Day 342: Junior Lifeguard Duty

Junior Lifeguard Duty
Matt Zurbo


I’m on junior lifeguard duty.
(Kid in red swimming shorts and red and yellow lifeguard cap, no visor – an Australian tradition, whistle and zinc across nose – another Australian tradition.)

Oh, look. A Pteranodon.
(Huge Pteranodon about to land. Kid looking up, others fleeing from water.)

Hey, hey! No running!
(Change room door broken as Pteranodon, too big, come out of it in bathers, with goggles on its head. Everybody fleeing. Main kid pointing to sign.)

Oi! That’s not on!
(Mouth open, about to eat small kids in waders. Main kid telling it off/shouting. Its eyes are looking despairingly at main kid.)
This is what being a lifeguard’s all about.

The Pteranodon’s a hit!
(Three kids piggybacking on it, another two on its wings, as it wades in the pool shallow end. Two others are measuring its 30ft wingspan.)

Who wouldn’t want an ice-cream!?
(Pteranodon in queue with kids for the Mr Whippy ice-cream cone van.)

It’s actually from the lizard family, not a dinosaur.
And it doesn’t have real wings.
Just a really long finger, with skin and stuff stretched across.
(Pteranodon eating an ice-cream while kids poke and prod at it.)
Sweet as!

Hey! No bombs!
(Pteranodon doing a big bomb, splashing most of the water, and kids out of the pool. Kid blowing whistle.)

Ahhh, we’ll let you off. But there is a height limit!
(Pteranodon on the slide.)

Everybody loves its wings/not wings.
(Pteranodon sun-baking, wings curled to absorb more. Several kids lazing in the shade under its wings.)

Did you just pee in the water…!?
(Kid looking suspiciously at Pteranodon, who is looking guilty in yellow water. Other kids in water gagging and/or fleeing.)

No, no, Katie! Don’t invite it to Mr Bunny’s picnic!
(Girl on grass, shocked, as Pteranodon is sitting on her picnic basket. So bit it is crushing everything and has Mr Bunny’s ears hanging out of its mouth.)

Hey! Trouble!
(Small kid floundering in water.)

I don’t think this is in the junior lifeguard manual.
(Pteranodon, huge wings spread, almost pool’s entire length, over floundering kid, pulling it out of water by the bathers/bum, with its beak. Main kid is on its shoulders.)

Oh, no! Here comes Louie!
(Kid hiding behind Pteranodon as sour-looking bully enters in bathers. Slingshot in hand.)

Gah! Not again!
(Bully casually giving two wedgies at once, one to main kid. Another kid behind them has already been wedgied.)

Wait! Wait! You normally eat fish or dead animals. And this is not the answer to anything!
(Bully startled in the shadow of the open jaw of the Pteranodon, that is about to eat him. Main kid pulling at it, to stop it.)

See! Louie’s dad is a wrestler called The Perculator! (All the good names were taken.)
(Bully running, crying, to large, overweight, hairy man standing in shallows with floaties, and a wrestling mask on. Pteranodon in background looking a bit startled. Main kid looking at it, annoyed.)

No, getting your friend to help is the worst idea ever!
(Bully dad and Pteranodon facing off, nose to beak. Behind Pteranodon are the legs of a giant, and a giant’s hand holding a club – it is so big we can’t see it all.)

I told you!
(Pteranodon, giant’s legs, and z few kids on one side, glaring, nose-to-nose with a three wrestlers and their kids on the other.)

(Main kid, whistling so loud his face is red, hat leaping off.)

(Everyone in pool leaning forward, eyes wide, staring towards viewer. In the foreground, the main kid’s hand is placing the needle on a record.)

A junior lifeguard’s job is never done…
(Music coming over pool speakers, everybody smiling, dancing.)

What a summer!
(Double page spread of people and Pteranodon, dancing, swimming, diving, hanging out.)

Never, ever, EVER solve violence with violence!
(Kid wagging finger and very embarrassed Pteranodon.)

108kms per hour?
AND the best view ever!
(Handful of kids and wrestlers looking over the edge, as Pteranodon is flying, carrying the pool over a suburban street. Kid on its back. Water spilling everywhere. One pedestrian is casually holding up an umbrella. A dog is barking. Police are running after them.)
I know you can glide for days, but it’s almost dinnertime.

What, hungry again?
(Main kid, arms crossed, looking away impatiently as Pteranodon is lunging, beak open, about to consume a startled wrestler.)
Okay, but just ONE wrestler!

Well, that was interesting.
(Kid standing by pool, looking up at to the left, as we can just make out the feet of Pteranodon as it is flying away.)


The End.

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