Thursday, April 15, 2010

of pool boys and book festivals

Which have nothing at all in common, in case you were wondering.

I realized that some of my newer readers might be pretty confused by the comments yesterday regarding a "pool boy" or "manny." I'll back the truck up and bring y'all on board. Four years ago Mr. D decided to hire one of his baseball players as summer help around here. Long story short, we live on 60 acres with 3 little boys and Mr. D would rather spend his weekends playing than working. In the Ultimate Trifecta of Win-Win-Win, each summer:
1. I get all the help I want from a helpful teenaged boy of whom I am supreme boss-lady and ruler and I don't get any back-talk or sass.
2. One lucky teenaged boy gets to work for me (and for a decent hourly wage) with perks and benefits that include regular lifeguard duty by the pool, all the Gatorade they can chug, homemade cookies and the most flexible scheduling arrangement evah.
3. Mr. D spends his weekends enjoying leisure time guilt-free and (most importantly) nag-free because the work is getting done.

Oh, and there are contractual stipulations about taking batting practice every day they work and blah-blah-blah.

So, four years ago we hired Lefty. He's a very pretty boy, soulful brown eyes, tall-dark-handsome, sideburned and laid back kind of kid. All my girlfriends swooned when they saw him. They referred to him as my "pool boy," except for Farmer who called him my "Manny." Lefty still comes around, by the way. He's helping me coach Mr. B's first machine-pitch game next month as Mr. D will be coaching the varsity team at an away game and Lefty will helpfully be back home from college by then. Good kid. Studying to be a physical therapist.

Last summer we hired Slugger. He's having a tough time at-bat these days. Very shy, quiet kid, but responsible and funny. He had a spleen injury last fall which sidelined him for football--a major bummer. I'd have happily hired him back, but Mr. D made up a rule about not hiring graduating seniors so this summer (drumroll)
we're hiring Ace (not his real name). Ace is a junior and a flat-out athlete. He's also very skinny, not quite the Mancake my girlfriends became accustomed to seeing shirtless working the pumpkin patch those first two summers. Sorry to disappoint you gals, but this kid looks more Warren P Cheswick and less Finn Hudson.

Sort of Ace.

Not remotely Ace.

Last night my karate friend L and I went to see the very talented and accomplished Beth Kephart speak. The Fox Cities Book Festival is under way and I'm glad I went. L won the drawing for a free book by Beth Kephart, who graciously signed it for her. The talk was about passion and writing, and while I didn't learn anything too earth-shattering, I enjoyed it very much. Beth Kephart is a literary writer, I'm not familiar with her work but now I will check it out. She presented several excerpts of her books in a seamless fashion, I admired that aspect of her talk very much. Tomorrow morning I'm bringing my mother-in-law to see Lesley Kagen and tomorrow night we'll go see Jane Hamilton.

Meanwhile, my coughing has subsided somewhat. Pneumonia. Bah.


  1. Let me know when Lefty is comin' around..I'll be right over

  2. I'll give you Curly to be your mancake. I think it would be a better deal for me than you....

    Hope you feel better. Drink a TON of water with the mucinex. It really helps.

  3. Perhaps Lefty could show up every once ina while? While giving me fair warning that he's in the 'hood?

    Or, even better... FINN.....he could sing to us while weeding the pumpkins.

    Either way, Finn or Lefty, having them roaming the front 40 would sure make me work harder to lose the pregnancy weight!!!!! And do my hair every day this summer.

    But I bet Ace will be awesome too...I look forward to spying on him from the back patio. :)

  4. That sounds like a very nice arrangement you have with your pool boy/manny.

  5. You are one lucky lady!
    Enjoy your book fest!

  6. What an awful time to have pneumonia! I hope you're feeling better soon. As for Ace, he may not be beefy, but he still sounds like a gem.

  7. And... we saw Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone does my Shirts) last weekend. She was awesome.

  8. What a great idea and you are right...everyone wins. Nice work!

  9. I wish I had a pool boy. And I don't even have a pool.

  10. Did you say cookies AND a pool boy???? You must live in paradise ;-)

    Hope you're feeling better.

  11. I need a pool boy but I guess first I need to get me a pool . . . ;)

  12. Well, one of my nicknames for the Saint is "Cabana Boy" due to his awesome hospitality skills. But he in NO WAY resembles Finn. Or Lefty. Or probably Ace. *sigh*

  13. Hey my dear -- I'm sorry the body has failed you. Know that this will change!! I am in complete envy of your testosterone help this summer. I'm sure your guys LOVE this. My threat remains: we're getting to those sixty acres sometime!

  14. Stu (bad mom's husband) is my pool boy. He volunteered. What?

    I'm totally respectin' on you right now. :-)

  15. A pool boy, wow! I'll settle for a pool right now. So will Lola who keeps telling me she is going swimming.

    Hope you're feeling better!


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