Playing with the dingy plaster pirate skull in Tammy’s office was Simon, his mind filled with thoughts of the past surrounding him, Tammy, and Billy. He remembered when they were new lifeguards on the same team, watching out for young children at the local parks and recs pool. Then he was saddened at their present, all playing on opposite sides.
“Simon, I wasn’t expecting to see you here,” said Tammy walking into her office.
“Hello, Tammy. It’s nice to see you too,” Simon responded.
“Look, Simon, if you’re here to rehash the past then I’m sorry. I wanted to tell you but…”
Simon cut her off, “No Tammy, that’s not why I’m here.”
Tammy perked up then asked, “It’s not?”
“I want in.”
“In? Well, okay, do you have a resume?”
“I want in on the competition you and Billy are having.”
Tammy laughed and said, “This is a waterpark competition, Simon.”
“I thought it was a lifeguard competition? And you know the Parks and Recs has great Lifeguards that are very worthy of this competition. You should know.”
“Okay, okay, I hear what you’re saying. But we have to ask Billy.”
“So? Get him on the phone, I’ll ask him myself.”
Tammy was quick to dial Billy’s number, getting him on the speaker, and he seemed a little perplexed at the little reunion. But after contemplating the idea of having a third lifeguard team enter their little relay competition, he gave it a thumbs up. After all, they needed a little boost to their competitive spirit. So why not?
After the phone call, Simon left Tammy’s office with a renewed sense of purpose, something exciting for his small-time lifeguard team, and a perfect public relations campaign for his social media channels. However, Tammy was not entirely enthused with mountains of old lifeguard memories clouding all around her, struggling with her own identity and opposite-sex work relationships. Simon was the unfortunate fool that helped her realize she was gay and preferred to be with a woman. She knew he hated her after that, which made their work environment very unpleasant, no matter how many smiling kids and happy laughs surrounded them. She almost hated being a lifeguard. But then a young Billy was hired, and she took him under her wing like a little brother, teaching him the lifeguard ropes at the pool. She was proud to watch him grow up and be the mascot for Pirate’s Plunge, eventually running the waterpark. Then life happened, pinning Billy against Tammy, with Simon now caught up in the middle. It was a fantastic turn of events that will hopefully find some resolve coming this fourth of July.
It was a tense situation at Pirate’s Plunge, now with three opposing teams trumping through training around one waterpark, but it was necessary. Blackbeard Billy did not want to have any tricks during the contest since he was against cheating of any kind. All teams from Watermania, Pirate’s Plunge, and Parks 'n' Recs were able to familiarize themselves with the contest relay course by going through water slides, down water chutes, swimming around the lazy river, and then body surfing in the mini wave pool. Unfortunately, nobody planned on Chad now leading the Pirate’s Plunge Lifeguard relay team. Pirate’s Plunge clearly had the winning ball in their court, making Jack nervous and doubtful. “Reporting this to Tammy is not going to be easy,” thought Camilla.
While Jack was getting familiar with the course with his teammates, Junior stood by, thinking about the pirate prison he knew all too well, suckered by that mermaid harpee.
“Heeeeey there, th’ailor boy. Are you ready to plunge my pirate ship?” asked a familiar masculine voice from Barbie.
“Back off, banshee, this one is mine,” said an Asian mermaid.
“You better watch it, little miss awkward Ariel. I just might scratch your eyeballs out,” Barbie said as she hissed and walked away.
“Uh, thanks?” said Junior, unsure what to make of this new situation.
“Sorry about the last time you were here. No hard feelings?” said Ariel smiling with sad puppy eyes.
“I guess you had a job to do,” replied Junior.
“Can we start over? My name is Ariel, by the way.”
“Actually, I think you still owe me a kiss.”
Ariel looked Jack up and down and got real close, cupping his entire man package with one hand, “You know about Asian women, right?”
Junior was taken by surprise and just stood there, fear of getting his penis ripped from off his body.
“Once you go Asian, there’s no stopping the invasion.”
Instant boner. Junior was helpless against Ariel, who could feel Junior’s penis growing inside her hand. She smiled and let go, “You better be here for the contest next week.”
“Yes, ma’am,” said Junior in a squeaky voice. Then he breathed a sigh of relief when she left. What did she mean? Was he going to get lucky next week at the contest? And what type of invasion was she exactly talking about? He was too much of a virgin for this shit, for sure. But he loved a woman taking charge, even though she was from the enemy water park. Junior quickly glanced around to see if anyone was watching and then decided to keep this second-chance encounter to himself. He went over to the snack pavilion and decided to treat himself with some ice cream, sitting down at the tables next to other people. He could overhear a group of girls in the middle of a conversation, “I can’t believe we got Billy’s nephew on the team now! We are totally going to spank Watermania.”
“Yea, like, Chad is shit-hot. Have you seen him on Instagram?”
“Those waterpukes in Omaha had no idea who he was.”
“I just love those videos he made on Tik Tok.”
“Yea, right? Who wants to get caught with a wedgie, especially on Tik Tok?”
Junior got a real bad feeling in the pit of his stomach and couldn’t wait to leave to go back home.
Back at Watermania, Tammy, Camilla, Junior, and the rest of the relay team huddled around a Pirate’s Plunge map. They were going over the course details with Tammy when Camilla told her the bad news about Chad and whom he was related to, “Sorry, Tammy.”
“Well, anybody got any ideas of how we can win this thing?”
“We got Jack, Tammy, I believe in him,” said Camilla reassuring.
Tammy cracked a fake smile, “We got one more week till showtime, kids. I know you will all give it your best. You can all go home now and get some rest.”
“Um, Tammy, can I talk to you?” asked Jack.
“Sure, kid. What’s up?”
“It’s about that bonus, do you mind? We got rent due.”
“I did promise you, didn’t I?” Tammy dug in her pocket but stopped to say, “You boys are doing really good, and I am very proud of you and Junior. I just hope the both of you are happy here?”
“Happy?” asked Jack.
“Yea, y’know, that you two like being here and that you want to be here? Because when I was your age, it took me a while before I felt really good about doing any kind of job, especially as a lifeguard. But then I realized it wasn’t so much about the actual job; it was more about my mindset and attitude about working. Changed my attitude, changed my viewpoint. Then I started loving it.”
“What was it that you loved the most about your work?” asked Jack.
“The kids, that they needed me to help them survive,” said Tammy.
Jack contemplated Tammy’s wisdom for a moment when she said with a twinkle in her eye, “Win that race, Jack, and you’ll get an even bigger bonus!”
Stay tuned for the final chapter coming next Friday, June 30th!