Pool Rules: The Most Ignored Set of Rules On Earth

We are inundated with rules everywhere we look. We have "laws," which are rules that apply to everyone and keep you from doing fun things like speeding or yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. We also have social rules that dictate when to bring a gift to a party and why you shouldn't call someone's new baby ugly no matter how true it may be.

While most rules are followed, there's no set of rules ignored — even scoffed at — like pool rules.

Swimming pools are like the Wild West. Yeah, there are rules, and even people to enforce them, but those people are a lot like a Dodge City Sheriff — easily paid off and usually too busy talking to floozies to notice anyone running afoul of pool law.

Upon arrival at any pool, there's always a big metal sign that screams "POOL RULES" at you with a laundry list of do's and do not do's that are trying to harsh your pool mellow.

Fortunately, as divided we are as a nation when it comes to anything else, we're all on the same page when it comes to blowing off pool rules.

One rule that is consistently ignored is "No drinks in or around the pool." Whoever wrote that one has never had a drink in or around a pool because it's the greatest place to have a drink. I understand that they don't want someone becoming collateral damage to an ill-advised cannonball and breaking a beer bottle in the pool, shards of glass subsequently slicing everyone's feet to shreds. But why not cans? Why not plastic cups?

Is it because they don't want spillage? There's a lot of water in a pool, so a few drops of Yuengling getting spilled while I try to impress everyone at the pool party with my Curly from The Three Stooges Impression will make no difference. In fact, beer is far and away the cleanest thing that could ever wind up in a pool.

That's because another rule that gets completely blown off is "Shower before entering the pool." A lot of pools have a lonely-looking showerhead tucked away in some dark corner that has never been used and is at this point rusted shut. The thing is we probably should be showering.

I don't know if you've realized this, but people are gross. We're hopping in a pool of communal water, the least we can do is rinse off the grime, if only as a courtesy to our fellow patrons. We've got chlorine, but I don't know that I trust chlorine to handle the load. It's like one of those fake ADT signs. It gives the appearance of safety but once you get past it, anything goes.

But that rule doesn't even serve as the last line of defense in keeping the pool squeaky clean. There's another one that does the real dirty work.


When is the last time you had diarrhea? Personally, I couldn't tell you. It could've been last week or it could've been in April. I have no idea. That's because I didn't mark it on my calendar, and neither did you. No one follows this rule because they A). don't remember, and B). don't want to be caught following it.

No one has ever seen a guy show up at a pool, scan through the rules, and upon getting to this one announce, "Aw, dammit. Sorry, kids. Dad's gonna sit this one out. It's only been about six days."

That would be commendable because that's a guy who is concerned with the cleanliness of the pool for all involved. In fact, give him the Nobel Prize because going to those lengths is unheard of in all of human-pool history.

This rule gets blown off and we don't even know who the offenders are. You could be swimming next to a guy whose diet consists solely of black coffee, an assortment of fibrous fruits and vegetables, and Taco Bell without even knowing it. 


Anyway, with all of that said, I hope you enjoy your next trip to a public pool.


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