Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Frisky had been acting up.

I know that Frisky is around because on a Saturday morning when I’m catching those special Z’s he beats on the window with a quick tattoo, just a rapid rat-tat-tat to let me know he’s on the job, after which he submerges to get on with whatever he does.

Frisky is our automatic pool cleaner. He lives at the bottom of our human pond attached by a line to some nozzle or whatever that powers his innards which enables him to suck up all the gunk that blows into the pool and sinks to the bottom. He’s got a gazinta and a gazouta. The gazinta is the hose attached to the magic nozzle on the pool wall that pumps high-pressure water into Frisky’s gullet and the gazouta is, well, where the water comes out. It also serves as his sweeper tail which, occasionally, comes out of the water and sprays the bedroom window with a rat-tat-tat.

We call him “Frisky” because of his habit of climbing up the wall of the pool and whipping his tail into the air, spraying a jet of water in all directions. He’s powered by water from that nozzle-thing that gives him his friskiness.

Frisky, he’s the man.

Frisky, you’re the man.

“Frisky, who’s that you used to play fer?”

“Frisky Thomas. I was the drone, I was the cone, I was the Frisk-master. Whatever they play in Texas, I could play it.”

“Frisky Thomas! He’s the man! Frisky, you’re the man!”

Of course, all you Kill Bill 2 devotees know that Frisky Thomas got aerated soon after that dialog. Shot full of holes. Sunk to the bottom.

Thus it was that Pool Dude looked down on the immobile Frisky at the bottom of the pool and mused, “Hmmm.”

“What, 'hmmm'?”, I asked.

“The blue dude is, like, he’s not movin’, man.”

“Yeah, I kinda, like, noticed that, like,” I offered hopefully, trying to slip into the parlance.

“Bummer, dude.”

“Like bummer for the blue dude, dude, or bummer for the paying-guy-dude, dude?” I asked, hoping to break through the fog.

Pool Dude took a long time to answer. Clouds moved across the sky. Birds were born, died, and were born again. I heard Enya in the distance.

Finally, Pool Dude answered: “Well, all things considered, I’d say…both. Only you’re not at the bottom of the pool not moving, dude, so that’s probably a plus in your ledger.”

Great, I thought, a CPA for a pool guy. But, hey, I got a plus. I’ll go with that.

“So, Pool Dude, old buddy, what are we going to do about this sad situation with Frisky lying on the bottom of the pool and all, unmoving?”

“Uh, like we can haul on his hose, pull him out of the pool, take him to the shop and have Tech Dude work on him?”

“Is that a question or a plan of action?”


We hauled Frisky out of the pool, disconnected his hoses, carried him around the side of the house and dumped him into the Pool Dude’s Toyota pick-up.

“I thought you’d at least have a Ford 150, you sorry sack of algae slime,” I muttered.

“Wazzat?”, asked Pool Dude as Frisky clanked into the bed of the truck.

“I said he’s on-board,” pausing, “just in time.”

Pool Dude got in the “truck”, started the pitiful motor and chugged off into the dusk.

I went back inside, refilled my wine glass and headed out back.

It was quiet out back without Frisky thrashing around in the pool. I looked into the water and already stuff was starting to blow in, sink to the bottom and our pool was rapidly turning into a pond. Until now I hadn’t appreciated how much work Frisky did. Attached to his water jet hose he navigated around the bottom of the pool sweeping up bits and pieces, whisking the rest to the drain and offering us entertainment as he surfaced, spraying us with water from his tail jet. The water coursed through his body from head to tail, with the outflow whipping his tail around the bottom of the pool lifting the pieces to be sucked up later. A very efficient system, I mused.

Without Frisky I was going to have to do some work to keep the pool clean. I took a pull on my wine and grimaced at the thought.

Already, the pool was starting to fill up with gunk.

Too bad I don’t have a “Frisky 2”, I could clean up this mess. On the pool deck were Frisky’s connecting hose and tail. All I need is the middle bit. Too bad I ain't got no middle bit.

Yep, too bad. No Middle Bit.

At that same moment in time, Sandy Boy the Cat came sauntering around the corner and rubbed around my ankles. “What do you want,” I thought?

I looked at the hoses and back at Sandy. He was about the same size as Frisky. I considered the plumbing. Hmmmm, I wondered. I wonder…

Later that evening someone asked, “My the pool looks nice! Did the pool people ever show up? Oh, good. We’ll have to give them a tip! The pool looks very clean. All the gunk’s gone. By the way, have you seen Sandy?”

I got up to refill my wine glass.


Zoe the Cat said...

Daddy, that's auful. Poor Sandy.

Anonymous said...

Know what else "Frisky"s are good for? Entertaining the hell out of stupid dogs that don't know any better. You know, the ones that think it's coming up the side to spray THEM so they ready themselves to pounce and yap incessantly and then chase the spray?

Yeah, that, too.

Michelle said...

Heehee. I knew those kitties were good for something.