Your midnight swim – new and improved (with added nightmares)

The start of the real working year is upon us and I’m about to disappoint some of you who might be following this blog. I’m going to talk about something important, something that affects almost all of us; pool care.

Now I live in a townhouse complex where pool worries are the business of a gang of dedicated labourers who pop in every week or so and Hoover up the dead insects and detritus that make life in Africa such a pleasant experience. The pools in my complex are sparkling clean and you would not be blamed for expecting a nymph holding a bottle of mineral water to explode from their depths clutching her decidedly scant clothes to her bosom and extolling the virtues of spring fresh goodness to the world at large.

However there is a darker, more sinister side to the domestic pool.

I recently had the privilege of house sitting for a friend of mine who owns a home in suburbia and his pool is huge and has a nasty habit of turning on its owner. It can become fetid and swamp like overnight. It becomes smelly, it attracts wildlife.

To compound the problem the large date palms surrounding the pool have decided to fatten up the Kreepy Krauly by feeding it a steady diet of dates. I assume this is because one dark and stormy night when they decide that it’s chubby enough they’re going to pull up their roots, march down to poolside, ambush and eat it.

Will not eat dates at all

The problem is that the Kreepy can’t swallow dates, it’s throat is just to narrow (much the same reason that most whales don’t eat human beings, more information for your dinner conversation), so it chokes. Which means that it can’t clean up the detritus from the floor of the pool, adding the general murkiness and unsavoury nature of the water. This means that someone has to get into the pool and feel around the bottom in an effort to identify and pick any dates. This is a thankless and quite scary job as who knows what is lurking on the bottom. This process needs to be repeated every half an hour or so as the date palms continue to pelt the pool with Kreepy Krauly fodder.

Then you have to dose the pool with a shock treatment to get rid of the algae.

And then the afternoon storms come and wash everything within a fifty kilometer radius into the pool and you have to start the whole process again. It really is most dispiriting.

But, along with festive cheer, December also brings with it the opportunity to enjoy a few drinks and usually this leads to discussions of philosophy and the deeper questions everyone must find answers to in order to unlock their hidden potential. In the case of our festive season the significant other came up with the idea of pool snails.

Wait, where are you going? This is an idea whose time has come.

Think about it. With a little genetic tinkering I’m sure the good people at one of the larger biotech firms can manipulate the growth of a sea snail so that it reaches the size of a basketball. It’s then a case of changing the filter to a salt chlorinated system and Bob’s your uncle (we can sort the chemicals and sunburn and predators and yada yada yada some other time).

Like this, but bigger and with a better paint job

Now that we’re got huge snails gobbling up the muck at the bottom of the pool you just run the filter every now and again the get rid of the snail poo and your pool is sparkling clear year round.

Think of the possibilities, you could train them to come to the surface to be fed (although I assume you’d have to be a bit patient unless the biotech boffins can do something about a snails top speed), you could paint their shells different colours (your favourite sports team?) and they could nuzzle your ankles in their more affectionate moments (shudder).

Think of the names; Speedy and Zippy and Flash. Oh the fun we’d have.

Pool snails ™. You read it here first.

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