How many men does it take to erect a pool?
“I’m sorry, but I can’t get it up,” husband-head sincerely apologized. “I tried my best, but it’s not going to happen.””But today is Erection Day!” I protested. “It’s almost as important as Election Day, except that the results are immediate and both parties still like each other afterwards! You HAVE to get it up!””Honey, I’ve been trying,” he insisted. “It’s just not going to work.”It was Memorial Day weekend the unofficial start of summer and husband-head had promised to erect the big above-ground pool.In the past, we had always put up a smaller 12-foot round pool, but now that we had a large yard, we had purchased a bigger pool..Actually, we bought a second-hand, 30-by-15 foot oval pool from my best friend, Marianne, since she was moving to San Diego.”Wow, look at all those pieces and parts,” I said to husband-head after Marianne’s son delivered the monstrosity and dumped it in the yard. “How are you ever going to figure that out?”Husband-head didn’t look too excited.”Knowing Marianne, she probably doesn’t have the instructions, does she?” was all he said.Of course not. “Knowing Marianne, she probably doesn’t even have all the parts…” I added.Husband-head had already spent two days preparing the ground, but now came the hard work.With the help of a close friend, husband-head spent hours laying the framework and straightening out a bunch of bent and twisted metal.”Is it up? Can I swim in it yet?” I would come out periodically and ask.Husband-head looked up and muttered what I believe was a naughty word under his breath …”Can we get our money back?” he asked with a grimace, sweat pouring off his face.For some reason, I got the feeling things weren’t going too well.In the meantime, Marianne happened to call from San Diego.”Greetings from sunny southern California!” she said, sounding chipper. “What are you doing this fine weekend?”I informed her that it was erection day.”Oh,” she said quickly. “Should I call back at another time?””No, no, no … I mean husband-head and his buddy are putting up the pool you sold us,” I corrected her. “By the way, are you sure all the parts are there? And how long did it take you to put it up?”There was silence on the other end for a moment.”Sweetie, I have no idea about the pool,” she confessed. “But I remember it took about six guys and a backhoe to install it.”So we were missing four men and a piece of heavy equipment.”Well, have fun with the pool I’m off to the beach!” she quipped and hung up.When I went to check on the guys’ progress outside, they were both shaking their heads.That was when husband-head gave me the bad news.”It’s not going to work without another four other guys and a backhoe,” he informed me. “I can’t get it up.”It dawned on me that this is not a good phrase you typically want to hear from a man in any context…But not only were pieces and parts missing, it became painfully obvious that the monster pool was going to eat up three-quarters of the yard and we were, quite possibly, going to have to swim to get to our vehicle parked in the back driveway.”OK, I vote to veto the big pool,” I told husband-head, who looked relieved. “It’s clearly not going to work. Just put up the old pool.”Husband-head spent another hour taking the pool down and then another two hours putting up the one we already had.It looked fine and was the right size for the yard.”I think smaller is better,” I surmised when he was done.Then it dawned on me that this is not a phrase you typically hear from a woman …Heidi Rice is a staff reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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