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Dear Apartment Complex Rule Makers:

I received your email (screenshot above) in preparation for Memorial Day weekend. While I appreciate the effort, we need to talk about a couple of these rules:

1.) In order for all residents to have a fair chance to enjoy the pool there is a 2 guest maximum per household. As an example, if your lease agreement includes a total of three leaseholders/occupants, the maximum number of people you are allowed to have at the pool would be 5. This includes your two guests.
I feel like this is the Whole Foods rule. I’m OK with that, but how are you going to check?

2.) When using the amenities all guests must be accompanied by the leaseholder they are visiting.
Even the bathroom? No. Not happening.

3.) Children must be supervised and accompanied by an adult leaseholder when using the pool.
Great idea. Can you also put a noise and/or whine limit on said children? Case in point, this little bastard who screamed bloody murder every time his brother squirted him:

5.) Alcoholic Beverages are not allowed at the pool.
Imma let you finish but
Nevermind. I won’t. What good is having a pool if you can’t have adult beverages around it?

7.) No Horseplay.
I need a definition. Does whacking a friend with a pool noodle count? (Asking for a friend. [A friend who is really my youngest son.]) What about a random dad taking all the kids for a ride on his back? You are going to have to be specific.

This is supposedly the dad of one of our kids’ friends. I don’t know. He could have been the complex pedophile. Were my kids happy? Yes. I was there just in case. Shut up.

8.) No Solo Bathing
What does this mean? I can’t come to the pool by myself? F that. I dare you to say something to me. I’ll sling a nonalcoholic beverage at you. (Or does it mean not washing your solo cup in the pool? Or that Han Solo can’t come over?)

10.) ENJOY!
How is this possible when you hit us with the rules above. Please.

Also, where is the no-doob rule that is clearly needed?

And what about rules for music?

And a loud talker rule?

This guy had a story for everything. No one could top his exploits.

You get an A for effort, but a C- for execution.

Bah.

I’m still going, though. I have stories to write.

See you soon!
Beth

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Dear William Shakespeare:

May I call you Wills (like a famous best man)? I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better over the past few days. (And you have a beard, which I like.)

My university has a special week-long “school” for professors to do a deep dive into a text to help us better teach it to students. I signed up for “Othello,” as it is even more relevant today (and I hadn’t read it since I was at this university the first time as a student). (Best part: Watching the Mekhi Phifer/Julia Stiles/Josh Hartnett movie version as homework.)

Anyway, you wrote certain lines in your other plays that people really love and quote all the time. Yet I found some in “Othello” that I’m going to start using regularly:

“Being full of supper and distempering draughts, upon malicious bravery dost thou come to start my quiet?”

I plan to use Brabantio’s line (Act 1, Scene 1) the next time Darryl rings the doorbell after 9 p.m.

“O, gentle lady, do not put me to’t, for I am nothing if not critical.”

I’ll channel Iago (Act 2, Scene 1) with Miles’ mom at the pool this weekend.

“I have drunk but one cup tonight, and that was craftily qualified too, and behold what innovation it makes here!”

Cassio knows a good drinking line when he speaks it (Act 2, Scene 3). As do I. Speaking of drinking …

“I learned it in England, where indeed they are most potent in potting.”

Indeed. Iago speaks the truth (Act 2, Scene 3) about folks drinking in a big way.

“Ha, I like not that.”

Iago delivers a line (Act 3, Scene 3) that is perfect for a variety of occasions.

So thanks for putting words in my mouth. It may have been hard to be the bard, but your efforts still resonate more than 400 years later.

Yours in all kindness,
Beth

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Dear Readers:

I live in the South. That means it’s already summer here (91 degrees today). That also means it’s time for a new season of “Dispatches from the pool.”

Enjoy!
Beth

EPISODE 1: Oh what a tangled web we weave
Rated PG-13 for substance abuse and sexual conduct

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON, MOTHER’S DAY

About 20 people have arranged themselves in small groups around the perimeter of the pool. The only people in the pool, though, are FOUR CHILDREN: DOMINIC (13), GIDEON (11), MILES (11) and DARRYL (age unknown, possibly 8).

FATHER OF THE FIRST TWO and MOTHER OF THE THIRD have found themselves lounge chairs in the shade. (No one has ever seen MOTHER OF DARRYL.) MOTHER OF THE FIRST TWO arrives after making these:

Individual pineapple upside-down cakes. Thank you, Food Network!

The moment MOTHER sits down, FATHER and MOTHER OF MILES fills her in on all the pool gossip.

FATHER
You see that girl over there (points at TWENTYSOMETHING on her phone)? She apparently picked up some dudes at Whole Foods and invited them back to the pool.

MOTHER OF MILES
She said, “They seemed cool.”

MOTHER OF DOMINIC AND GIDEON
Wait … What?! Random guys?

MoM
I know, right?!

FATHER
But when they showed up, the girl maybe hadn’t told her fiancé.

MoM
Right. He seemed surprised when they shouted her name.

MoDaG
WHAT?!

Later, MoDaG spots canoodling among WHOLE FOODS DUDES and TWENTYSOMETHING’s friend.

Meanwhile, MOTHER (of D and G) marvels at other characters assembled at the pool, including PREPPY in a button-down long-sleeved shirt and someone who looks like SNOOKI. (Perhaps it is because MOTHER has been inside cooking and watching moreJersey Shore: Family Vacation.”

Isn’t he hot? (As in not dressed appropriately for the season and occasion, not as in hawt.)

Snooki (left) and friend enter the pool.

MOTHER also spies her NEIGHBOR reading an interesting book.

In case you can’t read the title, it is, “Why Men Love Bitches.”

MOTHER thinks whatever NEIGHBOR is doing is working because men are lined up outside her apartment constantly, including a dude in a Ferrari just that morning.

MOTHER is vaguely aware of a large group of people at the round table over her left shoulder. She becomes more aware thanks to MOTHER OF MILES.

MoM
Oh. My. God. That woman is rolling a blunt.

A few moments later, a particular, recognizable smell wafts over the MOTHERS. They look at each other in surprise.*

MoDaG
Really?! It’s a Sunday afternoon at a pool filled with people and kids!

Weed Central (Woman in orange is the Roller in Chief.)

MOTHERS (in unison to the CHILDREN)
Let’s go.

FATHER
What?

MOTHER
I’ll tell you later.

They exit.

* Only low THC oil is legal in Georgia at the moment.

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EPISODE 3: Rated PG-13 for Near Nudity and Coarse Language

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

Two groups of six HARDBODIES each have taken over two corners of the pool. The scent of testosterone is more pungent than chlorine. TWO OTHER COUPLES lounge at the other corners. Each couple basks in the Atlanta sun, oiled up like Thanksgiving turkeys.


DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR LESS-SWOLLEN-AND-RASHY MOTHER enter the pool area. They are joined by FATHER, no less a hardbody than the 12 mentioned above. However, the appearance of MOTHER and FATHER in the pool area raises the median age by at least 15 years.

MOTHER and FATHER survey the pool area with dismay. BLINDINGLY WHITE MOTHER needs shade.* They head to the covered area with the plush furniture. DOMINIC and GIDEON are reluctant to get in the water with so many people there (i.e., potential victims for which they will get in trouble for splashing). They sit on the plush furniture and contemplate their next moves.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 starts talking about leaving to go to dinner.

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HAIR-TOSSING GIRL NO. 1
We should eat. They are expecting us there by 7.

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HAIR-TOSSING GIRL NO. 2
I could eat. Should we go get pizza?

FRATTY GUY NO. 1
I’m down for whatever.

HARDBODY GROUP NO. 1 exits.

Conversation amount and volume increase within HARDBODY GROUP NO. 2 out of earshot of MOTHER. They exit.

DOMINIC and GIDEON jump into the pool. FATHER goes to work out (of course). MOTHER sips her beer and pretends to read about TRUMP in The New Yorker (but really just looks at the cartoons).

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER spots BASTED TURKEY LADY NO. 1 looking around the pool as if to say, “Where are these children’s parents?” She murmurs disapproval to BASTED TURKEY MAN NO. 1. MOTHER sits calmly waiting for THE BASTEDS NO. 1 to see her. BASTED LADY finally does. Her pinched, angry face relaxes slightly.

TWO RUBENESQUE WOMEN carrying large floats, a massive bag of Outback takeout, and an also-oversized speaker enter the pool area. They commence eating. After their meal, they remove their cover-ups to get into the pool. RUBENS NO. 1 is wearing a bathing suit with a keyhole cleavage opening in the front. There is at least a foot of cleavage.

SMALLER-BREASTED MOTHER wonders if she is breaking a rule by not being busty in the pool area, as large teats appear to be the norm.

FATHER returns from his alone time in the gym.

Despite the fact that music already is playing over the speakers in the pool area, RUBENS NO. 2 begins to play loud hip-hop music on her speaker.

MUSIC
F— them! F— her! The b—- can s— my d—! (and similar).

FATHER and MOTHER look at each other in alarm. Such language is to be heard in the privacy of the home via the many action movies they like to watch as a family. It certainly cannot be heard out in the wild. They are outraged. FATHER and MOTHER give the RUBENS TWINS pointed looks. RUBENS NO. 1 notices their distress and nudges RUBENS NO. 2, who changes the song.

MOTHER and FATHER run out of beer in the cooler. MOTHER decides it is time to go make dinner.

She exits.

Moments later, FATHER, DOMINIC and GIDEON exit.

(END OF SCENE)

 

*EXTREMELY PALE MOTHER visited the Dominican Republic last year on a cruise. She put on 50 SPF, a one-piece bathing suit plus hat and cover-up. She stayed in the shade of a building all day and STILL got burned. On her stomach. True story.

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EPISODE 2: Respect My Authoritah

EXT. APARTMENT COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

STRANGE WOMAN lounges by the pool, barely paying attention to her two daughters, who appear to be around six and eight years old. The earbuds she is wearing indicate she is listening to music.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR STILL-UNHAPPY-IN-HER-BATHING-SUIT MOTHER WHO IS BEGINNING TO WONDER IF SHE HAS A HORRIBLE DISEASE THAT IS CAUSING HER TO HAVE CONSISTENTLY SWOLLEN ANKLES AND A WEIRD ARM RASH enter the pool.

DOMINIC
Let’s play Friday the 13th! I’ll be Jason.

GIDEON
OK.

DOMINIC (to girls in the pool)
Do you want to play?

GIRL NO. 1
OK.

GIRL NO. 2 (apparently named Jo Jo) ignores DOMINIC.

GIRL NO. 1
Jo Jo!

STRANGE WOMAN
Jo Jo!

JO JO
OK.

SPLASHING commences.

MOTHER tries to read a magazine in the lounge chair across the pool from STRANGE WOMAN. MOTHER is unable to read said magazine because STRANGE WOMAN is dancing in her chair and singing along with her music. STRANGE WOMAN is not a gifted vocalist.

A MAN IN A TOO-TIGHT BUTTON-DOWN SHIRT enters the pool area, pulling a wagon filled with THREE SMALL BOYS. His LARGE-BOSOMED WIFE follows. They position themselves directly across the shallow area from MOTHER.

DOMINIC (to BOY NO. 1, the oldest)
Do you want to play?

BOY NO. 1
No. I can’t.

The WAGON BOYS play together in the shallow end in front of MOTHER. There’s plenty of whining with no response from their parents.

A MAN and a WOMAN carrying the largest pool floats sold on the open market enter the pool area. They set up camp at the far end of the pool to MOTHER’s left.

STUFFED SHIRT stands up and begins walking around the pool area while playing on his phone. MOTHER sips her thermos full of cider and watches SHIRT track a pacing circuit in front of her. Her blood boils as he repeatedly walks within one foot of the end of her lounge chair. ANGRY MOTHER marvels at the fact that there is an entire pool area, but SHIRT feels the need to be all up in her grill. BOSOM strikes up a conversation with WANNABE MARIAH CAREY while SHIRT continues to pace.

MOTHER runs out of both patience and cider.

MOTHER (to DOMINIC and GIDEON)
Let’s go.

They exit.

(END OF SCENE)

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Dear Readers,

Part of the joy of living in an apartment complex (even temporarily) is taking advantage of the pool.

Enjoy these missives from our adventures.

Love and kisses,
Beth

EPISODE 1: Is this Sun City?

EXT. COMPLEX POOL – LATE AFTERNOON

Two elderly women tan their already leathery bodies on lounge chairs. A girl of about six years old plays with a pool noodle in the shallow end.

DOMINIC and GIDEON and THEIR STURDY MOTHER WHO IS NOT HAPPY IN HER BATHING SUIT (OR SKIN, FOR THAT MATTER) enter the pool.

DOMINIC
Let’s play Friday the 13th! I’ll be Jason.

GIDEON
OK.

SPLASHING commences. MOTHER drifts close to ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1.

MOTHER
Is there a hot tub?

MOTHER emphasizes “tub” as in the SNL The Love-ahs sketch with Rachel Dratch and Will Ferrell. ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1 does not appear to notice the affectation.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 1
No.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 2 has been listening to the exchange. She chimes in from the other side of the pool.

ELDERLY WOMAN NO. 2
There should be!

MOTHER nods. She drifts to the pool steps, exits the pool, and parks herself in the lounge chair with her thermos full of beer.

DOMINIC and GIDEON continue their game for another hour while MOTHER texts her friend BRIAN about PRINCE CARL of SWEDEN and SEBASTIAN BEAUPIERRE THEROUX. (Another scene for another day.)

Eventually, the three exit the pool area.

(END OF SCENE)

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