An invitation for an end-of-the-year pool party

I’m throwing a pool party because 2016 has been tough, and it’s almost over.

I’ve already got it covered: it’s almost always beach weather in Los Angeles, the place I’ve been living for the past couple of months, and I have a bunch of volleyballs and pool noodles crammed in my car. It might be winter in Syracuse, but it’s summer in my heart, and isn’t that what the holidays are all about?

I can think of a better place to get wet and wild than the Thornden Park pool in December. Besides, I didn’t buy these Tiki torches for nothing. I had to choose whether to pack them or the yard-long souvenir beer cup from Vegas, and I don’t want to regret my decision. Sure, there’s a foot of snow on the ground and temperatures are below freezing, but you know what they say: “You can’t get hypothermia as long as you eat Bagel Bites.”

It’s going to be great: we can take pictures in front of my American flag and I’ve hired a DJ who only plays 2008 T-Pain. The cost of admission is free, but with the code “frostbite” at the door, you get to pay us an extra $10. Talk about the “the Art of the Deal.”

Inevitably, at least three couples are going to break up, and some sophomore is going to slip and fall, so I’ve come up with some ground rules:

  1. There are no rules.
  2. I lied.
  3. No runningonthe poolside, unless you’re doing one of those dope cannonballs, or you’re rushing over to watch someone do said dope cannonball. I’m telling you, they’re life-changing.
  4. Nothing goes on social media; my mom doesn’t allow me to swim without floaties.
  5. Beer goggles do not count as underwater eyewear.
  6. Don’t bother me if I’m getting a temporary tattoo.
  7. If the police show up, it was Patty’s idea.

Other than that, everything’s fair game. Except “chicken fights:” no one is going on anyone’s shoulders unless it’s me. I will manage all bets and then rig it so I win. I’m just telling it like it is. This is my underground pool gambling ring, and I’ll manage it as I see fit.

Bathing suits and towels are available for rent at $3 an hour with a 200 percent interest rate. Any damaged goods will be burned and used to cook more Bagel Bites, as I expect my George Foreman grill will get stolen. I’m already on my third one this year.

Everyone is invited, unless you work for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. There will not be beer, but I will be making organic snow cones fresh from Mother Earth. All sales are final — I’m warning you now that the yellow ones are not lemon-lime flavored.

So if you feel like you’re drowning in finals preps, join me at 1 a.m. this Sunday night to celebrate the end of this belly-flop of a year. I cannot guarantee your safety nor health, but I can guarantee you’ll have never been so happy to be six feet deep in water. Just make sure you have a snorkel.

Ian McCourt is a senior television, radio and film major. His column appears weekly in pulp. You can follow him on twitter @OrderInMcCourt or reach him at


Top Stories