July 30, 2003

Weirdest. Family. EVER

I went swimming with my buddy, Marc, yesterday after work. He lives in an apartment complex that features a nice pool that is ideal for ogling women. Alas, there was very little women ogling to do, owing to a lack of women while we were down at the pool. Oh well, the water was warm so the swimming was great.

Until. . .

"Hi! I'm Katlyn!" shrieked a small voice behind me, and I turned around to see a little child wearing a life vest standing at the edge of the pool, peering intently at me.

"Oh, hi Katlyn," I said, and returned to the game of catch I was playing with Marc. But, before I could turn around completely, my eyes briefly scanned the rest of the family that had just arrived. There was a very large woman and a very skinny man, both of whom looked like they took severe and debilitating tumbles from an ugly tree.

The woman, in addition to her large stature, had a blotchy face and was apparently losing her bedraggled auburn hair in clumps. The skinny man had a not-so-bright look to him (although Marc informed me that he is, actually, a gifted computer programmer), and his face was apparently forever stuck in a goofy-looking grin, which was made more googy-looking due to a mouth full of uneven, Cleetus-like teeth.

But, perhaps the most goofy aspect of the skinny man was that he was wearing a life jacket. And, I don't mean just any life jacket, either. This was one of those industrial-strength life jackets that you see professional water-skiiers wearing. Seeing a grown man, probably in his 30s, wearing one in an apartment complex swimming pool that does not exceed a depth of five feet seemed somehow surreal.

In addition to the Pollyanna-ish Katlyn, the family also featured a baby boy? girl? (not sure), a baby with eyes so wide I was convinced they were going to pop out of its head and roll into the pool.

Then, from Katlyn, a torrent of conversation erupted. This girl would not shut up. Katlyn, I think, lives under the belief that, since she has to breathe, she may as well use each and every breath for constructing words. Yap, yap, yap, yap, yap, yap!

The skinny man entered the pool tentatively, grasping the rail and gingerly stepping down into the shallow end (max depth: three feet). The look on his face was priceless. In addition to his perma-grin, his eyes were lit up in a combination of what appeared to be fear and unbridled excitement. Did I mention his wife had to help him put his life jacket on? His wife had to help him put his life jacket on. Those life jacket buckles and straps can be sooooo confusing. He paddled around for a bit, and then he exited the water.

"Are you guys playing catch?" asked Internet.com/~eplaz/euronat/images/nudist_photo.jpg">Katlyn, a little human bobber perpetually spouting words. "I can help you play catch!"

Emboldened by his earlier successful sojourn into the shallow end, the skinny man now did an odd little stutter-step run and jump, toothpick-style, into the deep end. He appeared ecstatic upon resurfacing and he bobbed triumphantly in five feet of water. Meanwhile, the rather large woman sat contentedly on the pool steps, keeping an eye on the youngest of the family seed.

Katlyn paddled around furiously to retrieve the water balls Marc and I were playing catch with. She would then coil her little body up and throw with all her might, for a distance of about four feet.

"Well, I'm just a girl," she explained.

"Really? You're just a girl?" laughed the skinny man floating in the deep end. "I never would have guessed that!" *chortled to himself*

Katlyn then announced she was officially entering our game of catch, which was my cue to exit the pool and "check the time." As luck would have it, it was exactly time for Marc and I to leave. How convenient.

That was, without a doubt, the weirdest family I had ever seen.

Posted by Ryan at July 30, 2003 11:32 AM
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