White Coat Underground

Open Letter to Fred the Pool Nazi

Dear Fred:

First, I’d like to thank you for guarding the integrity of the swimming pool in my folks’ neighborhood. I know they feel safer because of you.

On that proud day twenty years ago, the day they handed you the thin cotton t-shirt with the banded collar and sleeves that reads “Pool Monitor”, who could have known the proud years of service that would follow? I know I couldn’t have because I was in college writing a paper on The Authoritarian Personality (classic Adorno, you should read it).

Your recent service is to be especially praised. When my wife fell asleep in the sun by the pool, enjoying a brief moment of peace away from family, work and other worries, you made sure to check on her. You made sure that a man she’s never met came up to her, woke her up, and interrogated her, which, I’m sure, was for her own good.

I must say though, that I’m a bit disturbed. You asked her, as she rubbed her eyes and looked around to see if anyone else was nearby, her name, where she lived, what car she drove, whether she had kids—you asked all that but you forgot to ask her social security number. I’m fairly certain you can do better.

When she asked to be left alone, when she was clearly nervous about a strange man approaching her and wagging a finger in her face, you made sure to reassure her of your status as an authority finger by standing over her, wagging your finger more vigorously, and showing her the now-tattered shirt that is your badge of office.

I’m sure it was only a small oversight on your part that, when she could not get you to go away and had to make up a story about being pregnant, you didn’t ask for a copy of the lab report, or better yet, take a look at her cervix. Fred, I know you can do better.

I feel bad that I could not have been there to see your performance, as I would have had some specific words, and perhaps actions, in response to the service you performed, and while some might have considered these potential actions to be a bit of an over-reaction, I can assure you that they are less than you deserve.

So, Bravo! Fred. Well done. My wife now feels uncomfortable at my parents’ pool, especially when alone. Keep up the good work—it would make my day.


  1. #1 Greg Laden
    July 21, 2009

    Holy crap, man.

  2. #2 Jennifer B. Phillips
    July 21, 2009

    Ew! I’m so sorry your wife had to deal with this asshat. He sounds like a nightmare.

  3. #3 Roadtripper
    July 21, 2009

    Needs a serious dunking, that one. Good thing there’s a pool handy….


  4. #4 CyberLizard
    July 21, 2009

    Oooh, was he armed, like our pool guard is? Does he stand by the electronically locked gate checking IDs against a list of all the deadbeats who have fallen behind on HOA dues?

  5. #5 Romeo Vitelli
    July 21, 2009

    I’ll bet you always wondered where the losers who couldn’t make it as mall caps ended up.

  6. #6 Isis the Scientist
    July 21, 2009

    Creepy dude. Tre creepy.

  7. #7 antipodean
    July 21, 2009

    Find yourself a friendly free-diver to take him down for a crocodile-style death roll.

    Then again some people are just dicks and that’s the way it is.

  8. #8 Mu
    July 21, 2009

    You find these types in all neighborhoods. I just moved the Mus into a new house, with great neighbors. Everyone is very welcoming, offers to water you lawn while your gone, the whole none yards (so no apple pie so far). But for one couple who proceeded to immediately inform us that one of our sprinkler heads was spraying 6 inches into the roadway, causing a 10 ft trickle down the street, and that they were going to call the city water police unless we immediately turned the water off.
    The rest of the neighbors told us that the couple is retired, and cruises the neighborhood looking for violators to bring in front of the HOA, the city and whomever else they can think off.
    Somehow those things never get disclosed by the home seller, the standard from needs a “crank in the neighborhood” entry.

  9. #9 Vicky
    July 23, 2009

    Man, what a creep! I’d feel uncomfortable going there as well, were I in your wife’s shoes. Yikes.

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