What a cool sight! A dozen, shirtless teens on roller blades waiting outside Pop's front door.
"Hi, Pop," I smiled. "Muscle Teen at your service!"
"Oh, my God."
"Aren't you gonna invite us in?"
"In? Oh, yes. Uh... in... of course." Pop stood aside to allow us all to blade down the hall toward the back yard. Those who hadn't met the old guy, with his black towel wrapped around his waist, paused briefly to shake his hand. But it was obvious that Pop was totally blown away by a house full of hunks. Well, Freddie, Jo, and Frank hadn't quite measured up to the hunk stage yet, but they were getting there. Meantime, they were cute as all hell.
"OK," I announced after we'd assembled out back, "buried underneath all that crap over there is a pool. You got any special instructions, Pop?"
"You're the experts. You'll find shovels, a barrow, and whatever else in the garage. I think I'd better go shopping." He turned to leave, then paused to give us all one more look. "Oh, my God."
"What's the prob?"
"Nothing. Nothing at all. Anything in particular you'd like for lunch?"
"Burgers cool with everyone?" I asked as I checked with the guys, who all nodded. "Yep, hamburgers it is. Oh, and Dick brought his camcorder so you'll have a before-and-after record of the job... as well as a few other things."
"Yeah... y'know... things."
"I'd better go shopping. See you all later."
"K, guys, time to strip." I'd already told the guys about working naked at Pop's house, so it was like no biggie. Nick, Greg, and Jason took a bit of convincing, though. "Hey, you guys wanna be the only ones wearing shorts? Besides, this is gonna be dirty work, dudes, and you'll be showering under the hose a lot."
"What if the old guy gawks at us?"
"He won't be the only one," I cracked.
It was hot under the Florida sun, and the work was hard. There were fucking tons of dirt that had been used to fill the old pool, but, before we could begin to remove it, we had to dig out the weeds and other crap, which we piled into a dump bin that Pop had rented, and parked in the drive.
Dick, despite being the fittest and strongest of us all, spent a lotta the time filming the job... the lazy shit. But it was fun. None of us could resist mooning the camera, or waving our semis around each time Dick pointed the camcorder at us.
"Hey, you guys! This video is supposed to be documenting our professionalism!"
"So what are you gonna do? Give a copy to the TV station?"
"Woohoo!" little Benny cracked. "We'll be famous!"
"Yeah, right. In which jail?"
It was getting pretty close to midday when I showered under the hose, then went into the kitchen to see how Pop was doing.
"You're making your own burgers?"
"Only way to go," he said as he used both hands to blend the meat mixture in a large bowl. "Onions, herbs, garlic... Oh! Is everybody dressed like you are? I mean... undressed?"
"You mean you haven't peeked out the window? C'mon, Pop."
"I've been too busy."
"Yeah, right," I laughed. "Anyway, you need a hand with anything?"
"Thanks, but everything's under control. Well, almost everything."
"Hey, Pop, don't stress."
"You're right. I'm over-reacting. What's so unusual about a dozen naked teens in my yard? Anyway, tell the guys that lunch will be ready in about half an hour."
"You gonna serve it?"
"I thought... well... I thought you might."
"No way, Pop! I've got work to do! See you in half an hour."
At about 12:30, we'd all showered, and were sitting in a circle on the lawn, waiting for lunch.
"Shouldn't a couple of us be helping Pop?"
"Nope. Anyway, if we did, he'd disappear into his room, and lock the door. Dick? Don't forget to video Pop when he brings out the food. It's gonna be a fucking classic. Get close-ups of his face."
A few minutes later, Pop emerged from the back door, carrying a large platter stacked high with burgers, which he handed to me. "I hope you boys wanted the Ned Specials... beef, bacon, egg, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pineapple, ketchup... what's Dick doing?"
"Filming you. You're the star, Pop."
"Jeez! Anyway, don't touch anything yet. I'll bring out the fries. I made those myself, too. Beer or soda?"
"Soda... we don't drink on the job."
"Hmmm," he mused as he surveyed our efforts so far, "you're right. Many hands do make light work."
"Not so light, Pop, but we're getting there. Pretty soon, you're gonna have the best pool in town."
"And the best scenery."
The moment the fries and sodas were placed in the center of our circle, a million hands descended on the food like so many starving vultures.
"Hold it, guys! Pop? Can you work a camcorder?"
"I think so."
"Cool! You can be the cameraman. Actually, you wanna be the cameraman for the rest of the day?"
"Well, I'd like to but I..."
"OK, that's settled. Pop's gonna be the cameraman. You gonna join us for lunch, Pop?"
"Well, uh, I thought I'd..."
"Cool. You can sit here between me and Paul."
Poor Pop. He was filming us eating, but the guys couldn't resist pulling faces, and goofing off... pointing to their dicks, and puffing out their chests. Even Greg, Nick, and Jason were cracking up, and enjoying every moment of Pop's embarrassment.
Finally, he sat down with us, and began to eat his burger. "So what do you think of my Ned Special?"
"Wicked," everyone chorused. "Fucking awesome! Thanks, Pop."
"And what do you think of the guys," I asked.
"Very good workers."
Pop took a large bite of his burger to buy some time, but his reluctance to comment had only made the situation worse. A dozen pairs of eyes were drilling him as he chewed, waiting for his answer.
"You're doing this deliberately, Daniel."
"You know very well what."
"I just wanted to know what you thought of the guys."
"You're all different," he remarked as he surveyed the group. "But there's a commonality. You're all fine boys."
"Yes, teens... Sorry, that's what I meant. Mind you," he laughed, "it's not easy to concentrate on your faces. I mean... well... you know what I mean."
"I don't know what you mean," Freddie grinned.
"Yes, you do, Freddie. You're just teasing me. But that's OK. That's what teens are supposed to do."
"How come you're so cool?"
"Cool? Me? Blame Daniel."
"What the fuck have I done?" I asked.
"Don't be so damn modest, Daniel. Anyway, I'm sure everyone here already knows the answer. Greg?"
"Huh? What do I think of my bro? He's a little shit."
"Not so little, asshole."
"Now, now boys... uh, guys. No fighting."
"We're not fighting, Pop. Greg just doesn't wanna give me a fat head."
"He's right, Pop. I'd rather give him a fat lip."
"Hey, Pop?" Dick interjected. "Daniel says you write stories about teens like us. How come you don't write like murder mysteries or whatever?"
"Teens are far more mysterious than any murder. Most murders can be solved."
"Nothing mysterious about us, Pop."
"That depends on your point of view, Dick. You don't see yourselves the way I do. But one day you will."
"So how do you see us?"
"With great difficulty at the moment," he chuckled. "Youth is full of contradictions. Mind you, the entire human race is. But what intrigues me about youngsters like you is that you spend a lot of time and trouble dressing in the latest fashions and looking 'cool'. Then you can hardly wait to get naked."
"So we can look even cooler," I cracked. "Hey, you're blushing, Pop."
"I haven't stopped blushing since you arrived."
"It's a good thing you do," Jason commented. "If you didn't... well... y'know."
"I'd be a dirty old man?"
"Something like that."
"There are those who would say that I am."
"So what do you say to them?"
"Nothing. What would be the point? They've already made up their minds. Y'know, Jason, there's no shortage of people in the world who know better than you do, and who are more than willing to impose their opinions on you. As far as I'm concerned, you have three options. You can follow their so-called advice, you can argue with them in an attempt to justify your position, or you can ignore them."
"And you ignore them?"
"Saves a lotta energy. And I'd rather put my energy to better use."
"Like writing stories? Isn't that like you said before... imposing your opinions?"
"I don't knock on doors."
"So like how do people find you?"
"Seek and ye shall find."
"Are you religious?"
"So what do you believe in?"
"Me? Ha! You don't even know me! Anyway, you can't believe in me! That's crazy! That's like saying that I believe in Daniel, or Paul, or Dick."
"Anything wrong with that?"
"Of course there is! Are you saying that these guys created the world or something?"
"It wouldn't surprise me," he laughed. "No... what I'm saying is that we all need to believe in something, but, in my humble opinion, sometimes we fail to see what's right under our noses."
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Diary Pop's Pool Part 2