I am not sure at what age ‘quirky’ turns into ‘eccentric’ but I have a hunch I am getting pretty close to that exit on the lifetime expressway. Something similar has happened to me before. The comment pages of my 9th grade junior high school yearbook is littered with notes starting with ‘you’re so crazy but…’ Sometime during my settled-down visibly responsible vaguely respectable adulthood that ‘crazy’ magically shifted to the more societal acceptable ‘quirky’. Mind you, the only thing that has really changed is my age and other people’s perceptions of me; I believe my squishy brain is pretty much the same.

My family still perceives me as nuttier than a jar of JIF, but that’s one of those ‘kettle calling’ things like a swimming fish calling an ocean bottom mollusk all wet or Donald Trump calling an opposing politician egotistical.   But with my family it’s more than a ‘takes one to know one’ deal-e-o. I’m the youngest of five siblings and I fully blame all of them along with my parents as the cause of my well documented crazy-quirky eccentricities.

As proof of the wackiness I was born into I offer for example that out of the blue, anywhere, anytime, anyplace I mention the George Washington Bridge near one of my family members, I can pretty much guarantee one of them will interrupt whatever I was saying and suddenly start singing the following song to the tune of a famous waltz:

George Washington Bridge,

Georgie Washington Washington Bridge,

George Washington Bridge,

Georgie Washington Washington Bridge,

George Washington Bridge,

Georgie Washington Washington Bridge…

Don’t ask why. At this point I am not sure anyone could explain its origins. It just always happens.

Throughout my childhood, my siblings complained Sunday mornings when Dad cranked Beethoven’s Wellington’s Victory on his stereo so loud that the house windows rattled or when my Mom flipped her little fridge-top transistor radio from the news station to her favorite elevator style easy listening tunes to which she would somewhat creatively sing along to ( I tried to be gentle there). In suit, Mom called anything recorded after 1955 that we listened to, ‘yeah, yeah’ music and Dad ignored the bunch of us. The only thing everyone could agree on was Allen Sherman, who was a sort of 1960s kitschy Jewish version of Weird Al Yankovic.  So my odd musical tastes were started very young, growing up with a steady diet of very goofy dated song parodies.

Another similar wacky family thing like that has to do with the late recording artist / comedian / raconteur / advertising creative director Stan Freberg who put out a comedy album a couple of years before I was born parodying the History of The United States Of America.  This album was played a lot in my house. A whole lot. I basically grew up hearing repeated quotes from it.

During the segment about Dutchman Peter Minuit’s (sic. Tishman) 1626 purchase of Manhattan from the local native American Indians for $ 24.00 (“of junk jewelry”), there is a quick one liner exchange where Peter is reading the real estate listing details of the island and asks his slick New Yawky real estate agent about the line “room for pool… what’s pool?” The agent snappily replies “it’s like snooker”, referring to the centuries old English billiards game.

Yeah, not really a hilarious gut buster. Believe me, I know. My wife does not get any of that album and just gives me a look when I go off on tangents from it. Maybe it’s just too dated, too dry or you just have to hear it eight zillion times before it becomes funny.  But like so many other odd things with my family if I say “what’s pool”, I am assured somebody will respond, “it’s like snooker”.

This has come up a lot lately in my currently ‘quirky’ (soon to be eccentric) head because this past year both my sister and I have purchased houses with pools. When you have a pool the word ‘pool’ comes up a lot. A whole lot. And when you are raised in the house I was, every time you hear the word ‘pool’ your brain automatically pushes a little Pavlovian like button that causes a little voice in my skull to say “it’s like snooker”.

This is our first full summer in the house and I am out in the pool (“it’s like snooker”) almost every day trying to get my money’s worth, especially since half the year it’s a useless expensive labor-intensive deep puddle. My wife really did not want the pool (“it’s like snooker”). When we first decided we would place an offer on this house, she actually went as far as researching how much it would cost to get the pool (“it’s like snooker”) removed and the remaining hole filled in.

Having a pool (“it’s like snooker”) also causes other issues that I had not previously thought of. Do I ask friends over for a swim on hot weekends? At our last house, a neighbor kept inviting us over to use their hot tub and it almost sounded like a creepy offer to swing or wife swap.  We found out it definitely was not when another neighbor got the same impression but was bolder than us about clearing up the confusion.

I hate adding pompous or creep to my crazy, quirky, eccentric adjective list, so what is the proper etiquette for saying come on over for a refreshing dip in the pool (“it’s like snooker”)? And more importantly, who am I okay seeing my big giant flabby gut blobbing over the top of my bathing suit? I don’t think I can pull off a belly hiding male unitard and my scuba wet suit might be overkill. If I wait till I have a bathing suit friendly body before I invite anyone to swim, it might be decades from now and my bigger issue will be is it ok to swim in my Depends.

This is one of those things that’s easier if you have kids. You can use them as the excuse for everything. Bring the kids for a pool (“it’s like snooker”) play-date. Adult lumpiness is forgiven when it’s for the kids. Of course, than you have the whole peeing in the pool (it’s like snooker) thing to deal with. Hmmm, I had not really thought about the whole comingling with other people’s bodily fluids thing.

Maybe I’ll ask my sister, she seems to have successfully pulled off the adult pool (“it’s like snooker”) party. She is older than me though, so I can ask her about that Depends in the pool thing too. To which she will probably tell me to go jump off the George Washington Bridge (“Georgie Washington, Washington Bridge. George Washington Bridge. Georgie Washington, Washington Bridge…,”)





About mrdvmp

Mr DVMP spends his days breathing, eating and sleeping.
This entry was posted in it is what it is and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to IT’S LIKE SNOOKER

  1. Phyllis Lewbel says:

    It was great to spend a few days with you. I especially liked the afternoon in the pool (it’s like snooker)!! (What the heck is snooker, anyway? Even Freberg or Sherman never told me!!)

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