Having a pool sounds great, doesn’t it? Especially this time of year, when it’s nearing 90-degrees Fahrenheit (and 1,000% humidity) in New Jersey.
Hub #1, Peppermeister, and I were thrilled when we purchased our first home in 2010 – there was an in-ground pool in the backyard! We knew nothing about pools, and weren’t sure what lay beneath the forest green tarp, but hoped it was salvageable. We scraped together our last hopes, dreams, blood, sweat and pennies to open the pool that summer. We assumed things would get easier after that.
Here’s a brief recount of the last month.
EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 1
JULES: We need to do all of the shrubbery trimming BEFORE we take off the pool cover this year.
INT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAYS 2-5
JULES: I just dumped another $100 of shock in, and emptied the vacuum 12 times, but it’s not going to get clean if we can’t keep the filter running.
PEPPERMEISTER: I’ll replace the <blah blah whosiwhatsit widget gauge thingamajig blah blah>. For the third time.
EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 6
PEPPERMEISTER: Filter still not working. I called Pool Company #1.
EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 12
PEPPERMEISTER: Did Pool Company #2 come? You made sure to ask them what they did this time, right?
JULES: Yes, they think we need to replace the handle thingy? And you need to call Hector.
EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 20
PEPPERMEISTER: So it turns out all of those problems with the filter were because…we needed a new filter.
EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 27
JULES: I got the backwash to work, but can’t get the filter back on.
PEPPERMEISTER: Where did you put the DE powder?
JULES: In the skimmer basket by the pump.
PEPPERMEISTER: That’s not where it’s supposed to go.
JULES: But I watched three YouTube videos! THREE!
PEPPERMEISTER (dialing Pool Company #2): Yeah… uh-huh…okay… yeah… we’ll try that. (adjusts black knobby thing by one of the pipes) Well, now it’s working. But clearly it wasn’t a problem with the filter.
JULES: You’ll have to show me how to do that.
INT. POOL STORE – DAY 29
CLERK: Can I help you?
JULES: Yes… I need alkaline.
CLERK: How low is it?
JULES: Umm… 6.8?
CLERK: That would be your PH, not your alkaline.
JULES: Oh right, right, of course! The alkaline is like a greenish-yellow on the test strip. Maybe more like a baby puke.
CLERK: How many gallons is your pool?
JULES: Does 50,000 sound like WAY too much?
CLERK: Well just how big is your pool?
CLERK: You probably have 20,000. You’re going to need to balance the alkalinity first, then the pH. You’ll need 1 lb of this for every 10,000 gallons.
JULES (to self): Well played, math and science. Well played.
CLERK: You’re gonna wanna add half this bag, then wait an hour, then the other half, wait an hour. Then add half of the second bag, wait an hour, then the other half, wait an hour. Keep the filter running the whole time. Tomorrow morning, test the water, then add half of this pH. So you won’t be swimming today.
EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – TODAY
JULES: I tested the water. The alkaline is baby puke color again.
PEPPERMEISTER: I think I’m done with the pool.
What are your summer peeves and/or pay-offs?
101 thoughts on “Scenes From A Swimless Summer”
Is this your new screenplay? The pH Incident? Love it.
Pools are evil, evil I say. You think you’ll just be floating around, sipping cocktails all day, when in reality you are constantly checking the chemicals and cursing the filter.
I have a solution for you: Pool Boy. Maybe JT is free?
Hey D, I didn’t see your comment before posting mine, we’ve both mentioned cocktails and pool boys (although I went for ‘man’ rather than ‘boy’). I wonder what that says about us!
I think it speaks volumes, V! (I do like a younger man…and a good cocktail)
I like to admire a younger man, but I prefer to fraternate with an older one. I don’t mind which one serves me my cocktails though.
(giggling) I’d fraternate with either older or younger.
Mmm, amen, girlfriend.
JT seems like he could get a feisty pool under control, doesn’t he? Look what he did with Jessica Biel.
If I had a pool, I’m pretty sure it would just be like in that very first picture of you daydreaming, with birds tweeting and everything. Actually I did have a pool for a while when I lived in the states (Vegas), and we just had a nice pool man to take care of all that, seriously, that’s the only way to go – he takes care of all that, and you can just lie back on the sun lounger sipping cocktails and admiring his tanned muscly body while he does all the work.
In terms of other summer stuff, my man can’t understand the joys of BBQs, he says “Why would you want to leave your kitchen, where you have all the modern conveniences you need, including reliable cooking temperature control, and go outside to cook in a primitive way, with inadequate equipment and end up with burnt stuff?” Because it’s fun right? Doh! And food I burn on the BBQ is so much tastier than food I burn inside.
Oh yeah – it seems like most homes have pools in Vegas, don’t they (or have I just watched “Fools Rush In” too many times?)?
My ‘Dream Household Staff’ list is growing longer by the minute. Wanna bring some charred burgers over and we’ll discuss in more detail? Specifically the finer points of the pool boy’s
I’m on my way!
That’s so true, V. Burned stuff on the grill is the distinctive taste of the great out-of-doors experience! Burned stuff in the kitchen is just lousy cooking.
Lol. Sounds like you need a scientist as husband #4!
Doesn’t it have a drain so you can let the water out and then fill it with fresh water? That’s how our white trash silver galvanized pool works.
Any chance chemist is one of your trades?
I think we’re just going to buy a realllllly big inflatable kiddie pool next year.
Lol, I knew there was a good reason not to want a pool in my own back yard. I prefer to go use someone else’s haha. And Don is right, you need a husband #4: I’d go for a poolboy-man though. (Science takes forever!)
Pool man/chemist/mathematician/plumber/wizard should just about do it.
In which case you will only find those traits in a woman… Sorry Jules…
Don’t worry, Tiff. I’m not picky.
The key to owning a pool is lowering your standards.
And here I thought they couldn’t get any lower! *wipes Hot Pocket crumbs off of lap onto floor*
“Hey, kids! Swimmer’s itch! Just like a real swimmin’ hole!”
Oh god, that test strip looks like a pregnancy test for a circus troupe.
That’s what it is, right?
HA! YES. And the worst part? I think I know who the father is.
I’ve never had a pool, but I’ve lived next door to people who did. The neighbors in our last house invited us over all the time, the current ones? never. We set up the sprinkler for the grandkids. The upside is they can’t drown and we can watch from inside the air-conditioned comfort of our home, besides, the grass is already turning brown as it is.
Why haven’t you invited me over to play in the sprinkler?
I didn’t think you’d want to travel to the Philly end of the state just to jump around in the spray with the grandkids. FYI: you have an open invitation, even if the little buggers aren’t around – the dog would love the company.
That PH tester is like a pregnancy test for pools. Your pool is pregnant.
My pool is totally knocked up in the worst way.
Yeah it is!
I feel your pain. Well, actually, the HUBS feels your pain. It’s his job to deal with that blasted pool. I just have to pay the bills for all the damn chemicals we have to buy continuously. But, since he had a pool growing up, he know what needs to be done and has experience with all the chemicals and stuff. But it seems like he is forever saying, “I’ll be right back, I have to run out to put stuff in the pool,” ad infinitum.
I say you set up a kiddie pool, jump in with a cocktail (or 5) and call it a day!
Is your hub up for hire? I can pay in booze and tears.
I’m suddenly very happy to NOT have a pool…at least until I feel warm water when I swim by a kid at the public pool.
Oh but same situation here. I suspect Uncle Jesse.
Oh Jules! Now you’ve put my vague, maundering desires into words: “Dream Household Staff.” What a satifying concept!
Considering my fortune with snagging multiple husbands, I’m feeling really optimistic about the imaginary household staff.
And if those don’t work out you could always hire a full-time companion.
I had a house with a pool once…Never again. Yes, I was in it every day but it was to clean it, test it and generaly throw words around it that would make a sailor blush. I went away for a vacation once and came home to a pool full of frogs. Never never again. I will pay to go to a hotel and use their pool. It would be cheeper even if I don’t spend the night.
Holy sh*t. That point about the hotel is the most depressing yet logical thing I’ve ever heard.
Ribbit. (That’s “sigh” in frog.)
That’s why I just lie down in puddles and occasionally dig holes and fill them with the hose. Much more eco, and much simpler. Plus, you can swim, like, 100 laps in no time flat.
The only thing getting a work-out right now is my trucker lexicon.
This is a nightmare, Jules! And the chemicals!! Ugh. By the time you get it right, you’ll go for a long, languid swim and your hair will turn green. But then again, that could be a hilarious post!
My summer pet peeves. Humidity. Flat sandals that make my feet hurt. And not having a pool.
Oh, R-Poo, did you even KNOW my first summer blogging I wrote about my hair turning green (or are you just psychic)? Ah, yes. At the end of all this, I get to look forward to putting ketchup in my hair!
I was just talking to someone at work yesterday about how flats can be more uncomfortable than heels.
I will lie and tell you the pool is open, just so I can see you in a bikini.
I did NOT know that! Off to search your site (in my bikini)!
I think the problem is probably with your fratastatoid. Send me a plane ticket and I’ll be there to fix it in a jiff, Jules. Get the sangria a-chillin!
You know in the end it’s going to be the dinglehopper, Peggles. But anything you say, if it means I get to see you!
Um, a dinglehopper is a fork-like contraption one uses to comb one’s hair. Didn’t you ever see Little Mermaid? Some people are just not mechanical – jeesh!
Crap. I guess it’s the snarfblat, then.
Ah, yes, the snarfblat (she says, holding chin in hand and nodding wisely.)
Pretty sure it’s NOT a snarfblat, ladies. That’s a musical instrument you blow on to make noises. Assuming that it’s not filled with seaweed, that is. Might need to clean that out first.
It’s quite obviously the franastan. I know . . . I OWN a pool. That the family swims in. Because the chemicals are balanced. :p
For someone with such a clean pool, you sure play dirty, Ninja Snaps.
I have a manageable hottub. It is manageable because Danny does all the managing.
You need a pool boy for the summer. Someone who can also mix a great pina colada and work shirtless. Preferably with six pack abs; not abs that look like he has a 6-pack for lunch and dinner…. Now Go Jules GO!!! I am sure Peppermeister will understand….
Ha! That six-pack distinction is crucial for optimal scenery poolside. Crucial.
I’m with Peggles, thank you for remembering to state, in writing, that crucial six-pack distinction. I’m including that in the contract along with “Long Island Iced tea prep skillz.”
Don’t hunky pool men do house calls anymore? They seem to be in abundance in “Wisteria Lane”! Speaking of alkaline, did you know they have alkaline water now and claim that it’s good for drinking and neutralizes our acid and boosts our metabolism? If only you had known that back then. 🙂
Kind of off topic, but part of this 2013 pool drama was paying people to cut up and remove the skeezy old hot tub next to the pool, and one of the companies I (seriously) considered was called, ‘College Hunks Hauling Junk.’
No lie. I bet they stay fit on a steady diet of alkaline water.
All of this is exactly why I will never have a pool unless an attractive pool boy (who I’ll subsequently have an affair with) comes with it. This sounds like some Breaking Bad-level chemistry.
Ha! I’ve wished for a pool boy more in the past 3 years than I ever wished for a pool in the past 30.
I feel like some ‘We Only Sell Sprinklers and Hot Tubs’ company should hire me to spread the anti-pool word.
Risking a slip-n-slide injury might be better than all this ph nonsense.
Oh, the memories!!! …I think you’re right.
Note to self: never buy a house with a pool…like Ever.
Jeez. Who would’ve thought that math AND science actually would come in handy eventually? 😉
Note to self: always buy a house NEXT to a house with a pool. Immediately make friends with neighbors with hunky college-age son/poolboy.
This is legitimately one of the only times in real life you need to know ANY of this. This and when making meth. Or so I’m, um, told.
Just one (or many) reasons that chipmunks have a severe aversion to water. No good can come of this. No one ever drowned sitting in an air conditioned room watching movies in a Lay-Z-Boy while sipping gently on a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I wouldn’t do that. I’m just saying…cheeper.
Though I am intrigued by the thought of 20,000 gallons of Mike’s.
Filling this pool with hard lemonade (side note: this has been my drink of the week! But I make it myself with vodka and Simply lemonade) would have been cheaper.
AND it’s scaring off chipmunks. Lose-LOSE.
Vodka and Simply lemonade. Hmm…that is sounding significantly cheaper per ounce. And depending on my mood…more effective.
this is sooo funny! i didn’t know you needed to know math to go swimming.
I thought all I needed to know was how not to spill my drink getting in and out of the inflatable chaise lounge.
oh getting out of the lounge you’ll need a course on aerodynamics. chop chop.
And a degree in magic/wizardry to fight that level of gravity.
might as well, lay the raft on the ground next to the pool and let your hand hang in the cool water. then you don’t have to do any work except drinking!
And this would be precisely why we walked away from every house in our price range with a pool. Sorry.
I’m sorry, too. Because I think I’m about to put this pile of bricks on the market.
I support you scrapping the pool, and furthermore, I suggest that you make a sprinkler out of a 2-liter bottle.
Just think of all the drained pool possibilities… I could use it as a holding cell for potential future spouses. Or finally, the proper-sized vessel for my vodka!
OMG, LOL, this is all so true. Always makes my wife and I ask why we even had the pool built in the first place. Oh well you didn’t want to swim anyway, we say that quite a bit, but then we’re in denial too.
Denial: Not just a
river in Egyptgiant pit of despair in the backyard.
That sounds scarily familiar except with our hot tub instead of a pool. I hate hot tubs, so I can be assured I will hate my pool.
Yes, approximately 19,900 gallons more hate. At least my math is improving.
My hot tub took away all my math skills, which were almost non existentant already. I have to use a calculator to add single digit numbers.
And yet, you’re doing a better job than my Dad after 30+ years of pool ownership. Calling in a pool company? My parents won’t even hire a local teenager to do the routine stuff. He has to do it all himself. Like let it turn green with algae, then shock it with chlorine the morning they have company coming over to swim. And then tell them they can’t swim because of all the chlorine as the small children are running towards the pool.
Which is why I live in an apartment and take cold showers all summer.
Ha! Our chlorine is still too high. Peppermeister went under for few seconds on our first swim this week, and came up with bloodshot eyes.
We need a cold shower by the pool. An eye shower.
Of course you would right this the week our (tiny) pool is just finishing being built! Of course! I will block all of this information out until this time next week, when I will inevitably be crying because just filling a concrete hole up with water out of the garden hose will not be sufficient pool maintenance. But, until that moment, it’s all birds and pina coladas in my imagination!
Maybe we just turn them into koi ponds? Fish are pretty, right?
Oh, none of this applies to YOU! You’re covered by the ‘new pool’ clause, effective February 5, 2013, wherein it’s clear skies pina coladas for everyone!
Perfect! Just what I wanted to hear!
Does this make owning a pool an intro to owning a sailboat class?
Don’t even joke about that. Peppermeister is buying a [little motor] boat in August. Sigh.
Not to worry, a little motor boat is not so bad… unless your description is painfully inaccurate… I wouldn’t worry about a little motor boat… unless of course it turns out to be a gateway boat…
My husband number three’s mother has a lovely pool, that she maintains as a full-time job. I like to show up a lot, make a show of helping her take the cover off and then help myself to her cold beverages she keeps in a handy little fridge poolside. It works great for me!
That is truly the way to go..
We don’t even know who our real friends are anymore. 😉
‘Well played math, well played.’ Definitely just made my day with that little beauty.
Your pool sounds like a dirty bitch. I don’t want to make you punch me through the computer but we literally opened ours and it was perfectly clean. We added one bag of salt and we haven’t vacuumed it once, the creepy crawly does it for us. I’m thinking I’m pretty glad our pool is itsy bitsy because I am not picking up what you pool is putting down. I also fear your pool may be polluted from proximity to the Jersey Shore House. I’m sure there’s hundreds of miles between…but really, is that enough?
Heh Thanks, Dawn! *whispering* That was my favorite line, too.
Your pool is immaculate. You don’t have any trees over it, right? That’s a big part of our problem. No. I take it back. That’s just one of our many, many problems, along with our proximity to the air pollution caused by Snooki’s poof maintenance.
Thank you for helping me make up my mind whether to install a pool or a lawn sprinkler.
I think you should just get one of those battery-powered fans that sprays water.
Probably. Definitely not an AC, cause we just accidentally dropped a unit out of the window…
*gasp* I’ve almost done that as many times as I’ve cursed this pool.
Pools are a nightmare!! This pool had one when we bought it. We used it for one summer. It was a money SUCK. Plus I always worried about someone drowning on my watch. (Aren’t a super relaxed person?) Anyway, we had it filled in the next summer. Every time I see that patch of grass out there over the former pool space I’m deliriously happy. Best money I’ve ever spent.
No regrets! I love it. I finally swam my first laps yesterday, and gosh dangit, I can’t believe I can still say this, but… Totally worth it.
Oh man, what a tease–a pool that you can’t even swim in. Maybe you can get all suited up in some protective gear? We once had an indoor pool and it was the worst. Made the whole house humid and we never used it because who wants to swim in a dark room when you can be out in the sun? I hope you guys figure out the secret fromula soon! I can imagine it’s going to get hot, hot, hot in NJ and you’ll need some sweet pool relief.
Sorry about the pool.
I don’t care for pools, so I wouldn’t be having this particular problem.