Happy In Bag

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Deep End

I saved a kid from drowning yesterday.

It happened at an Overland Park apartment complex. I was reading a newspaper at a table next to an indoor pool. A four or five-year-old girl was splashing in the pool’s shallow end. A teenager- I suspect she’s the mother, but she could be a sister, aunt, babysitter or neighbor- would occasionally check on the child and then leave, usually to sunbathe about twenty yards away at the outdoor pool pictured here.

The situation irked me. There were no lifeguards at the pool, and the child, obviously desperate for attention, was irritating everyone who happened by.

I looked up after I finished reading the newspaper. The child was waving to me from the deep end. Wait a second- that’s not waving, that’s drowning! After failing to get the attention of the two swimmers in the pool, I jumped in fully clothed. By that time the girl had sunk to the bottom of the deep end.

She weighed about forty pounds, so I got her to the surface without any trouble. I held her as she gasped, choked and spewed water. She couldn’t have been submerged for more than twenty seconds, but it would have been at least another thirty seconds before someone else spotted her in the pool’s cloudy water.

After she’d caught her breath, the child ran to the teenager, who continued to lie on her stomach as the child wailed hysterically. When I told the teen what had happened, she seemed more annoyed than concerned. She left with the child and returned to the pool a few minutes later, accompanied not with the girl but by a teenager I presume was her boyfriend and the likely father of the child.

I wish I could feel good about this incident. Instead, I’m just sad.

Attending the Shakespeare festival Sunday reminded me that I still have a lot of work to do if I'm to claim the title of Kansas City's biggest nerd. With that in mind, I've created Hit Random, my third blog. It will serve as an outlet for photographs that would otherwise forever languish on my computer. The first two Hit Random subjects are last week's Warped Tour stop and the Kansas City Kansas Street Blues Festival. Hit Random will be updated irregularly; I'll notify the Happy In Bag reader(s) when I post new material.


  • At 10:28 AM, Blogger FletcherDodge said…

    You are a hero! Great job. Unfortunately, it sounds like the young girl will need a lot more help if she is to survive to adulthood.

  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger Pensive Girl said…

    good for you. when i was a lifeguard, i was always amazed at parents or guardians lack of attention to their charges. that girl was lucky you were there.

  • At 1:40 PM, Blogger Dan said…

    Good work.

  • At 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's sickening to think what would have happened had you not been there. Yay you!

  • At 7:32 PM, Blogger bgo said…

    what a sad tale to tell but heroes quitely perform when the 'news' is not watching or listening. you good sir, have reached a state of grace that is eternal.


  • At 2:38 PM, Blogger Roldy said…

    It reminds me off an old joke:

    A man in Yorkshire knocks on the door and introduces himself to the young woman.
    "Hello. I'm the man who saved your boy from drowning in the canal yesterday" he pronounces.
    The woman gives him a stern look and says:

    "When he went out he had a cap on. Do you have it?"


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