Poolside carnival

by Josh Dugan

Some special booths and concession stands by the pool add fun to a country club swim day.

Added: 14 Nov 2020 953 words 722 views No votes yet

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“You just step in there and close the little gate,” Bai said. We were at his family’s country club by the pool where the carnival company hired by the club had set up little booths and games nearby for their annual festival.

There was the usual assortment of small roller coasters, Ferris wheels, cotton candy and corn dog stations, and other random carnival booths. But the area around the pool had its own booths that you could visit in your swim trunks between swims.

One of them was a dunk tank, perfect for the poolside area. You could either dunk someone by hitting the dunk release with a baseball or you could volunteer to be dunked, in which case two of you came up out of the water after you fell in. It was great seeing more and more new, dripping pairs of twins in swimsuits, laughing arm in arm after they helped each other out of the dunk tank.

Bai was showing our friend Justin the other booths by the pool.

We were all dripping wet after our swim , catching our breath after a couple hours of swimming in the large, beautiful pool. “You hang your swimsuit on that hook on the booth gate,” Bai said to Justin.

The gate of the phonebooth-sized booth was kind of like a Dutch door to the bottom half of the little cheap-looking structure, a little beat up from all its travels to street fairs and festivals year round. The booth had a cartoonish painting on the side, showing prancing centaurs, laughing and dancing on four bare feet instead of hooves.

“Now you step back,” Bai said. Justin looked down and stepped back over a low wooden divider inside the booth. The Dutch door didn’t go all the way to the ground, so you could see his feet lift up and place themselves on the ground again, back behind the divider. “Okay, now step forward over the divider, step back over it again and then step forward again.”

So Justin stepped forward, up against the Dutch door again, and stepped back again, as we watched his feet place themselves in front again and in back again. “So I step forward again,” Justin said, stepping forward. “I don’t see how this works.”

“I do,” I said. “See, your feet are still standing in back even though you are standing in front again.” You could see them, with their own little puddle forming since they were also dripping wet, behind Justin’s feet in front.

“And now we open the gate to let you out, but you have to put your swimsuit on first,” said Bai.

“I can’t get it to come all the way up,” Justin said, struggling to pull his suit up to his waist.

“That’s okay,” said Bai. “That’s as far as it can go,” he said, opening the gate. Out walked Justin, still pulling up on his suit, even though it was stuck between his front legs and new back legs.

“Cool!” he said. “I’ll just put my beach towel over my back legs.”

“It’s different from how they show it,” I said, pointing to the illustration of the side of the booth. “You’re not really a centaur.”

“No biggee,” Justin said. “I prefer my own legs anyway instead of barefoot horse legs.”

“I want to try out the stocks,” Bai said, leading us over to the antique-looking device used for public punishment in Puritan times. You sat on a bench after taking off your swimsuit, with your feet stretched forward in front of you, and they lowered a board down that caught your feet in the holes that let them hang out, so everyone could see you were being punished for something. Bai wrapped his beach towel around his waist as he sat there.

“That doesn’t look like enough punishment for you,” Justin laughed, as he walked his four feet over to check out the stocks. He had tied his beach towel around his hind legs to cover his hind butt and privates, his swimsuit on his front half, kind of stretched down in back where his front butt merged with his hind legs.

“Here, put these on,” I said, handing him one of my extra swimsuits from our tote bag with our sunscreen and lunch bags in it. “You can wear it on your hind legs.”

“Thanks,” he said. “I’ll put them on in the changing room.”

Bai was laughing while some of the other guys at the pool lowered two more boards down as he sat in the stocks. “Put your feet through the holes,” one of them said. As his feet poked through, they locked the stocks in place, his feet hanging out the six holes in front.

“That looks like more suitable punishment,” I laughed, as Bai enjoyed feeling his six feet sticking out of the stocks, hanging on his ankles as he moved the six of his feet randomly.

“I’m obviously a bad guy,” he smiled, as I handed him a couple more swimsuits. “No thanks,” he said, handing them back to me. “I’ll wear my beach towel until I pick up some six-legged speedos at the next booth.”

“I think I’ll get a four-legged pair,” said Justin, noting all the guys with two and three pairs of legs milling around the swimsuit booth, admiring each other’s multilegged speedos. “It’s a nice day for checking out legs,” he mused.

“I’ll say!” I agreed.

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