In my last post I confessed that I roasted this year’s turkey while wearing a wet swimsuit.  This confession was, of course, a thinly veiled attempt to brag about spending Thanksgiving in Hawaii.  And I’m hoping that by confessing that, I’ll somehow dilute the aforementioned bragging and make you like me again.  (Did it work?  Tell me in the comment section.)

In relating the wet swimsuit incident, however, I omitted an important back story that warrants no bragging whatsoever.  In fact, I hesitate to share it with you now, but in the spirit of this blog, our trust, and mint-smeared sunglasses everywhere, share it I must.  So walk with me, friend, back to 1983.  I was ten years old, it was summertime, and it was hot.

So hot, that my two sisters and two neighbors (the Neighborhood Gang, natch) spent every waking minute we could at the local public pool.  These were the glory days of unsupervised childhoods:  we walked or biked everywhere, and for fifty cents could enjoy four decadent, parentless hours swimming with two hundred other parentless kids at the Kennewick Municipal Pool.  Oh, the sunburns and germs and fights that must have ensued at that mobbed pool; I still wonder if the lifeguards weren’t CPS agents disguised as teenagers, assigned to monitor the Great Latchkey Masses.  I remember one dazzlingly dramatic day when a bee sting required my sitting in the First Aid Office while one of the lifeguards on duty ministered to me.  He was tan, sandy haired, and The Most Beautiful Man I’d Ever Seen.  (He was maybe sixteen.)  Sitting next to me on a bench,