Thursday, August 27, 2015

Captain's Log, Day 146: Experiments in Buoyancy

          "You're gonna get in trouble," Nemesis warned me.
          "Relax. I'll put the tools back. Here, get ready to catch...umm...oof," I grunted.
          Quill wandered in. "I thought Mom said to wait until Dad got it down."
          "No, she said--mmph--that we had to wait until Dad got home," I clarified, yanking as hard as I could on the rolled-up swimming pool, trying to dislodge it from the shelf above Dad's workbench. Needless to say, I was standing on the workbench in order to reach it, since I didn't hit my serious growth spurt until I was fourteen (at ten, I was still pretty short).
          Quill winced. "Be careful!"
          I huffed. "Oh, please--yikes!"
          The pool suddenly yielded, and I almost toppled over backwards. I managed a brilliant recovery, moments before the pool slid the rest of the way off the shelf and swatted me off the workbench anyway.
          "You got it!" Nemesis cheered, as always focused on the prize.
          I rose, rubbing my now-tender kiester with one hand and sucking on a skinned knuckle on the other. "Yeah. Told you, Quill!"
          "Let's unroll it!" Nemesis exclaimed eagerly.
          "Let's get it into the backyard first," I proposed. "Grab that end."
          "Oof," my brother grunted. "This is heavy."
          "Glad it didn't land on me," I snickered. "I'd be a pancake."
          We were, of course, then obliged to drop the pool and roll around on the ground for a while at that mental image. Chuckle fit over and now appropriately dirty, we lugged the pool out to the grass and started trying to figure out how Dad had folded and rolled it. We succeeded in somehow tying a knot in it. Fortunately, about that time Dad came out and helped us unroll it and set it up. Nemesis quickly grabbed the hose and dragged it over to the pool. I turned it on, and soon both of us were staring down at the small puddle forming in the bottom of the pool.
          "When will it be ready?" Nemesis inquired of Dad.
          He shrugged. "Oh, probably sometime after dinner it will be full. Tomorrow, you'll be able to play in it."
          "Why not tonight?" I complained.
          "Because it will be cold," Dad explained. "I'm not going to deal with your bellyaching. Come on—don't you have your bedroom to clean anyway?"
          True to prediction, the pool was nearly full after dinner. I verified the frigidness of it by "accidentally" throwing our dog Barney's tennis ball into the pool, and, when he refused to retrieve it, "accidentally" falling in while trying to get it. Since no one could prove otherwise, I was let off the hook, although I was extremely cold regardless...not as much of a win as I'd been anticipating.
          The next day dawned bright and sunny. Mom, anticipating my excitement, was sure to get up nice and early in order to arrest my progress towards the pool, banning me from even looking at it until after lunch. While being sound policy regards health, it was terrible for my mental well-being. Instead of frolicking in the water and preoccupying myself with splashing siblings, I was forced to wait...and conjure up pranks. This was, of course, when I hit upon my most brilliant idea ever (or so I was convinced).
          I would make a boat.
          But not just any boat. Oh, no. This would be a motorcycle boat. Naturally, I took Nemesis into my confidence.
          "You want to build a what?"
          "A motorcycle boat!"
          Nemesis frowned. "Where are you going to get an engine?"
          Crap. I'd forgotten about that part. "You're no fun," I complained. "Fine, let's build a bicycle boat instead."
          "How?" Nemesis inquired.
          "Simple," I informed him, basking in the glow of my own brilliance. "Air is lighter than water, right?"
          "Yeahhh..." Nemesis replied uncertainly, trying to figure out where I was going with this.
          "And bike tires are full of air, right?" I continued.
          "Yeah...oh, YEAH!!!" Nemesis answered, eyes lighting up.
          "So we just pedal around on the bike like we normally would!" I concluded.
          Nemesis's happy glow suddenly faded. "Would it work on my tricycle?"
          I frowned. "The green one, yes. The red one, no. The red tires don't have air in them."
          "Yay!" Nemesis cheered. "I can't wait until after lunch!"
          "Me either!" I yelped, and clobbered him with a pillow as the only way to express my impatience. He shrieked and dove for one of his own. Our war waged on with unspeakable carnage until a higher power *cough*Mom*cough* intervened to save Nemesis from annihilation and ordered us both out to the front yard to draw on the sidewalk or something. Instead, we took our rubber band rifles and hunted grasshoppers and moths until lunch. (No wars were started because A) I had built the guns well, with multiple power settings for various rubber bands, and they could leave some decent welts when properly loaded and B) my brother was a wuss and would start crying if he got shot.)
          A quick lunch later, Mom once again arrested my beeline for the back door to tell me to put on a swimsuit first, for crying out loud—oh, and sunscreen, and don't mess with your siblings, and remember to—uh, do something or other...I wasn't really listening at that point. After hurling myself headlong into the pool and reminding myself that it was only a couple feet deep and not really suitable for diving, Nemesis and I dragged out the bike and the tricycle, respectively. The girls watched, concerned.
          "What are you doing?" Squirrel asked, slapping the water.
          "Watch," I told her, and heaved my bike into the pool.
          Both Quill and Squirrel shrieked. "Don't splash me!" they chorused, a wee bit higher on the audible spectrum than I was comfortable with.
          I sighed. "Girls," I snorted scornfully and climbed in after my bike; the bike was inverted, with the wheels floating. I righted it and jumped on.
          The bike promptly dropped to the bottom of the pool. I frowned. "Hmm. It's not floating."
          "Let me try the trike," Nemesis proposed. I shrugged and tried pedaling mine forward. Unable to get any speed going, I promptly fell off.
          The trike fared little better than the bike did. In desperation, I put in our little wagon, which approximated a shipwreck with a rapidity that astonished one of my tender years, and the "Cozy Coupe," which bobbed around with a promise that led to near-elation on my part. That elation was effectively quenched when I tried climbing on the roof of the plastic car; it turned turtle fast enough to nearly send me out of the pool. Upon resurfacing, I gazed sadly around at the array of submerged and partially-submerged vehicles in the water.
          Time to put a bright face on the spectacle. "Let's play Shipwreck Explorers!" I proposed, already planning my next pool-related endeavor. The next time we set it up, I would drag it over to the swingset and slide to build...
          ...a waterslide. After all, what could possibly go wrong with that?

          (To answer your question, dear reader: two concussions, a sprained wrist, three bruised tailbones, several hundred minor cuts, a broken pool, and a resoundingly good time resulted from the Waterslide Debacle. However, the court has ordered me to withhold the details. Sorry.)