The Clinton Era lured to Washington the glamorous of Hollywood to mingle with the power elite. The epitome of 1960's architecture, Watergate was the place to be seen. The lifeguard chair was the place to see celebrities. Standard issue red trunks and sunglasses, deep tan and whistle, my brother John made a handsome addition to the scene. How he looked when he arrived to work was another matter altogether.
Fashionably tattered jeans and white tee, old work boots that had seen better days. Much better days. They smelled horridly! For a lifeguard friend who had gotten his own shoes wet and needed a pair for an evening date, they served their purpose, almost. The friend returned them to my brother's locker and called him on the phone, "John, those shoes of yours! Man it got chilly, and I had to turn the heat on in the car. We nearly passed out from the fumes! I put them back in your locker. You can pick them up next weekend."
Arriving to work my brother noticed that his locker was gone. His stuff was gone. The entire locker room was gone! Addressing the Secretary of Scandals he inquired about his locker. Lowering her voice to avoid celebrity overhearers, she began her story.
"John, you will never believe what has happened this week. A celebrity made a complaint that there was a terrible odor coming from the locker room. You know the workmen have been remodeling the spa in the next room. They thought perhaps an animal had gotten into the connecting wall and died. They tore down the connecting wall. Still the smell. They tore down the rest of the locker room walls. No animal, but still the smell was getting worse by the day!"
"Someone figured out the smell might be coming from one of the lockers; so a lock smith was called in to open all of them. Sure enough, the source of the smell was a pair of old shoes. The Executive of Making Sure There Are No Scandals wrote a polite letter and attached it to the shoes."
My brother lowering his voice even lower responded, "Those are my work shoes! I need them for mowing the grass. I gotta have my shoes back. Where are they?" The Secretary responded, "JOHN! Go quickly to the underground garage behind the large dumpster. Look for a triple wrapped garbage bag. Do Not, I repeat, do not open that bag on these premises! You are never ever to breathe a word about this to anyone. The scandal it would cause!"
Last summer was my brothers last year of being a lifeguard in the Washington, DC area. This Watergate Scandal has remained a secret until the telling of this story. I love this story, I love my brother. He still has his very "polite" letter from the Executive written on Watergate letterhead!
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