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The Changing of the Lifeguard

"No splashing, please!"
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Lifeguards get little respect from half-drunken beach- dwellers, despite being trained in methods that could save their not-so-grateful lives. Mostly it is an image problem of hiding behind a bullhorn, ruining everyone's fun with curt reminders to not swim outside the buoys or play chicken. Because lifeguards need to stay fresh in a hot environment, they change shifts often. Other than a more scanty uniform, this is not so different a job than any other guard officer who is trained in emergency preparedness.

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington D.C. they have a ritual to replace the guard with the next one, which involves lots of precision, spit-shine, pomp, and circumstance. Guarding the Tomb is considered a very high honor for a U.S. Soldier, and the changing ritual is something to see. One cannot help but be slightly impressed.

Therefore, to increase their awe and respect amongst the hoi polloi, I propose that lifeguards adopt a precision military drill to hand over the whistle, bullhorn, rescue tubes, float tank, and backboard to the next guard on duty for their respective tower. It would be something for the kids to see, at least on Memorial Day where the military is nearly forgotten for a good weekend of camping and beach fun.

RayfordSteele, May 31 2010


       Oh I see, that kind of changing. Much less interesting.
rcarty, May 31 2010

       sp. hoi polloi
pertinax, Jun 01 2010

       I'm not gonna bone the idea, but this used to annoy me when I was a kid at the public pools. Every time there was a duty change, everybody had to get out of the pool so they could do a walk-around first. It was very much like what you suggest. You'd hear the whistles, everybody climbs out, in the silence the PA system blaring the Supervisor's radio stationl of choice, the lifeguards dismount from their perches with all their gear and they all walk clockwise to the next perch while scanning the depths for limp bodies and smartasses who can hold their breath for a few minutes. They then mount the next perch, a few safety announcements are read over the PA, the whistle resounds and everybody reenters the pool in an orderly fashion and resume trying to drown the other kids.
FlyingToaster, Jun 01 2010

       sp. fixed.
RayfordSteele, Jun 01 2010

       What [FT] said. Though if you gave them guns that would really hype things up!
daseva, Jun 01 2010

       //Lifeguards get little respect from half-drunken beach- dwellers//   

       Are you talking about hobos, who actually *dwell* at the beach? Or do you mean beach-goers? Because I'm pretty sure beach-hobos aren't going to care about the degree of formality involved in the changing of the lifeguard.
swimswim, Jun 01 2010

       I can't believe these things I read about the Hobo.
rcarty, Jun 01 2010

       //I can't believe these things I read about the Hobo// most vehemently posted, no doubt, by people not wearing shoes on the beach.
FlyingToaster, Jun 01 2010

       neh, sorry, lifeguards should not be soldiers. Now a more gymnastic, surfer dude kind of display might be fun.
dentworth, Jun 01 2010

       'Beach-dweller' meaning anyone who happens to be on the beach at the time.   

       I'd bet a beach-hobo would quickly become an expert at judging which lifeguard was best at the 12 points of bullhorn inspection and exchange.   

       I'm not looking for something that would interrupt anyone's fun with a drill to get everyone out of the pool, but rather bestow upon the guard some respect vis-a-vis some ritual showmanship, as well as ease their general boredom.
RayfordSteele, Jun 01 2010

       I hope the changing ritual involves the new batch of lifeguards running in slo-mo along the beach with the beach-goers gaping in awe at the heaving breasts and tanned torsos (large breasts and tanned torsos are a requirement aren't they? - male lifeguards are excused the requirement for large breasts, in fact man-boobs specifically debar a candidate). The beach-hobos will take no notice.
Tulaine, Jun 01 2010

       //Now a more gymnastic, surfer dude kind of display might be fun.//   

       //some respect vis-a-vis some ritual showmanship//   

       In Oz, there are rather well-staged competitions between different Surf Life-Saving Clubs in various relevant skills (swimming, handling small boats, etc.)   

       Half a dozen rowboat-loads of state-champion life-savers heading for the beach in line abreast, with state flags flying, make a fine sight.
pertinax, Jun 03 2010

       If they were sufficiently abreast, I know I'd salute.
RayfordSteele, Jun 04 2010


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