Men generally do not like pools, my wife tells me. She is incredulous.
I am in bed. My head is on the pillow. For good measure, this cylindrical buckwheat Japanese thing is crammed up under my neck as well; we have them and they are exotic so I use it, even though I fear it will give me a stiff neck, which it however hasn’t yet done.
I say, Gosh.
I am hoping to sleep, because I spent the evening vibrating dirt in a corner of the yard where our old pool used to stand. Shoveling, raking, leveling, and finally, vibrating with a device that looked like a cross between a lawn mower and a hovercraft, the color yellow, and weighed about 100 pounds, which was good for vibrating dirt, but less good for heaving it out of the truck and manhandling it down the steps into the garden, and even less good still for fighting it back up the steps after I finished and heaving it back up into the truck.
I say, How can that be?
I had to get my wife and daughter to help me heave the yellow dirt vibrating machine back up into the truck. I couldn’t do it on my own, because it was oddly-shaped.
My wife tells me of another man who was opposed to a pool, his wife told my wife about it. But luckily, his parents had built a pool, and now the man and his wife lived in the parents’ house, so they have a pool now, even though he opposes pools.
I say, how lucky for them.
Our new pool is in the cellar, in several boxes. It is an above-ground pool, a foot deeper and a meter and a half longer than our last pool.
The directions say it can be assembled right on the dirt, it doesn’t need a concrete slab. But the dirt must be perfectly level, and solid. If the soil sinks after you put it up, the pool will lurch to one side, burst and flood your house.
The boxes in the cellar weigh a ton and appear to contain several thousand parts, including screws. The pool was made in Canada. Length can vary, the pool company fellow told my wife. Canadian pools are like that.
The instructions are in several languages, including English, French, and Spanish. The English instructions were so confusing and written in such arcane pool argot that I asked my wife to have the company send us German instructions.
And Gerhard, my wife tells me, his wife said he was so against the pool.
He didn’t want a pool, so my wife, who is in marketing, offered them our old pool in front of his wife and children, little blonde girls with big blue eyes.
My wife tells me she met Gerhard somewhere and he told her proudly that he’d been able to assemble the pool all by himself, and the kids were already swimming in it and having the time of their lives. He seemed happy that he hadn’t needed to ask me for help putting it together, my wife tells me.
Not as happy as I am, I say.