Monday, August 1, 2011

Lifeguards Reach Deal with Park Manager Just in Time to Save Child from Tumbling Over Waterfall

Piquant Picayune, August 1, 2011

Yesterday afternoon a seven-year-old child—on the verge of tumbling over Deep Valley Falls onto the rocks below—was pulled to safety in a dramatic last-second rescue by a joint effort of the lifeguards from the Grand River beach about two miles upstream.

The lifeguards had apparently been following the boy’s progress since they first saw him drift outside the beach's cordoned safe zone on his “floatie,” only to be caught up by the river’s current and pulled at an accelerating rate towards the waterfall.

When the boy’s parents first apprised the lifeguards of their son’s plight, the lifeguards reportedly said “Finally! This is our chance!” before proceeding to the park manager’s office to negotiate for new lifeguarding equipment.

While the frantic parents looked on, the lifeguards crowded into the manager’s office and insisted that they would not agree to rescue the child using existing equipment until a deal could be reached concerning the acquisition of new, state-of-the-art equipment.

“I asked them why they couldn’t rescue my child first and then bicker about equipment upgrades,” said Sally Smith, the mother of the seven-year-old. “They ignored me completely.”

“It was completely unconscionable that we be expected to simply go out there and save the life of this child without having a deal in place about improving the equipment we use to perform such rescues,” said Johnny Boner, a representative for the lifeguards. “If we just went off and saved this child without an agreement, do you really think the park manager would have taken our demands seriously later, let alone given us the sweet, sweet deal he finally agreed to?”

“I yelled at the manager,” said Jack Smith, the boy’s father. “I told him not to negotiate with a bunch of extortionists. ‘Tell them to do their job and then you’ll talk to them,’ I said. ‘My boy’s about to die.’ Something like that. But the manager just kept calmly telling me that nobody wanted my boy to die, and that if I wanted to see him alive again I should let him do his job. And then they all started looking through equipment catalogues.”

“It was clear to me,” said Barry Kobum, the park manager, “that they would not walk out of my office and rescue that kid until they had a deal. What else could I do? And clearly, we do need new equipment. My position has been that we should go with the more affordable Water Sentry line so that we could still have something left in the budget for park maintenance. But Boner would accept nothing less that the AquaRescue elite line. I had to give in.”

Confidential sources confirm that Johnny Boner’s father is the owner of AquaRescue, a lifeguard equipment supply company, and that all the purchases agreed to in the deal were through AquaRescue. When confronted with this fact, Boner nodded gravely and said, “Everyone is safer in the water if AquaRescue remains a vibrant and successful company. And their equipment is clearly the best.”

“Actually,” said Freddy Comstock, a specialist in water rescue equipment, “studies show that AquaRescue is not necessarily the best equipment out there. It all depends on the conditions. AquaRescue is designed for ocean rescues. For an environment like Grand River beach, there’s reason to believe that Water Sentry equipment may be more effective.”

But Boner was adamant. “AquaRescue is the best. Nothing else will do. And there is no way in hell I was going to go out there and save this kid from dying until I made sure that every person on that beach could rest assured in the future that the next time lifeguards bicker with the parks manager instead of saving someone’s life, the equipment that might save them were there anyone there to use it is the best equipment money can buy.”

Since no one could quite figure out what Boner was saying, everyone decided to praise him and his fellow lifeguards for snatching young Jimmy out of the water just before his floatie went over the falls.


  1. Or, for a sober exposition of the same idea, see this Washington Monthly article by Steve Benen.

  2. Well, I guess I should be glad you aren't calling us "terrorists". I think you are the only progressive out that that hasn't shit on the New Civility.