Wednesday, July 6, 2022 Jul 6, 2022
81° F Dallas, TX


The fine art of sneaking in to cool off
By Skip Hollandsworth |

And now, inevitably, it’s time to figure out where to go swimming. You’ve tried to think of a thousand other things to do. And you’ve learned the awful truth. At this point in the summer, Dallas has little to offer except life at poolside.

The month of May had its temptations, but you were able to get around them by just laying out in the back yard. Then came June. You began to limp through those afternoons, your mind playing tricks. You saw yourself wriggling out of your clothes, buttering up your limbs with some kind of French lotion, and making pig-like squeals as you cannonballed into the water.

Now, as July cometh, you are helpless. You must swim. Forget the fact that you’re fat and that you cannot do one of those cute flip-turns at the wall.

Okay, fine. Now where? The Dallas lakes don’t allow swimming. The number of public pools in Dallas is roughly equal to the average city council member’s IQ. Even though all the rich people in this city have backyard swimming pools, they never invite you over. You could buy one of those metallic swimming pools that you can set up in your yard in about fifteen minutes, but I must tell you with all sincerity: you’d really look like a jerk in something like that.

There is only one thing to do. Sneak into someone else’s pool. People who have been living here for years without access to water have developed elaborate clandestine maneuvers to get into a swimming pool.

Now, this time, I’m not telling anyone which pools I sneak into. After letting it out last year that I made regular unauthorized swims at the homes of Bill Clements, Mary Kay Ash, and Dr. W.A. Criswell, those people were so inundated by late-night swimming pool intruders-all of them shouting “Marco! Polo!”-that extra security guards were hired, ruining it for everyone. But I will divulge some of my better secrets.

Apartment pools are harderto crack than you think. You’reprobably saying, ’”Hey, I’ll justhit a North Dallas apartmentcomplex pool. Who will know Idon’t belong there?” Everyonewill! By definition, people wholive in North Dallas apartmentsare goofballs, which means theylounge around the pool all day. Ifthey see an obvious illegalvisitor, they’ll be very snotty andtry to steal your jam box or flip-flops while you’re underwater.

2. Hotel pools are not so difficult. But this often means driving to the city limits so you canjump into some Holiday Innpool where there is always afather standing there in the watersmoking a cigar. His childrenwill be running everywhere,splashing you, diving for pennies, and then treading water inthe deep end where you knowthey are preparing to tee-tee.

3. The richest country clubpools are the easiest. Just walkin. throw your monogrammedtowels on a chair, and then askthe waiter for a phone so you canmake dinner reservations at theMansion. If you’re male, wear penny loafers without socks, a bathing suit decorated with hunting hounds, and your Rolex, which you must wear even while swimming. If female, wear a conservative one-piece. Adults at country club pools don’t really swim. They stand in shoulder-deep water and talk about who’s having an affair.

4. All of which is to say that sneaking into someone’s private pool is the best deal. One good technique is to keep a list of rich people you know who have suddenly left town. This means they probably didn’t have time to drain their pool before their exit. Already on this year’s list: former SMU coach Bobby Collins and the entire Dallas Mavericks basketball team.

Finally, if all else fails, there’s the old reliable pool cleaner trick. During the day, drive up in a van at a home that you know has a pool, carry some vacuum cleaner hoses and some buckets with you as you walk down the driveway, and go live it up. The neighbors will mistake you every time for the pool man, and you’ll never be bothered. Happy watering.

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