It's amazing to me how when people are on vacation, they feel as though the normal rules of everyday living don't apply. For example, this morning I went outside to lay by the pool at Mallory's Gulf Shores condo where I am spending the weekend. I was miserably hot reading my book on the chair, so I surveyed the environment around me and decided that it was time for Plan B: stand in the pool while reading my book on the deck. I tried this yesterday with a magazine, but the pool's two other occupants, boys approximately 11 years of age, decided it would be a good idea to have a water fight about two inches behind my head. But today it looked safer - the only swimmers were all of adult age, lazily floating on the other side of the pool. So I got in the water and happily read of Julie's French cooking adventures in the novel Julie and Julia in blissful peace. For about ten minutes. That, my friends, was when Vacationing Family arrived.
For brevity's sake, we'll refer to them from here on out as the VFs. The happy young family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. VF, an indeterminate number of young-ish children, and some water guns. You know, the ones that are somehow made out of styrofoam Noodles but have a shooting range of several hundred yards. When I got my first splash, I quickly exited the pool and returned to my chair, and continued to read, lounging several feet from the water's edge. A safe zone - or so I thought. However, a couple minutes later, a HUGE splat of water from the VF childrens' noodle-guns landed on the pages of my paperback. Slightly annoyed, I shrugged it off and kept reading. A few minutes later, a similar splash hit Mrs. VF, who was lying on a chair in her swimsuit with no paper products in close proximity. She let out a bloodcurdling scream in the general direction of the children without raising her head to look their way. This process repeated itself several times - splash at my book, splash at Mom, loud screaming from Mom. Lather, rinse, repeat. While Mrs. VF was very clearly annoyed (although I can't see why, because she had to be burning up lying in the 110-degree-heat-index sun and since she wasn't reading anything, it seems like the splash would have been a welcome relief) she made no effort to reprimand her children or even suggest that they attempt to keep the violent water splashing more in the vicinity of, I don't know, inside the swimming pool and not on innocent dry bystanders.
I should also point out that during this whole event, Mr. and Mrs. VF are fighting with each other, in very shrill voices, about who knows what. Finally, when Mr. VF lit a cigar and proceeded to blow his smoke RIGHT into my face, I decided my pool hour was up and it was time to head inside. It never ceases to amaze me how little respect vacationers seem to have for the people around them. I'm sure, however, that my paperback appreciated my decision - it had taken quite a lot of abuse.
2 days ago