A New Pool for America

I'll be honest with you, most of my daily activities revolve around not getting physically injured. Not because I have some sort of abnormal fear of physical trauma, I just don't have health insurance so I tend to avoid activities that may invite broken ankles or enable a dislocated whatever. Will I go running? Yes. Will I play a game of pickup football? Only if it's touch and I'm all-time QB and we don't use a football and we play sitting down quietly on a sofa reading a book. Will I go bowling? No, but that has nothing to do with physical economics, more to do with personal taste...I'm not wearing those fucking shoes.

Everyone cheers Dad's ambitious plan to bring summer pool parties and a sense of prosperity back to the household.So when I voted for Barack Obama, swiftly and decisively pulling the lever for not only the would-be Commander-in-Chief, but also whatever Democrat was billed with him, I think I had a certain expectation of how the subsequent years would unfold.

The world has not ended; a financial collapse was averted at least provisionally; and on election night in Grant Park, Chicago, where the President Elect gave his victory speech, I was able to purchase a tasteful t-shirt with "MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK" printed across the body of the shirt in power font. The black street vendor I purchased it from fully endorsed the purchase with, "That white boy off the chain!" I thought, "Golly, that African American not only approves of my clothing choice, he believes I am unleashed! Rendered free from the chains of socioeconomic oppression I have embodied for the past 300 years! We're same team! Eureka, what a glorious evening!"

My President is Black - Bill wearing an Obama t-shirtThe night ended, the confetti in the streets washed away by the cold and muddy winter sludge that permeates Chicago streets that time of year, and the change I was promised was not the change I had so hopefully envisioned.

I feel a little like President Obama is a dad who comes home one night after a few martinis and tells the family they're getting a pool. Everyone cheers and approves of Dad's ambitious plan to bring summer pool parties, joy, and a sense of prosperity back to a household that had fallen on hard times the previous decade.

Then Dad wakes up the next morning with a roaring hangover, his kids sitting at the foot of his bed hopping up and down saying, "So when do they start to dig the hole!" Dad rubs his eyes. "Oh, uh...fuck me, well...I'll charge it to the card I guess."

I feel like I'm sitting in the kitchen, looking at pool furniture online, staring out at a half-dug hole in the backyard going, "I hope Dad doesn't fuck this up." But I think that's a little more sober-minded than Mom's plan. She's sitting to my right drinking tea saying some crazy shit.

Empty backyard pool with boys playing in a puddle
Dad's always been a pool half-full kinda guy.
Me: Mom...you okay?

Mom: Your father...I just. We can't afford all of this.

Me: Yeah...it's expensive but...

Mom: We need to sell all the furniture.

Me: Wait, why do we...

Mom: And we can't feed you anymore.

Me: But what does that...

Mom: And no more masturbating...

Me: (gasping) You can't take that away from me it's all I have and-

Mom: You're father isn't even your father! He's a Kenyan and I don't think he lives here!

Me: Wait wait, you're pissed, but if this is about the pool, that's okay, but you're connecting a lot of dots that don't make any fucking sense. You're angry, I get that, but you're being irrational. Now if you calm down maybe we can figure out a way to work together and pay for the pool.

Mom: Fuck him. Fuck you, too...and fuck Jews.

Me: Jesus Christ!

Mom: YES! That's the answer! We're going to go to church!

Me: You blacked out, didn't you? You can't even hear yourself, huh.

Mom: (hands trembling as she sips her tea, staring into the backyard) We will get this house back to how it was. We just need to get rid of this furniture, turn the electric and water off, and we can save our money for 60 years.... Billy, did you know you can drink your own urine?

Me: No...no I didn't.

Mom: It's also an antiseptic. Perfect for flesh wounds.

Me: Why would I have flesh wounds? Holy...where the fuck did you get a gun?

Mom: I need it! I hate pools! I can't swim!

I don't think Dad was trying to be deceptive; I think he wants the pool just as bad as the rest of us. But for the time being, I will sit face pressed against the window and fantasize about the morning when the whole family can run out the back door with pool towels in hand, flip-flops clapping against the newly dried cement, and collectively jumping into the cool, crisp waters of a dream realized...not like I can use the diving board anyway—no fucking health insurance.

C'mon, one more:

Eric Woodward's picture

Grade A article man, spot on the American way.

Bill Dixon's picture

Thanks man, just serving my country.

Nathan DeGraaf's picture

Your pool will be ready by 2014. Dad promised

Bill Dixon's picture

So he says, but I have a feeling mom is going to be throwing a lot more weight around the house come November.

Keke DeVille's picture

I heart this ;) The mom rocks btw.

Bill Dixon's picture

I glad you heart it with your heart! Mom is an asshole, Metaphorically and literally.

Andrei Trostel's picture

Great article Bill. I especially liked how it came full circle back to the health insurance. Nicely done.

Bill Dixon's picture

Thanks, hommie!

Court Sullivan's picture

Fuckin love this man. You're metaphor skillz blow me away.

Btw, you also promised a treehouse, remember?

Bill Dixon's picture

Thanks, Court. I'm like the Kanye West of internet humorist.

But you know what that would make you, right? That's right, Hova!

Throw your diamonds in the sky because you are fucking Beyonce!

Nathan DeGraaf's picture

Don't worry Bill. Mom and Dad want the same thing here. And if they don't get the pool built they'll never convince social services to let them keep you. Now whether or not the fucking thing holds water is another thing entirely.

Bill Dixon's picture

Truer words were never spoken. That's why I think I'm just moving in with my hispanic neighbors. They are poor as dirt but they are always dancing and drunk. I can get down with that.

So very eloquent man!
It does seem that way, but I also just noticed that the mom/ Teaparty sounds a lot like a PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-disorder) sufferer, like she's still in shock and has no idea what she's saying, so she goes with a glimmer of a coherent thought and makes all the wrong connections and does all the wrong things cos she's lead by a sort of instinct...

Bill Dixon's picture

Thanks, man.

Wait, Tea Party? Are you suggesting that the mother in the story was a metaphor for some sort of misguided anti-intellectual, homophobic, xenophobic, over weight, very white, conservative movement that now has hijacked the Republican Party?

I have no idea why you would think that...

No, I actually just thought of my own mother and replaced a handle of bottom-shelf vodka with a cup of tea. Mom was a real doll.

But seriously, tea parties are for little girls.

I can tell none of you listened to your mother.You're gonna end up like your dad;a penniless lying drunk.

Grasshopper's picture

they're both drunk, dad just has charisma

Bill Dixon's picture

but more bad news *looking over both shoulders and whispering* I think dad's black.

Amie Samuel's picture

From this article, I have come to the conclusion that I know absolutely nothing about politics. Mom, I'm confused! Er, wait..you're not my mom!

Gordon Dryfus's picture

I'd be on Mom's side but she so busy fuckin everybody in the world to listen to us kids. It's bad enough that she wants to destroy the rest of the world's life but she keeps asking me to join in. My mother is asking me to help fucking the rest of the world because she can't do it alone. Dad's got his fingers stuffed in his ears worried about whether or not a woman can possibly pull out but trying hard to not think about it and ultimately supporting the fucking because he thinks they're in an open relationship, as long as he can watch and eventually Mom's pulls out or gets off before shit pops off then he's fine. Too bad every time Mom squats on anybody they shoot off multiple times before she gets off, and I know because though I haven't been there when it happens my sister goes along with a video camera to document every thrust, which sometimes has lead to her getting pasted with serious splash damage or when things get really hot she's had to get right in on the action. I'm not saying I like watching what she shows me, and frankly it makes me sick, but I feel I have to know what's going on and why I don't want to get involved.