According to a new survey conducted jointly by the Water Quality & Health Council and the Ruin Summer Forever Brotherhood of Killjoys, one in five adults admits to peeing in public swimming pools. Gross, right? I managed to track down one of these unrepentant pool pee-ers and get him to answer for his crimes. Here's what happened.
So. You pee in pools.
How often do you pee in the pool? Every time you go swimming?
No. It's not like I make a point of it. If bathrooms are easily accessible and I'm sober and I'm just swimming around, I will get up and use the restroom. But if there's a whole thing with like a locker room with like 1000 naked dudes—not that I have a problem with naked dudes, I just don't want to be around 1000 naked people if I don't have to—and if there's like an angle situation...
You mean like corners? You're too lazy to go around corners?
Exactly. And hallways. Too much hassle. And if I've been drinking...I just think there's no point in me going all the way to the bathroom. It's a waste of everyone's time.
In what way?
Say, hypothetically, you and I are swimming together. I'm going to wager that you are having fun hanging out with me. So it's beneficial for you if I stay in the pool and keep hanging out with you, rather than you being lonely in the pool while I go put pee in different water than the pool water. It's all water! I mean, I wouldn't be surprised if the toilets just flowed straight into the pool anyway.
Really? You wouldn't be surprised if the toilets flowed straight into the pool?
I mean, first of all, the swimming pool is a pool of water. Water comes from places where fish live, and fish pee all the time. You're telling me that all swimming pool water comes from some magical source of pee-free water? All water already has pee in it!!! Duck pee, goose pee...
Are you a water scientist? How could you possibly know that "all water already has pee in it"?
Because! Because DUH. It does. Where would you find pee-free water?
What about bubbling out of a mountain spring?
There's bacteria pee in it, there's salamander pee in it, and anyway, it's basically just evaporated pee that has come back down to earth.
Well now I don't even know what pee is anymore. I mean, pee is mostly water anyway so how many drops of uric acid or whatever does it take before a container of water qualifies as urine?
Exactly. I feel like you're getting the point.
I just think that, like, we need to accept pee and poop as more a part of life.
You know, people pretend that they never poop. It's a thing that happens—it's everywhere, it's floating in the air. As we speak there vapors coming up from the ground and caressing our bodies.
Yeah! There's poop dust everywhere. You're eating poop right now. You know, I mean, some people would look at a pile of manure and think "Gross, a pile of manure." But I think it's time people started looking at the manure pile and saying, "Look at that beautiful flower growing out of it."
So what if I peed on you right now—would you be like, "Mmmm, the wonders of nature"?
That's not the same! That's like me saying, "Which would you rather do: Go swimming in a pool that I peed in, or have me pee on you in your living room?"
Neither!!! I don't want the pee on me!
No, you have to pick one.
Well, the pool one then.
So therefore you believe that people should want your stanky pee all over them when they're just trying to enjoy a nice summertime swim.
I'm saying, if they want it, that's their thing. But it's not hurting them.
It's not? What about this quote from a CDC spokeswoman that says it's urine and makeup that make swimmers' eyes red—not chlorine? "The pre-swim shower removes a lot of the sweat, cosmetics and urine that can mix with chlorine to create irritants in pool water. These irritants, not the chlorine itself, cause red eyes when we swim and the strong chemical smell of some pools."
That pool doctor is lying.
You're calling the CDC a liar? What's in it for them to lie?
Because that lady is probably grossed out! Eeeew, a bug! Eeeeew, a turd!
A bug is not urine!
Bugs pee all the time! I guarantee you there's at least one bug peeing on you right now. Basically, your fear of this is the same reason why you freak out when there's a spider in the room. There's enough space in the room for you and that spider, and there's enough space in that pool for you and my pee.
But what if the CDC lady isn't lying? What if there are health consequences to swimming in pool-pee? What about the fact that you're forcing innocent children to splash around in your urine? If you were presented with concrete evidence that swimming in a pee-pool is detrimental to other people, would you change your ways?
Swimming, as we currently do it, is a legitimately fun activity. No one has a problem with swimming. And pee in pools isn't a recent thing. Your mom swam in pee. Your grandma swam in pee. And they're fine.
My grandmas are both dead.
But, you know. Joan of Arc swam in pee. Alexander the Great. People have been swimming in pee since the invention of the pool. If scientists discovered that pee makes swimming a negative experience—to the point where people who don't even know that they're swimming in pee have a negative enough experience that they no longer enjoy swimming—and that is DIRECTLY related to my urine, then yes. I would change my ways. But for now, swimming is awesome and we don't need to improve it. What—swimming isn't good enough for you?
You are a maniac.
To insist that we need to improve swimming is an overextension of privilege.
Oh my god. Okay, but it's not just you peeing in the pool, it's also 20% of adults and probably 100% of children.
Uh, no, it's probably 80% of adults and 200% of children.
So at what point does the concentration of pee in the pool become too gross to swim in?
Never. At no point.
You want to just go swimming in a giant vat of stagnant urine?
No, I just don't think there's a realistic situation in which that would be a problem. There is a lot of water in a swimming pool. You'll never even know my pee is there.
Do you have some sort of a weird sexual thing about other people bathing in your pee?
No! I have a completely normal sexual thing about other people bathing in my pee.
Look. I get to pee in the pool and have a good time, other people get to swim in the pool and have a good time—it's a win/win. I'm facilitating a good time.
No! Because the pool would be the same whether you peed in it or not!
Haha!!! What'd you just say?
I pee in pools, and I stand behind it. Because it shoots out the front. Haha! Get it???
Oh Jesus Christ.