Tales from the City

A call for help in the modern age

An exchange overheard during a swim lesson.

Recently, I was at the pool at the Boston Sports Clubs’ Watertown location when I overheard this exchange between a swimming instructor and a boy of 5 or 6.

Instructor: “You’ve just learned the dead man’s float. What’s great about that?”

Boy: “I don’t know.”


Instructor: “Well, if you get in difficulties, you’re on your back and you can breathe easily. You can then just float to the side of the pool or call for help.”

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Boy: “What if I don’t have a cellphone?”

Geoffrey Sunshine


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