The Modiin municipal pool has opened for the summer. It is right down the block from us. So close that even I may choose to walk there instead of drive. Anyway, notices went out a few weeks ago saying that the swimming season was opening on May 11 and memberships were limited.
I went to the pool's website to check out the prices. Last year, it opened so late (August), that you could buy tickets, but not a membership. I figured this is a city pool, the people's pool, if you will, so the prices are probably going to be reasonable, right?
(To me, "municipal pool" makes me think of the movie "The Sandlot." Also, when I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of the movie, I googled "movie baseball dog forever" - and The Sandlot was the first thing that came up! I love Google! Bing! I mean I love Bing! But really Google.)
Anyway, instead of making the prices reasonable, the powers that be said to themselves, Hey! Let's go ahead and make them unreasonable. About double what some of the nearby pools are. However, this one is, as I mentioned, down the block, so they had me by my tznius bathing suit sleeves. What could I do? I went in last week to see if I could get a membership.
(See, the whole "memberships are limited" thing totally works on me. I envision lines and lines of people, snaking around the block, from six in the morning until late at night, grabbing up all the memberships till there are none left. And I was determined to get my very expensive pool membership, by golly.)
So I go in and the woman beckons me to a chair. I tell her I want a membership and I am here with my credit card. But I do not see dollar signs in her eyes. Instead, she looks at me suspiciously.
"So, how much do you know about the pool? Everyone comes in wanting memberships but no one seems to know any information about it," she scolds, as if I'm applying for a job at McDonald's and forgot to research how many burgers they've served so far.
Well, I thought, I know how much your freakin' membership costs. That number is burned into my eyelids.
"For example," she continues, "when does our season end?"
Oooh, I knew that one!
"October," I answer confidently.
"Yes, October 22." Whoo hoo! I got the first question right! I love doing well on quizzes.
"And how many tashlumim (installments) can you pay in?" Now, this was irrelevant to me, because other than our mortgage, we do not pay in installments. (This was one of our first pieces of aliyah advice. Whenever they ask you if you want to pay in tashlumim, say NO!)
"Well, I don't want tashlumim. I want to pay it all at once."
This confounded her.
"Hmmm. Well, the answer is 2. You can pay in 2 installments."
She continued on with the barrage of questions. I was starting to sweat and my collar was feeling a bit tight.
"From what age do you need to pay for a child?"
Now this could have stumped me. I didn't think about this beforehand because I knew that the (almost) 8 year old and the 5-but-when-am-I-five-and-a-half year old for sure "counted" and I was fairly certain the (almost) one year old did not. So it was irrelevant to me, BUT I happened to see a sign on the way in stating that kids needed to be paid for from 3 and up.
"Three," I answered smugly. I felt a little bit like I had cheated, like I wrote the answer on my hand or something, but hey, whatever it takes, right?
"Good," Test Lady smiled at me. "You have passed the test! Now we will allow you to fork over your money to us!"
So that is how I had to pass a test in order to apply for pool membership. A moment as Israeli as Telma Cornflakes.