One of the greatest tragedies of my youth was my parents’ unwillingness to purchase my sisters and I a pool. Recently, I was reminded of this when quoting a customer for some plastic sheeting. Not everyone realizes the profound capabilities of plastic sheeting, but I will share such a possibility with you today.
I grew up in a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere so summer days were usually spent finding ingenious ways for my sisters and I to entertain ourselves. You can only spend so many days chasing ground squirrels and playing catch before the restlessness sets in. It was on one such day that I hatched an ingenious plan. If mom and dad weren’t going to front the cash for a pool, we were going to make one. Using my ninja skills, I snuck past my napping mother and into the laundry room. I disassembled the laundry hamper and pilfered the PVC tubes that held it together. As I was doing this, my two younger sisters were rummaging through our dad’s workshop and discovered some plastic sheeting and carton sealing tape. Bingo! We were in business. We took our hijacked items and hightailed it to the back of the garage.
Being gifted contractors by nature we assumed the perfect spot for our project. Finding the flattest area next to the water spigot, we cleared the space and began our venture. Appointing my “bravest” sister and using a sledgehammer akin to that of Thor’s MjoInir, I drove four PVC pipes into what was supposed to be the four outer corners of the pool. Step one, relatively simple and complete. I was beaming with pride as my youngest sister shone with the relief of having all ten fingers still intact.
Step two involved the three of us winding the plastic sheeting around the poles to create the sides of the pool. After several trips around, we secured the sheeting with plenty of carton sealing tape, we couldn’t risk any leakage… At that point we all just kind of stared at our creation and I was sure we were all thinking the same thing, how were we going to get a bottom on this thing?!
In retrospect, we probably should have started with the bottom, but it’s not like we had drawn up detailed blueprints for this thing. The despair started to creep in and not wanting to disappoint I knew I had to figure this out. Starting on one side and moving along the bottom and up against the other side we stretched out strips of the sheeting. We secured each seam with the tape and created a fail-safe moisture barrier seal. With the last of the tape laid we stood back and gazed at our masterpiece. To the eyes of anyone else it probably looked like a disaster but to us, it was an absolute work of art.
We began to fill the makeshift masterpiece with the rusty orange water from the well. Having never had a pool we were unaware of the time involved with filling such a space and realized we may have been too ambitious when sizing our pool. After what seemed like ten years our beautiful basin had filled a whopping couple inches! This was just the inspiration needed to force ourselves to continue pressing forward. As unbelievable as it may seem at this point everything was holding up, that is until…. One of the sides burst open and in a matter of seconds the water that took an eternity to fill the pool rushed out onto the ground and washed over our helpless feet. The sting of failure filled the air.
The next few minutes were filled with gnashing of the teeth and weeping. Ok, maybe not to that extreme but the frustration was unbearable. The day seemed wasted, we were supposed to be swimming in glory right now. However, being the leader of the group I quickly came up with a solution. We disassembled our sad failure, salvaged the plastic sheeting and laid the pieces out onto the ground running the hose water over the surface. The rest of the afternoon was spent having the time of our lives on a homemade slip-n-slide. The day was saved and the casualties only included one laundry hamper, a patch of grass, and our next week which was spent grounded. Totally worth it.
So there you have it, the perils and profound possibilities of plastic sheeting. I’m not sure what our customer was intending his sheeting for, but maybe just maybe he was looking into making some stellar slip-n-slides. If you happen to come down here in search for some of your own, I may just give you some tips. If you’re just using it for floor protection or abatement, well that’s okay too.