Friday, July 10, 2009


I've identified the surest way to successfully steal people's money. You don't need to rob a bank or break into homes or cars. You don't need a pyramid scheme or a Ponzi scheme, you don't need to offer mortgages that you know people can't afford or produce cars that no one wants to drive and then ask the taxpayers to rescue your lame-brained failing business. All you need is a pool.

That's right, build a pool or rent someone else's, put out fliers and take out ads and start a swim school and parents will literally throw money at you. Merely saying you have a swim school and their kids will be enrolled in "classes" is really good enough for the parents. You don't actually have to produce a kid at the end of said lessons who can swim. If they can't, you simply recommend more lessons! Maybe even private lessons. It's brilliant, really.

I've had Erin in more swim lessons than I can count. We started out at a swim school in group lessons. At the end of that session, with no progress evident, I thought she needed private lessons (these are much more expensive!) We did those for another couple of sessions and at the conclusion, still no progress. So in the meantime we had joined our local YMCA and they offer swim lessons for a much cheaper rate than the private swim school, so she began private lessons there. A couple of sessions later, making for a grand total of a year in lessons and countless hundreds of dollars spent, we still had a kid who couldn't swim and I'm not unique in this regard. I've heard countless other parents talk about their kids' years in swim lessons. And can their kids actually swim after all of that time. money, an effort? Quite often, no.

We took a break from flushing money down the the toilet a year ago.

Now people have asked me to what degree Erin can't swim, and in case you are wondering that too, I don't know the answer. To me, there are people who can swim and people who can't swim and that's about it. I do realize that there are people who can, really, really, SUPER HUMAN swim, you know, like Michael Phelps, but differentiating between non-swimmers isn't something I think I can do. Erin can't swim the width of a typical backyard pool, nevermind the length. She doesn't know how to dive to the bottom of even the shallow end of a pool. She can't swim. Adults who can't swim are LAME, that's just the way it is. It's a pretty necessary life skill and I'm trying to make sure the girls have it, but I'm not succeeding.

I learned to swim in the neighbor's pools when I was a kid. The neighbors' dads would lifeguard/instruct as all the kids played in the pool and it didn't seem like it took very long for all of us to catch on to the whole idea. Since we don't have a pool or have regular access to a pool, we must suffer with purchasing these useless swim lessons from these useless people in these useless swim schools.

And even though there are tons of swim schools around here it's actually tough to find lessons. They fill up like no body's business. I once stood in line for over 3 hours to try to enroll Erin in lessons at a particular school, but the classes were full by the time I made it to the front of the line. The successful parents had camped out there starting at 5am, waiting for 7 - 8 hours.

This summer, I thought we'd try a new approach. The city parks department offers 2-week sessions of 5 nights per week lessons. I never tried Erin on lessons with such frequency so I thought that could make a critical difference. So I signed up all the girls for 2 sessions, 4 weeks straight followed by a 2-week break during which we'll be on vacation, followed by a final 2-week session. Total spent (in advance) for these 6 weeks: $669.00.

We have finished 3 weeks of the first 4 weeks, and despite the fact that the girls like the water, aren't the least bit afraid to be in the pool, love the classes, and look forward to going each night, I still have 3 kids that can't swim.

So don't bother with risky plans like stealing credit card numbers or email scams about just needing someone to pay the taxes on an unclaimed inheritance kept in a European bank account. Just get a pool and offer "lessons". You'll have a line of stupid parents out the door waiting to sign up.

And one more thing, please at least give me a discount for giving you the idea.


mommieN. said...

This might be a by-product of photography, but I notice the teachers holding the kids in every shot, or the kids holding something, in every shot. Same complaint I have about Julian's classes. Who's running the lessons, the swimmers or the lawyers?

Anonymous said...

Now, this is a time when we NEED my dad!!! Do like my dad did with me. Just throw them in the deep end kicking and screaming that they can't swim. Guess what??? I came up swimming just fine. Nana and Papa thought my dad was nuts, but I was swimming.