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We Won’t Be Pooling Our Efforts

, , , , | Friendly | September 17, 2021

We buy an unfinished project house. The bare bones are all there; it just needs a kitchen and decoration. In the back are the makings of an in-ground pool. Going through all the work to build a pool put many buyers off. We have no desire to have a pool — certainly not one that takes up the whole garden! We plan to make it safe and fill it in. It’s far less work and suits us fine.

The day after the moving vans leave, the neighbour’s kids are craning to see. One of them comes up to me.

Kid: “When’s the pool going to be finished?”

Me: “Huh?”

Kid: “The pool in the garden.”

Me: “Oh, sorry. I don’t know about that.”

Kid: “Oh.”

He wanders off. I think it’s a bit bold, but kids say what they’re thinking. Then, the neighbour comes over.

Neighbour: “Hi. I’m [Neighbour] from next door. Got yourself quite a project.”

Me: “Hi, good to meet you. I think we can get it done pretty quickly.”

Neighbour: “Oh, I’m a plumber. Might be able to help with the pool if you need it.”

Me: “Thanks, but I think we will fill it in. We’re not much for swimming.”

Neighbour: “What, all that work and you’re going to just fill it in?”

Me: “Yeah, pretty much.”

Neighbour: “We had an agreement with the last guy. He took all the supplies through our garden and the understanding was that the kids got use of the pool.”

Me: “He certainly didn’t mention anything like that to me, sorry.”

Neighbour: “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

Me: “Nothing? I’m not building your kids a pool. Tell you what. Any pool stuff laying around, you can use. Help yourself.”

Neighbour: “We don’t want a pool; we need the space for the kids.”

Me: “You and me both, buddy.”

The very next day, the low fence was boarded up to full height. Not the best first impression, but I still don’t understand what he expected.