If you haven’t already figured out the category “Zima Chronicles” is reserved for personal stories about our past. Because the majority of our stories revolve around girls and sex I’ve decided to start from the beginning. Beginning= as far back as I can remember liking a girl and acting on it. Even before Katie the Cowpig. I should have known after this devastating incident I was destined for greatness.

Being a kid growing up in Northeast Philadelphia I didn’t have many of the same amenities as say, the suburban kid. Summers would be tough because row homes made it impossible to cool off during the dog days. This was annoying since swimming is arguably every kid’s favorite summertime activity. Whenever attending a pool party I would swim until my lips were blue and my fingertips looked like the California Raisins. Christ, I liked swimming so much my favorite exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo was the Otter pool. Those Otter’s would swim while rotating 360º like a corkscrew right before doing a back floating paw clap. Fuck that’s cool!


Not only did I love otters but my favorite He-Man character was Merman. Do the math.


My two brothers and I tried a number of things to cool off back-in-the-day. I can remember busting open a couple of fire hydrants until the cops came and shit all over our illegal water gun. Water balloons were fun for about a minute until realizing you had to manually fill them. One out of five balloons would constitute a weapon while the others just broke in the sink. We were 5 years away from the water GUN (super soaker) so water pistols were about as fun as spitting on somebody. There were a couple free pools in the area but they resembled Dorney Parks in August. The water seemed to have a yellow tint and a thin layer of grease on top. No thanks. The only thing left was the sprinkler. Oh what fun! The sprinkler ranks about as high as dumping a cup of water over someone’s head on the “fun water activities list”.

Fun water activities list (from the early 90′s)

  1. Water Park
  2. Swimming Pool (non public)
  3. Rope swing into body of water
  4. Water balloons
  5. Water pistols (before water GUNS)
  6. Fishing
  7. Dumping a cup of cold water over someone’s head in the shower (still employ this tactic)
  8. Gleteing (the act of floating small amounts of saliva on someone)
  9. Writing your name in public with your pee
  10. Sprinkler

One summer my Dad and Step-Mom informed me and my two brothers we would be joining a swim club with friends of the family. “Whats a swim club?” I asked. “It’s a community swim center that costs money to become a member.” Hmmmmmmmmm, paying would probably keep the riff-raff out. Sounds good.

I’ll never forget the first day we went; it was like the Willy Wonka of swimming pools.  This place was awesome! It had a huge main pool with a small water slide, a diving board for cannonballs and jackknifes and a HUGE blue water slide that I correctly named “Big Blue”. Surrounding the main pool was smaller lagoons or piss puddles for the kiddies. Steering clear of those. They had jungle gyms and picnic areas. Concession stands with tons of snack foods and every flavor of ice cream imaginable. They even had a movie night. Wow. I could swim all day, have ice cream for lunch then roll out my sleeping bag for an early evening showing of “Back to the Future 2″. Was I in heaven?

Side Bar-I vaguely remember my friend telling me the “Hover Board” was real and the government decided not to mass produce them because they were too dangerous. Did anyone else hear this?

Wasted no time and jumping into the pool like Free Wiley being launched back in his natural habitat. I was in my glory doing hand stands and barrel rolls. Running back and forth from the diving board to the water slide until being informed -NO RUNNING AT THE POOL! Screw you lifeguards. When attempted to go on Big Blue a lifeguard stopped me because I wasn’t a certified swimmer. WTF!?

I immediately signed up for swim lessons.

Discouraged, I made my way back to central population for a game of Marco Polo with my brothers. As I quietly stalked the “mark” something caught my eye over yonder in the diving lanes. This burnt sienna beauty slowly exited the pool, her long brown hair flowed down her back like silk. Sun glistened off her like a bedazzled t-shirt. In a trance I ignored the calls of Marco in the distance waiting for her to turn around. When she did my pecker fought through the shrinkage and did a 2 inch salute under water. She was my Phoebe Cates. Who was this beautiful sea creature? I must share ice cream with her. Just like that she was gone. Damn it! Until next time my sweet. I turned and yelled POLO as I swam off my boner.

Weeks passed before I saw Ariel again (I mentally named her). Obsessed, I couldn’t focus on anything. I kept staring down by the diving lanes hoping to see her cutting through the water like a dolphin. Maybe she’s getting ice cream? Nope. Maybe she’s having a picnic with her family? Nope. Maybe she’s in the bathroom? *After hanging out by the lady’s room for about an hour* Nope. I started to give up hope. Then one day she popped up like an unexpected erection. I was walking past the deep end and she was in the center of the pool treading water. Instantly, a heat wave engulfed my body. The warm and fuzzy feeling started to melt my blue slushy.

My mind was going into overdrive trying to think of an icebreaker. How do you talk to a girl in the center of a pool? In the deep end no less. Any kind of ball was prohibited in the pool so “go deep” was out of the question. Maybe I should yell SHARK? No that’s dumb. I know! I’ll dive in and hold my breath as long as possible. When emerging from the deep she will be so impressed she will have no choice but to congratulate me. Freaking genius! I set my slushy down by my chair and power-walked back to the lane.

Standing on the edge of pool curling my toes I thought my plan was foolproof. What could go wrong? All I needed to do is make a perfect dive and hold my breath long enough to swim under her like a shark stalking its prey. Easy. Having one swim lesson under my belt made me over qualified for this. I was willing to lose consciousness if necessary. I gave one last look and when Ariel saw me standing there, I was off.

*SPLASH*


I hit the water with confidence and pushed as hard as I could. This girl was going to melt when she see’s how powerful my lungs are. You’re doing it!

Under the water for what seemed an eternity, my oxygen started to run low. I pushed on. It never dawned on me to open my eyes to help navigation through my chlorinated habitat, I just swam fast and furious like a petrified seal being chased by a killer whale. My lungs began to give and I started to rise. I’m close to the other side of the pool by now. I made my assent. Light pierced my eyelids and my ears started to deflate. Almost there.

[BAAAAAAAAAAM]


My head hit something so hard I saw stars. Something was blocking my route to the surface. Stunned and gasping for air when emerging, I had to wipe the water from my eyes before I saw her. Huh, Ariel and I were face to face. It took me a second to realize what I had done. As we both hovered silently, treading water, I felt boogers running down my face.

*CRICKETS*


She looked at me like I had six heads; I had to say something. So I vomited the phrase, “I like your bathing suit.”

WHAT!?

My head just hit this girl square in her vagina and “I LIKE YOUR BATHING SUIT” was the best I could come up with!!!!??? I felt like a torpedo fired from a Russian submarine trying to sink an American vessel.

Beyond embarrassed I wanted to sink to the bottom and lay there like a slug until the pool closed. Did that just happen? I just accidentally tried to shove my head into Ariel’s vagina and then complimented her bathing suit. What could she possibly be thinking? Licking my wounds, I retreated to the other side of the pool like an abused dog. Is this recoverable? I thought about tuning around and doing a lap, pretending like it was no big deal, but my only choice was to run back to my chair and bury my head in the sand. Mortimer Mortified!

I only saw Ariel a couple of times after that and surprisingly she would shoot me a smile.  I couldn’t help but smile back thinking not many guys get to third base with the wrong head.

Thankfully I wasn’t completely traumatized from this event and would continue to embarrass myself on a regular basis. Little did I know this would be foreshadowing for the rest of my life…