sara and sami and the dump


One reason that I like coaching swimming is that it allows me to lie to children a lot. I am not trying to trick them, usually, as much as I am saying things that are obviously untrue or ridiculous to tease them. Intentionally deceiving small children isn't very hard, so it gets old after a while. Constant innocuous lying, however, is the child-teasing gift that keeps on giving, if by "giving" you mean "tormenting small children."

Often on the pool deck, I often offer my swimmers "rewards" as motivation for their good efforts. "If everyone kicks their fastest on this last lap," I'll announce to the 6 & Unders, "You all get to help wash Coach Sean's car!" Sometimes I will promise to let kids do yardwork if they swim fast, or help put away the equipment. Kids are usually motivated enough by arbitrary rewards like points, or competitions between lanes, so I don't believe in bribing them with anything good.

Sara and Sami were little girls that my sister Kelly used to babysit. Sara was one of the stars of the 6 & Unders in 1999, my last year of coaching their team, and Sami was her soon-to-be-three year-old sister. (Now Sami has grown up to be an aquatic superstar herself) For that whole year, Kelly and I promised a trip to the dump as a reward for anything Sara and Sami did. If Sami held her breath successfully during swim lessons with Kelly, trip to the dump. If Sara's free relay finished in first, trip to the dump. I'd talk at length about how much wonderful garbage there was at the dump, how great the air would smell, and how much fun it would be to visit. Sara was firmly convinced she was never going to the dump, but Sami would occasionally seem enthusiastic about the mounds of garbage, at least until Sara got frustrated and yelled, "We don't want to go to the dump, Sami!"

After I left the team, I didn't see the kids until the following summer, when my new team, the Beavers, visited the old pool. I was swarmed by kids when I first arrived, including the still-pint-sized Sami and Sara, who was three inches taller than she'd been the previous summer, and lacked front teeth. I said hello to them, picked Sami up, and had not even began my next sentence before Sara yelled, "Hey! Don't start in with that dump business again!"

So I didn't. But half an hour later, Kelly told a girl named Jenny that she had a pet moose living in our backyard, and I didn't deny it.


I love your stories. They make me smile. Thanks.

Wow, Sean. You clearly weren't raised Catholic. If I tried that business, I would be riddled with guilt for all of eternity. Even white lies kill me. Isn't that ridiculous!?! Unless, of course, I'm playing a practical joke on someone, and I know they are gonna learn the truth within a given amount of time.... then I'm ALL ABOUT THE LIES. Just ask Erica... this one time in college I told her that I was questioning my sexuality and had a date with a mutual, male friend of ours. I had her giving me advice for a week about dating guys...pearls of wisdom such as "wear a skirt on your date... guys love that she because it makes them think they are closer to pussy." LOL, she even "noticed" that I started wearing make-up for this guy (pure coincidence) and thought I was a smitten kitten.

Then somebody bew the joke.... decided to be evil and call her t tell her I was full of lies..... She was so pissed that she didn't talk to me for a week.

...good ol' college

I am going to devote another entry, perhaps another entire page to college lying. I was raised Catholic, but I am a no-account, no-good liar through and through.

Did Erica mean that guys were closer to pussy geographically, or was she speaking of pussy in the more general sense of the word, the proverbial "pussy" that all of us are striving for, day in and day out, as Americans?

Um, I think you'll have to ask Erica about that one.

PS- after a few hours of reflection, I'm realizing that I probably shouldn't have told that "closer to pussy" part of the story. I may have unwittingly provoked yet another week of the cold shoulder! OOPS. I guess now my only option is public groveling for forgiveness.

Erica, if you happen to read Zembla this week, please don't hate me for telling stories about our college years. If you think about getting mad at me, just remember that I think you are so gentle and so kind. Luv, Jolie

i meant "proverbial pussy" in the sense that jolie is a "proverbial bitch" for telling that story. lesbian liar!!

Now, lying to kids is the greatest leisure activity I can partake in. When my six-year-old brother is misbehaving or if we want to discipline him, my mother and I start talking about how we need to put him out in the doghouse in the backyard. Of course, we don't have any pets, much less a doghouse. I don't think he even has a concept of a dog house. Just that he doesn't want to be there. Or another great lie I tell young misbehaving kids is that I'm gonna throw them away in the trash. I've gone so far as to march my cousin and brother out to the trash can and ask them if that's where they wanna go. So you can imagine my hysteria while reading about a trip to the dump as a reward.

Another thing I'll often do, usually when assigning a challenging set, is to stop midway through my instructions and pretend to change my mind. "Maybe I'll save this set for the 7-8's", I tell the 6 & Unders. "Butterfly is kind of tough when you're little. Why don't we do something easier?" Eventually, they plead to be given the difficult set, and I reluctantly give in. Those kids are suckers!

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Keane published on February 3, 2003 1:32 PM.

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