June 5, 2010

poolshark [Ed. note: His name is Mr. Shark, a.k.a., “Sharkey”, “The Sharkster”, and “Jaws”. We call him, simply, “The Pool Shark”. His official job title is “Aquatic Environmental Sensoring Device”, or “AESD”. Most people know him as a Pool Thermometer.

Ever since I added a running tag to my blog posts showing that day’s water temperature, I’ve yet to receive a single e-mail, comment, or query asking where this data comes from. And yet, I can only wonder, how can you, the reader, trust the data being presented? Don’t you, the reader, in the interests of full disclosure, deserve (in the words of President Obama) “full transparency”? Well, you’ll never get it from this White House, but you’ll get it here. You deserve, and should expect, nothing less. Hence, the following interview with Mr. Shark.

We discussed Mr. Shark’s vocation on a warm Thursday afternoon. The sun was bright, a warm breeze stirred the palm branches above us, and the water was a near-perfect 85 degrees. Ice cubes bobbed in my Pusser’s Painkiller (a #2). Mr. Shark bobbed in the pool. Here is the transcript, I hope you’ll enjoy]

TGWS: So Mr. Shark, how long have you been on duty here at The Great White Shank’s hacienda?

MS: Nearly seven years now.

TGWS: That’s a lot of bobbing around in the same swimming pool. Most novelties of your kind last no more than 3 years or so.

MS: That’s what you get for clean living.

TGWS: What’s the most fun part of your job? And the worst?

MS: The best part is bobbing around in the water. The worst part? Ahh, bobbing around in the water.

TGWS: Sounds pretty monotonous to me…

MS: What the hell else do I have to do? It’s not like I have the ability to like, join a Wednesday afternoon bridge club, or take a night off and go to the movies. After all, I don’t drive.

TGWS: But seriously, you must have a favorite time of year more than others?

MS: Not really. Now with all this attention, it’s all good, dude. To know that, at any time, someone thousands of miles away can know what The Great White Shank’s pool temperature is, is a great responsibility for me. It keeps me focused. Don’t matter what time of year it is, I have a job to do and I gotta do it well. Otherwise, I’ll get replaced with a frog or a turtle. Have you seen them in the stores? Ridiculous…

TGWS: It must be hard during the Arizona “winter” when no one’s around the pool….

MS: Christmas and New Year’s can get pretty lonely – after all, even though I’m here doing my job 24/7, it’s not as if anyone really cares what the temperature is. No one’s going swimming. Although, I must say, that New Year’s Day plunge you took two years ago in 55 degree water was pretty exciting…

TGWS: What’s the highest and lowest temperature you’ve ever seen?

MS: The high was 101 back in 2007, that was one hot summer, I’ll tell you. Like floating around in a bathtub of warm piss, like they say. Er, pardon the expression. The coldest was 46 degrees this past winter. That’ll make anyone’s boogie board shrivel up, I’ll tell you!

TGWS: Got any words of wisom for those aspiring pool thermometers…

MS (interrupting): Aquatic Environmental Sensoring Device.

TGWS: My apologies, Aquatic Environmental Sensoring Devices out there?

MS: Once you’re taken home from the pool supply store, just get in the water and do your job. Oh, and be cautious around slightly-low pool levels, that will get you a one-way ticket into the skimmer basket stuck immersed in choking debris. Yuck!

TGWS: Is that bad?

MS: Consider it a occupational hazard, that’s all.

TGWS: Well, Mr. Shark, it was a pleasure to talk with you today.

MS: Sure, dude, anytime.

Pool temp: 86 degrees

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:38 | Comments (0)
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