The man had just arrived home from work and noticed the pool. He was stunned as he stood there momentarily, trying to make sense of it. He had put everything he had into that pool.
He was furious when he stormed inside the house. He told his wife that it was done and over with. “No more neighborhood kids are allowed in the pool!” he shouted. His wife stood frozen, wondering what had happened.
After Jim and his wife Hannah bought their home in the neighborhood, they had one big dream when it came to improvements. They wanted a pool.
They saved a lot of money, and they eventually built a fantastic pool in their backyard. Little did they know that the pool would bring them a lot of problems in the future.
The couple had no kids of their own. They’ve tried in the past but had no luck. One thing was sure, though. They wanted to have children eventually.
Jim and Hannah loved kids, though. So when their neighbor came to them with this request regarding their pool, they didn’t hesitate. Although they would gain a completely new perspective on children after what transpired next.
A mother from the neighborhood came to ask the couple if the kids from the area could use their pool to play. She was really sweet, and the couple couldn’t say no, especially since they loved children.
Jim had one rule, though, and he was adamant that everyone followed it. His neighbors seemed nice, and the kids were well-educated, so he thought there would be no problems.
The mother from the neighborhood and the rest of the people whose kids were going to play in Jim’s pool gave their word that they were going to respect his one big rule.
The rule was to not bring dogs into his pool because the lining was fragile and could break, the man explained. It was pretty simple, but would they be able to follow it?
After only a few days, the mother came again, this time pleading to allow the kids to bring their dogs as well. She wanted Jim to make an exception.
She even brought one of the pups with her, hoping the cuteness of the pooch would change the man’s heart. It was her last resort. Would it work, though?
The man explained once again that the pool could get damaged. He didn’t have anything against dogs. But he just couldn’t risk his pool getting destroyed by the animals.
It was difficult to say no, and he knew there might be consequences. But he expected nothing more than a few dirty looks. He would get much more than that, though.
In the next few days, the kids followed the rules, and everything went well. They played as much as they wanted, and the summer was better because of Jim’s gesture of kindness of letting them play in the pool.
But kids are kids, and how long can they actually listen and follow the rules? That remained to be seen.
But the peace didn’t last long. Eventually, Jim was faced with a terrible scenario surrounding his backyard pool. He never expected this kind of behavior.
Jim thought the kids and their parents would follow his rule and no one would get hurt. He couldn’t be more wrong. Things needed to change, and they needed to change soon.
Enough was enough. It was time for Jim to make a decision. It wasn’t easy, but it had to be done, or otherwise, he could risk things getting worse. He needed to put a stop to it.
When Jim and his wife broke the news to his neighbors about what happened in his pool, they couldn’t believe it. And his decision on what to do about it shocked them.
The couple went away for a bit and let the kids come over and use the pool while they were gone. However, they came back to a not-so-fun surprise.
Jim noticed the water level was low and tried to refill it with no success. It was clear what happened. Someone broke the rule, so the man decided to close access to his pool. But not everyone took his decision lightly.
Jim saw a good size tear on the side and got it fixed. This was a very expensive job, and obviously, no one from the neighborhood helped in any way.
Jim repaired his pool, but to everyone’s anger, he was adamant about not letting anyone else use his pool, with or without a dog. They broke the rules, after all.
The kids came over the next day with a Labrador Retriever wanting to use the pool, and Jim told them that the pool was closed.
Fair, right? They had one rule, and they broke it, so they were no longer allowed pool privileges. However, apparently, the kids were pretty upset and went to the man’s wife about it. Would they manage to do anything about it, though?
Jim came home and saw a few of the neighbors arguing with his wife. He walked over, and everyone started talking about how he hurt their kid’s feelings by not allowing them to use the pool anymore.
The man explained what happened and why he had to close the pool. A few of them started laughing and demanded he reopens the pool.
After talking with a lawyer, the man realized that he was also liable if something happened to a kid in his pool. It was his property, after all.
Jim realized that he needed to make some drastic changes on his property if he didn’t want to get into trouble. But had he gone too far?
After his chat with the lawyer, Jim knew that he would have to take extra steps to ensure that he was never liable for what the neighborhood children did. He knew it was sad for them to be banned from his pool, but it was for everyone’s sake.
He decided to take things a step further and make a quick phone call. Just a day later, his shipment arrived.
From the neighbor’s perspective, they just saw a large truck with a flatbed arrive at Jim’s house with lumber. They had no idea what he had planned, but they would soon find out.
When Jim was finished with his creation, he was sure that they would only be aggravated further.
Jim was no stranger to a bit of hard work. He spent an entire day laying a foundation around his pool. He dug holes for posts and carried heavy wood from one end of his property to the other.
By night, he had several posts around the pool. He just needed to finish it in the morning. But what would his neighbors think?
A neighbor once again watched him as he continued his work. This time it only took four hours out of his day to finish up. They couldn’t believe the structure he had built in such a small amount of time.
He was clearly motivated to keep them out, but was this too much? They all thought so.
Jim had erected a 6-foot fence around his swimming pool. He was adamant that no one would ever go in his pool again for the sake of their safety and his sanity. But that wasn’t everything he would do.
Jim decided to make one more phone call. But this was the step that whipped the neighborhood into a frenzy.
One day later, another package arrived for Jim. This time it wasn’t any lumber or building supplies. His neighbors wiped their brows in relief. But they had no idea what was coming.
Jim would spend another day setting up his latest and greatest step to ensure that his pool was off limits.
Not only had Jim set up a tall fence to keep the neighbors out of his yard. He also set up cameras all facing his pool. Jim looked at his work while he opened a beer and smiled in satisfaction.
In his eyes, he had done the right thing. But to all of his neighbors, he was a monster.
Two days after he set up the cameras, complaints started flooding in from neighbors. One note read, “Dear neighbor, the community has noticed that you have put up both a fence and a set of cameras.”
The note further read, “We, your neighbors, are gravely concerned about our privacy. Your cameras look out further than just your pool and are invasive to our privacy.”
It seemed that, at least to Jim, everyone was against him. No one in his neighborhood supported his decision to build a fence or install cameras. Was he really the bad guy here?
Then he thought back to the damage to his pool. His blood started boiling again. He was sure he was in his own right.
Another week went by, and the harassment hadn’t stopped. Neighbors were sending him passive-aggressive emails and notes almost every day. Jim felt pressured to deactivate his cameras and call it a day.
But he had invested money into this, and it was for a good reason. “No,” he said to himself. He wouldn’t give in.
Jim had gotten used to the notes and the emails from old neighbors and protective parents. He had built up a tolerance for it and knew it was just a way of life from now on. But one day, he got an unexpected knock on his door.
If it was one of his neighbors, he would see red. But the people on the other side of the door would catch him by surprise.
It was the neighborhood kids. They looked at him with puppy-dog eyes. They begged him to let him use their pool one more time. It was summer, and they needed a place to splash. Jim really did care. He felt sorry for them.
But he knew he couldn’t relent, so he apologized and said no before shutting the door. But he had no idea that would only make things worse.
Just hours after the kids had left, Jim heard his phone ring. He was in the middle of making dinner and had to wash the raw meat off of his hands. After drying them, he picked up the phone.
But as soon as he did, he invited fury into his home. All he heard was screaming from the receiver.
Jim told the person on the other end of the phone to calm down. After a moment, he could make out what they were saying. It was the mother of one of the kids that knocked on his door earlier.
She was enraged. She told Jim that he’d never threaten her child again. Confused as ever, he asked what the kid had said to her.
The mother was convinced that he threatened her child. But in Jim’s mind, he had been nothing but apologetic earlier that day. Now he understood. The kids were spreading lies to try and get him in trouble.
From that moment on, Jim never relented. He would never feel sorry for the kids again and enjoyed his refreshing pool all summer while no one else got its benefits. In order to protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events or places or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.