Welcome to Grim Yelp Reviews, a new regular feature where we share people's worst experiences at the worst places. This week: swimming pools, and the horrifying mysteries floating in them.

Spring is officially upon us, and you know what that means: Easter eggs, flowers blooming in the park, longer days, and the immediate, crushing return of your seasonal depression. Soon enough, though, it'll be pool season. Grab your flip-flops, watch out for that lone Band-Aid floating lazily past, and dear God, avoid that suspicious warm spot in the shallow end. Why do we do go swimming again?

Grim Yelp reviews of pools tend to fall into a few specific categories: complaints about the water, mainly the horrific organic compounds sloshing around in it, complaints about the staff, and Yelpers who realized far too late that pools involve having to hang out with other people, some of them partially nude and/or extremely intoxicated.

To protect the names of the innocent and not-so-innocent alike, we've redacted the names of the businesses, as well as the identities of the Yelpers who wrote the reviews. We realize you can probably find out all of that information by employing five seconds of Google magic.

The Staff:

This one's from a pool and after-care center. The best one, from the sound of it:

A pool is not like prison and the lifeguards are not like correctional officers:

The park employees and life guards are a nightmare.

- be prepared to be treated like an inmate in a prison bootcamp.

- be prepared to flash your underwear in public to prove you are wearing swimming trunks.

- be prepared for police barriers, bag searches and constant whistles of aggressive life guards (apparently it is not ok for my seven year old daughter to put her hands on my shoulders)

No, seriously, let's stop using that metaphor:

The Water:

In this next one, we either have two different people who decided to fling their used tampons into the pool, or one person who's double-fisting them. Which is worse? Seriously, I'm asking:

After being in the congregated pools, I wanted to put my bathing suit in the dryer/spinner, however it was out of order. So, we showered and got into the women's only hot tubs. Again, the water was cloudy, scummy and in one pool there was a band aid and in TWO other pools there were DIRTY BLOODY TAMPONS. I reported these conditions immediately to the staff in the women's area and they promptly closed down the pools- kudos on that. The issue of the tampons in the hot tubs is a matter of health and safety.

Somehow, "various chunks" is what got me:

There truly seems to be a dirty band-aid epidemic sweeping our nation's swimming establishments:

Do you have achy bunions, sores, blisters, or maybe an infected toe? Hop right in to the West Suburban YMCA pool with your nasty pus-stained bandaids on you gnarly toes, don't worry, you won't lose those valuable band-aids!! They might come off and drift down to the bottom to join all the other nasty mulch that's down there, but you'll be able to GET THEM BACK next time you swim, because NOBODY EVER cleans the pool! They'll be there a few weeks. I swim often enough to see the same Ariel the Mermaid bandaids time after time, drifting lazily around.

This is just a small excerpt from a truly epic review that begins with our Yelp heroine waiting in line for hours to enter the pool and ends, well, this way:

When I finally reached the holy grail that was the ramp leading down to the basement locker rooms, I was pretty much frisked by two park attendants and perhaps a cop. Like a quarterback getting on the field, I ran through a tunnel. The tunnel was creepy, dirty in the corners, and had that cheesy reek of old chlorine mixed with miscellaneous filth.. The lockers were similarly dank and dirty.

I finally reached the 200x100 foot pool and stopped dead in my tracks because I realized it was the only option, other than the somewhat elevated, obscured kiddie pool off in the distance which I knew would be even more stagnant than what I saw in front of me.

Everywhere, bodies brawled in the water, completely keyed up in their relief from the heat. Even from a distance, the water was visibly tainted. I almost chickened out. This is unlike me. I scolded myself and stalked over to a remote corner and stepped in.

Wearing goggles may have saved my eyes, but was a poor course of action for other reasons. As I breaststroked tentatively through the throngs of kids, I saw with great clarity the clots of phlegm, tangles of hair, dirt, and brown looking streaks moving through the uniformly brown-green water. I gagged, and of course took in a nice mouthful of the concoction.

Unable to stop the thoughts of fecal matter, excretions, and dead skin cells that were undeniably and visibly present in the water, I jumped out in about five minutes, throwing up a little in my mouth. I showered until my skin stopped itching, threw my dress over my head, then ran out the way I'd run in, not even bothering to towel off.

I'm not sure "maggot flies" are a thing, but I don't really want to find out:

Pool water drains had white maggot flies and it smelled like sh*t. Saunas were dirty, Jacuzzi had dirt stains on walls, pool was over chlorined, and apparently people diarrhea in the pool. God, I felt like I could easily catch an infection here.

Hell is other people:

From a pool party establishment someplace that rhymes with Schmas Shmegas:

You probably won't be able to get a lounge chair, because it's packed. There's no refuge from the sun unless you want to pay - not kidding - $2500 ("we can talk about $1000") - for a cabana. Most disturbing of all was the exacting search for drugs we all had to undergo. Why? Apparently this joint has some issues with GHB (aka the date rape drug), that's per one of the security guards. I never got to the point of ordering a drink because we decided to bail. Thank god we were on the guest list, because I'm sure I would have felt obligated to stay had I paid the absurd entrance fee.

I'm sure "the trash" doesn't want to swim with you either, sir:

This last one is from a gentleman who is understandably upset that his stuff was stolen. Nonetheless... more chill?

THIS FUCKING POOL IS A JOKE IT WAS SHUT DOWN FOR A FUCKING REASON AND YOU RE OPEN IT AND YOU HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE SAME SHIT AGAIN.

FUCK THIS POOL, SHUT IT DOWN ASAP. TO THOSE FUCKING IGNORANT LOWLIFE ASSHOLE FUCKING PRICKS DOUCHEBAGS YOU HAVE A ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL, GO PLAY IN TRAFFIC AND DIE.

TO THE PEOPLE WHO SAY THIS POOL IS GREAT, SHUT THE FUCK UP WAIT TILL YOUR SHIT GETS STOLEN FROM HERE, YOU WON'T THINK ITS FUCKING GREAT AFTER THAT.

Real grim. Until next time, maybe just grab a kiddy pool, some trashbags and a garden hose and DIY this sucker, you know?

Image by Jim Cooke, source photo via Shutterstock


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com

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