Summer is fraught with peril. Around every sunshiny corner danger lurks. Nothing is safe – not even something as innocuous and innocent as a rainbow-hued pool noodle.
Yes, a pool noodle is officially an instrument of death thanks to snakes. Recently, poisonous, slithery snakes have decided to make the shady, moist interior of pool noodles their summer vacation abode.
The noodle are also seen as a primo place to start a family for snakes, so there have been multiple reports of snakes laying their eggs in pool noodles.
I’m hyperventilating just thinking about hoisting my girth upon a foam noodle to discover I’ve jostled out a mama snake and her kin. That definitely makes my list of top 10 nightmare scenarios and phobias.
What would you even do? Sure, you can swim away but a snake is the Michael Phelps of the pool. Some can move as fast as 14 miles per hour in the water. I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to out-swim a snake. Plus, I would be wearing a swim skirt so that adds a drag co-efficient that would be slowing me way down.
This whole snake thing upped my pool fear factor and I don’t need any help in that arena. Every summer I have to conquer my abject trepidation of wearing a bathing suit.
You would think that aging would make parading around the pool in a swimsuit easier because you’re old, so who cares that your body resembles a marshmallow shish kabob that appears to be melting. But, no, now there are 65-year-olds wearing bikinis – not a one piece or even a L.L.Bean tankini – but the real deal “I got this at Victoria Secret” bikini. And they look fabulous.
I have one word – respect – but it still sucks. At what point in my life journey am I allowed to go to the pool and not worry that my thighs appear to be decoupaged in road maps torn from a vintage Rand McNally Atlas purchased at a garage sale?
That’s right, road maps, because the collection of spider veins on my legs look amazingly similar to Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Sadly, and yet fascinating: My cellulite appears to resemble the Meteor Crater you can stop and visit in Winslow, Arizona.
Finally, it got hot enough that I had to conquer both of these horrors. I needed to get into the pool. I convinced myself that the whole snakes in the noodle thing were probably a couple of isolated cases.
As for the swimsuit shame that required an impressive “you can do it” pep talk, I invested in a longer swim skirt. (If this keeps up, by next year summer I’ll be swimming in a maxi dress.)
As I bravely breached the entryway to the city pool I told myself to stay strong. I found a deck chair, took off the beach towel that had been acting as my chub shield, grabbed my goggles and jumped in.
Praise be to the water god Atlantis I had made it into the pool. For about 60 seconds all was right with my summer world until I heard a mother yell at her kids to “check their swim noodles for snakes” and then she bellowed that the pool noodles had been left under their deck since last summer and there “could be critters in them.”
I Michael Phelps-ed it to the pool ladder and got out of the water so fast my swim skirt almost went airborne. To date I’m still working on the courage to get back in. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Reach Sherry Kuehl at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook at Snarky in the Suburbs, on Twitter at @snarkynsuburbs on Instagram @snarky.in.the.suburbs, and snarkyinthesuburbs.com.