Before Coffee: Flushing Money

May 24, 2016 § Leave a comment

The thermometer has finally climbed above 70, which could be a sign that summer has arrived but probably is just another ruse. I expect to be shivering in my sandals and bermuda shorts by the weekend.

Despite the fact that we’ll soon be blue and shivering, I’ve enlisted the aid of my friend Aaron to help me remove the cover from the giant money-sucking toilet in my backyard. Or, as my friends call it, the pool.

If you ever go mad enough to consider owning a pool, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, you won’t use it nearly as much as you think you will. Maybe you’ll want to, but the weather and your social calendar will conspire against you; the days you’re available to swim it will rain, and you’ll have plans to do other things on the beautiful, hot, sunny days.

Second, you will spend a lot of time maintaining the pool you’re not swimming in. And until you learn a few tricks, you’ll spend a lot of money, too. And then you’ll spend more money to fix it when it breaks, or hire a company to come find a leak that’s causing you have to add 30 gallons of water to the pool every day, or any of the millions of other things that can and do go wrong with pools.

And on top of that money, you’ll spend extra money on water and electricity. Even without a leak, water evaporates; in a hot summer, you’ll be adding water every couple days. Because if you don’t, the level drops below the skimmer’s ability to pull water in through the filter, and that’s bad. Like, burn up your pump motor bad.

Speaking of pumps, pool pumps suck up electricity like a pig attacking its slop. We get a monthly report from the electric company that shows us how efficient our home is compared to the average home and the most efficient home in our neighborhood. Winter, Spring, and Fall, our house is the most efficient home in the neighborhood; in the summer, the earth weeps for the devastation we’re wreaking upon her with our excessive electrical needs. We become by far the most inefficient home in the neighborhood.

But on a hot day, floating in the pool with a frozen margarita the size of a horse’s head is about as close to pure bliss as I’ve known. If I get one day like that per summer, it makes all the work, money, and environmental harm worth it.

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