," explained Michaelyn Burns, a lifeguard.

Another favorite: "How much for the pool?"

Burns said she knows that the question really means how much does it cost to use the pool, but she bites back the answer she wants to give: "About $30,000."

Topping the list for June are:

"Does the ice cream man take a debit card?"

"Is the deep end deeper than this part?"

Upon answering the telephone with "Capaha pool:" "Is this Capaha pool?"

So far in July, the favorites are:

"Could we use your vacuum cleaner for our pool?"

"I'm going to tell my mom to press charges on this pool if I drown and die."

"Does Wendy's deliver?"

"Will I get darker if I use sunscreen?"

At first the lifeguards all agreed that children do ask and say the darnedest things, but after a second or two, they add that adults are about equal to children. Children, they say, are just more spontaneous.

"One little boy just came up and for no reason said, 'My grandma wears a thong,'" Burns said.

Next time you're at the pool, trying to remember approximately when cellulite takes over and why it's unfair that teenage lifeguards don't have any, keep your thoughts to yourself.

They don't have cellulite. They have pens.

lredeffer@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 160

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