OK, This One’s for Ali

Quite a long time ago, say about 51 years ago, my sister decided to dig a swimming pool. She was about eight years old at the time. Having secured our father’s permission, she started digging a hole in the back yard with a short-handled square-pointed spade.
After she got the hole a couple of feet deep and maybe the same square, I got the bright idea of jumping in the hole to see how deep it was. I believe I was about four years old, to put it in perspective. Anyhow, I jumped down into the hole – while my sister was still digging. She stabbed my left foot with the shovel, completely unintentionally, leaving a scar running parallel to my toes right in between my third and forth toes, which remains visible to this day.
After I got bandaged up, sister spent the rest of the evening riding me around on her bicycle, she felt so bad about it, even though it was entirely my fault. That pretty much did it for the swimming pool.
I told you that one so I could tell you this one. Many years later…
When my son J was quite young, he decided he wanted a real swimming pool. He pestered me unmercifully about it. That being an expense that was totally beyond us, of course I wouldn’t (couldn’t) bend on this.
He was such a pest about it that finally, in a fit of aggravation, I told him that if he’d dig the hole, I’d buy the concrete – never believing for a moment that he would actually dig a big enough hole for a real swimming pool. After all, hadn’t my sister given up on the same thing after only a couple of hours of digging? I figured he’d never pull it off, and I’d never have to deliver.
The little wart got to work.
He even recruited the neighbor’s son, a la Tom Sawyer, getting him to come over to dig and telling him how much fun they were having.
I started to worry that I might actually have to pay for having a pool put in. Which was simply beyond my resources at the time.
When the hole was about 8′ square by a couple of feet deep, I had to break it to him – that even if he did finish the hole, I couldn’t afford to keep my end of the bargain. I learned a valuable lesson; To never make a promise I couldn’t keep, even if I never thought I’d have to deliver. ESPECIALLY if I was dealing with J.
The blasted hole is still there, being a problem when I mow. He had scattered the dirt so that there wasn’t enough to fill it back in. Anyhow; that’s the story of the swimming pool, and the broken contract.
Sorry, J.

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