LA CROSSE, WIS — Public pools in the La Crosse area have been closed down for the summer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those closures have had devastating effects on families’ summer fun and – as we have just learned – even worse effects on your favorite ottoman.
“If you’ve ever seen Jurassic Park, you know that life finds a way,” La Crosse Parks and Recreation Director Regal Smiley said. “Well, in this case, that annoying kid that’s constantly doing cannonballs and butterfly kicks can no longer get a bunch of chlorine in what you’re drinking at the public pool… so they have migrated to your living rooms to annoy you there.”
Herald Gastronips, a long time La Crosse resident, said he first noticed a change in early July.
“I just sat down in my living room and cracked open a watermelon kiwi hard seltzer,” Gastronips said, “and then all of the sudden, this pudgy 11 year old I’ve never seen before comes in dragging a perfectly room-sized pool and then filled it with water.”
Gastronips goes on to describe how the kid proceeded to jump into the pool every 15 to 20 seconds, almost “purposely waiting until I was about to take a drink”, he said. As is common with this phenomenon, Gastronips said the child’s parent also appeared just within earshot, obliviously having a loud conversation about school closures.
“I did want to say something, he was getting my TV all wet and kind of ruining my carpet,” Garstronips added, wiping the chlorinated moisture from his glasses a 6th time. “But his mom seemed busy, I didn’t want to make a fuss and he’s just a kid, you know? Like… kids will be kids, I guess. Even if it is at the expense of the living room of a complete stranger.”
Experts believe once the pandemic subsides in the coming years, the cannonball kids will return to their natural habitat. For now, they recommend having at least a few freeze pops on hand at all times.
Reporter Sam Shilts contributed to this article.