There was a rule that you learned
very young and that if you were the first one to get into
the pool and that was not to jump into the swimming pool
without first checking all around the edge and the bottom
of the deep end to see if there were any water beetles lurking.
This particularly applied to the Lagunillas pool and the
Tia Juana pool. Now, these were not the water bugs that
one found from time-to-time in the pools. No sir, these
were flattish critters that were black with a hard shell
and about three inches long and two inches wide and who
had a pair of outsized pointed pincers on the head. They
were blood suckers and had paddled feet in back and if you
dived into the pool and floated on the top enjoying the
water they would stealthily swim up from the bottom and
before you knew what happened, yeeoooowww!! This was a particular
problem at night when all you had were the dim pool lights.
One eventually learned how to catch them and one night
I caught one in the Tia Juana pool. I used a coke cup with
a small hole in the bottom to relieve the water pressure
as I pinned the beast to the side of the pool. You had to
work fast and they were quick. Anyway, I took it home and
that year I was in the 7th grade in Tia Juana. My house
was just outside the gate entrance to the school. Now, Mike
Lanciault had a mutt that I thoroughly despised and it would
follow Randy and Mike Lanciault to school each day and the
teacher let the smelly dog lay in the class next to Randy
while it was in session. Randy sat in front of me. I had
the beetle in a cup in my pocket and while the teacher was
lecturing and the rest of the kids were focused on her I
pulled the cup from my pocket and grabbed the beetle from
the back and leaned over and stretched out my arm and let
the beetle latch onto the pink eye of the dog's butt. All
hell broke loose as the dog yelped and danced around the
classroom floor trying to reach back and dislodge the beast
that was creating the fire at its rear end.
There was no end to the pandemonium
that broke out in the class and the kids jumped up and down
laughing at the dog as Randy tried to grab it to dislodge
the beetle. The teacher lost total control of the class.
It was one of the best days of my life, no one knew who
did it and the dog never came back to the class.