Army Tales: I so do not do critters in my pool

(When Shaun was gone all summer retraining, I kept a private blog/journal of thoughts, thinking someday, I'd figure out what I wanted to do with it. I'm still not sure what I want to do with it, but some of the stories are too funny to not share, so I'll be posting them here sporadically. Most begin with excerpts from my letters/emails to him, followed by the whole story. It was a long 4 months. Trust me.)

Dear Babe,

It’s Thursday night and there is a crawdad in the pool.

That’s it! I am DONE with this whole freaking Army thing. You need to come home and get that scary-ass mini lobster out of my pool as soon as possible.

And while you’re at it, I need the carcass by the pool pump removed too, because I can’t go back there to look for the skimmer to remove the scary-ass mini lobster myself because of the small skeletal structure on the ground.

Love, Me

PS: See attachment.


Despite settling into our routine and feeling like I can do just about anything. (Smoke alarms? I've got this! Swim team and martial arts carpools? No problem!), there has to come a moment that throws me for a complete loop.

And tonight, that loop is in the form of a small scary, lobster-like creature, otherwise known as a crawdad. Boiling in a pot or crawling around a vat of ice at the grocery store is really no big deal. However, swimming in my pool? That's a big problem.

After careful examination from the patio around the pool, I decided that yes, this really is a crawdad. After last week's "Is it a snake or a palm leaf?" incident, I need to be sure that this really is a living creature, before inciting panic. Unfortunately, I am right. I am now the proud owner of a crawdad. And of course, Mr. Crawdad has to go swimming in the deep end of my diving pool.

My first thought is that I can get something to scoop him out with. Not that I know what I will do with him once he's out, but out of the pool is infinitely better than in the pool. I go off in search of our skimmer/pool brush combo. The device is not by the pool. It's also not on the patio and it's not in the garage. Then I realize, it must be in the fenced in area with the pool equipment, which brings me to problem #2.

The other day, while pulling a few weeds from around the pool equipment, I discovered a small, very deceased carcass of a former animal. I don't know what kind of animal it is, but it is now in the small, very deceased, and skeletal form. Oh crap. I can't go back there to look for the pool skimmer, I can't even walk in that area without freaking out. Now what am I supposed to do??? Oh wait, we do own a rake!

So, I lug the rake through the garage, through the gate and out to the pool. I lay on the patio close to the edge of the pool, roll up my sleeve and put the rake and my arm into the water. (Can crawdads swim? I really hope they can't.) I stretch, twist and contort my body, only to discover that the rake isn't quite long enough to reach the bottom of the deep end. The crawdad is still in the pool taunting me, but at least I didn't drop the rake in too.

I call the boy and the girl outside. I show them the crawdad and try not to emphasize how creepy I find it to be. I ask them which one of them would like to dive in and get it for me. No takers. I offer to take the diver to buy ice cream of their choice and let them eat the whole container if they want to, as long as they go get the crawdad. Again, no volunteers. I tell them to go get their bathing suits and they can both go in after it. At the point, they go back in the house and shut the door. Darn kids. What good are they if they won't fish icky things out of the pool?

Back to the drawing board. The neighbor behind us is home, but he doesn't have a pool, so I can't borrow a skimmer from him. I chat with him briefly, explain the whole situation from the crawdad to the missing skimmer to the carcass, and he offers to come fish it out for me if I can find the skimmer, but doesn't offer to remove the dead body from the pool pump area. It's still a dilemma, so I take the next most logical option and call Wayne-the-Pool-Guy.

Wayne-the-Pool-Guy is a former colleague of my husband's, so I at least know he won't think I'm completely crazy. Or, if he thinks so, at least he'll be kind enough not to say it. But, to complete my evening, I get his voicemail. I leave a long rambling message and mention scary crawdad in the pool and scary carcass by the pool pump and can he please send someone who will get both of these out of my yard and far far away from my house.

In the meantime, I head back in the house, making sure to lock the gates and doors behind me. I’ve decided that, if crawdads can somehow find their way into my swimming pool, they are equally capable of getting out, crawling across my yard and opening the door to the house. So to be safe, the door is safely bolted.


So, what became of the crawdad? Well, the next morning, I called Wayne-the-Pool-Guy’s office number. After laughing hysterically, the woman who answered the phone said she would have Wayne-the-Pool-Guy call me. He called a few minutes later and agreed to send someone out later that day. Upon arriving back home, the filter and vacuum were running in the pool and the crawdad was nowhere to be found. I’m assuming the vacuum ate him, because I am not OK with anything other possible explanation.