Our "Hall of Shame" location is the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. We had to stay there once to collect on a shopping card offer that they sent us, so we decided that we would break our rule against staying on the strip with the kids. Of course one of the reasons that we have for our "no strip" rule is that the hotels on the main drag have very little to entertain the kids with, so we were spending a large chunk of time at the pool. My kids are all reasonably good swimmers, so as long as Lori and I are sitting pool side, we don't worry too much about anything going wrong.
If you're a parent, you know the hidden meaning behind each one of your child's screams. You know the "I'm in pain" scream, the "Help me I'm in trouble" scream, and the much more frequently heard "How could you do that to me? Don't you know who I am?" scream, otherwise known as the Diva scream. When my daughter got knocked off her mat by her brother, Lori and I heard the Diva scream.
Unfortunately, the lifeguard heard a different scream. When we heard the splash, Lori and I turned and saw our youngest daughter throwing a tantrum in the middle of the pool....and the fully clothed lifeguard swimming towards her. In hindsight I can kind of see where the lifeguard would assess this as an emergency situation. To the untrained ear the differences between the screams of "I can't catch my breath" and "Off with his head" are almost imperceptible. The lifeguard was merely doing what all his years of training had taught him to do, and making his way as quickly as possible towards a floundering child.
Which was probably a lot easier before the floundering child noticed a fully clothed person swimming towards her. My daughter, realizing that perhaps she had overdramatized the amount of injustice to which she had been subjected, stopped yelling at her brother, swam to the side of the pool, and climbed out, leaving the poor lifeguard standing in the middle of the pool, wringing out his shirt and wondering just which adults were going to claim responsibility for the child with the newfound Olympic swimming ability. I looked around quickly for an escape route, but my daughter was already upon us, still complaining at full volume about the indignities that she had suffered.