I bought a whale pool for Owen last Thursday. It was white and royal blue. When you attached it to a hose, it sprayed water out of its blowhole. Owen LOVED it:

It took me half an hour to inflate (with my lungs!), at the end of which my cheeks ached. But it was so worth it when he splashed and squealed around. We used it Thursday. And Friday. And Saturday.

On Sunday morning, Owen and I came downstairs for breakfast. The pool was lying on the lawn deflated. That’s odd, I thought to myself. Maybe Duncan let the air out yesterday? I wish he hadn’t… it was so hard to blow up.

But then Duncan came downstairs.

“What happened to the pool?”

We went outside, expecting to have to search for a tiny hole (the pool came with a small patch). Instead, we met with whale carnage. It had huge, gaping holes EVERYWHERE. In the bottom, on the sides, where the hose attached, where the air went in, where the water went out. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Did it get hit by lightning?” I asked Duncan. “Or do you think a coyote attacked it?”

We looked for evidence of fur. Whale pool CSI.


We think it must have exploded. We’re not sure how, exactly. It had rained the night before, so maybe it got overfull, but it’s a POOL – designed to hold, you know, WATER.

I searched the house, the recycling, my wallet, and finally found the bill. I thought that since it had been 3 days, they might consider refunding me. I dread confrontation, so my stress built and built all the way to Zellers as I anticipated the salesclerk’s accusations of whale maltreatment.

“Did you harpoon the whale? Did you let a coyote into your back yard?”

No on the first. Maybe on the second?

In the frenzy of my departure, though, I had forgotten my wallet. So I had to put Owen back in his car seat and drive home again. By this point, I felt like someone had taken the air out of me. Half the morning was gone. But I was determined not let the loss of the pool ruin the rest of my day.

In the end, we returned it successfully yesterday. The salesclerk didn’t even ask about the coyote, though she did eye us a little suspiciously and asked if we had overfilled it.

And it’s silly, I know, but I am kind of mourning the pool. It was a shiny, vibrant part of our lives for those three days. It brought us so much joy. And now it’s gone. Exploded. I mean, I would totally have bought another if this one hadn’t self-destructed in three days. But it did.

This is only tangentially related, but I get so frustrated with things that are accidentally disposable. Like plastic bibs that start to smell after a couple of weeks but self-destruct in the washing machine. Or sleepers with snaps that break. Or shoes that look like leather but aren’t and then crack (I have made this mistake twice this year)! If something is disposable, fine. But if it looks like something that is a relatively permanent purchase, even if it is inexpensive, then I feel like it should last until you’re finished with it.

I wanted to use that pool next summer. Instead, I am feeling kind of deflated.

One comment on “Deflated

  1. meoneil on said:

    I enjoyed reading this, as I’ve enjoyed so many others.

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