17 April 2013

The Floater

A floater has been found in the swimming pool of my apartment complex. I went down there this morning for a swim and found the entire building management team poolside in deep consultation. Two of the security guards were erecting bollards and ropes around the pool perimeter.

I approached the scene with a towel slung over my shoulder and the building manager Mr. Tan broke away from the rest of the Management team and rushed towards me waving his hands.

"You can not be swimming here today Mr. Peter" he declared.
"A terrible thing has happened"

I am on familiar terms with Mr. Tan following the Mandarin fruits episode over the Chinese New Year period. Although we were first introduced in what I considered a somewhat hostile and an unfortunate circumstance, our relationship is now cordial.

"What's up uncle?" I enquired.

My curiosity was piqued at such a frenzy of activity so early in the morning and I had rarely before seen the security guards do anything other than sleep in their little hut at the entrance to my apartment building.

Mr. Tan's anxiety and concern was obvious. He was alternately wiping his sweaty brow and wringing his hands.

"Someone has done a doo doo in the pool", he retorted.

"A doo doo Mr. Tan?" I asked.

"A number twos sir" he responded.

"A poo?" I said.

"Someone has shat in the pool?"

"Yes sir Mr. Peter" Mr. Tan moaned.

"It has happened again"

"Again?" I enquired.

I was genuinely surprised. I had not before heard of a previous shitting-in-the-pool episode and I am a fairly regular swimmer there.

"Yes sir Mr. Peter" Mr. Tan repeated.

"That's a bit gross" I commented.

"And we have a serial offender on our hands. What is being done about it? I enquired.

"The police have been notified sir" he retorted.

"They are on their way"

"The police have been called?" I asked.

"Then this is a serious matter Mr. Tan?"

"It is a very serious matter Mr. Peter" 

I noticed that two of Mr. Tan's management team had now moved to the far side of the pool and they were both taking photographs of the poo with their mobile phones.

"The poo is still in the water?" I enquired of Mr. Tan.

I was moving now around the perimeter of the pool. Mr. Tan was following beside me muttering, "It is terrible. It is terrible"

As I stepped over the now roped-off area one of the Security guards took a step towards me and opened his mouth. He looked as if he was about to say something to me but a withering glance from Mr. Tan stopped him in his tracks. I walked over to where the other two assistant building managers were still clicking away with their mobile phones and noted that there was indeed a floater in the water. It was a rather large one in fact. It was bobbing up and down against the side of the pool. It was being moved by the filtration system.

"That's a big piece of shit" I commented to Mr. Tan.

"I would think that your culprit is a fully grown adult rather than a child"

Mr. Tan and his management team nodded their heads in grave affirmation and the two security guards seemed to be smirking.

"I would think that whoever did this is likely a meat eater too" I suggested.

I received more grim nods of agreement.

I didn't think that I could add very much more to the conversation but thought that I would wait around for the police to arrive. I had never before witnessed a police investigation into an act of public defecation and I had nothing better to do at the time. So I retreated to a poolside deck chair and sat under the shade of an umbrella.

I smoked a cigarette.

After only ten minutes or so a Singapore police car pulled into the driveway and four policemen alighted. This obviously was a very serious matter. Mr. Tan rushed to greet them and they assembled at the far side of the pool where the poo was still bobbing away. I nodded a polite hello to the policemen as they passed me on the pool deck and each of them nodded back. I decided to observe proceedings from the cool of the shade rather then join their conversation as there were already seven bodies gathered around the floating poo.

I witnessed a few minutes of anxious explanation from Mr. Tan but the conversation was in Hokkien so I could not understand a single word. Two of the policemen took out their mobile phones and also took pictures of the floater. One of them seemed to be taking notes. At one point Mr. Tan turned and pointed and me and said something in Chinese and they all stared in my direction. This alarmed me a little. Was it possible that I was being considered as a suspect?

I certainly hoped not.

The policemen soon left and I waved Mr. Tan over to where I was sitting. He and one his assistant building managers walked over with their heads bowed.

"So what's happening Mr. Tan" I enquired.

"I thought that the police would have taken the poo away for DNA sampling?"

"They will not touch it" he responded.

"I don't really blame them" I replied.

"So how will the investigation be completed?"

"We will review the security camera footage Mr. Peter" said Mr. Tan.

"We will see if we can identify the offender and give their name to the police"

"Fair enough Mr. Tan" I retorted.

"Do you know what the punishment is for shitting in a private pool?" I asked.

"I do not sir"

"I should think it would be at least ten years imprisonment and perhaps twenty lashes of the cane" I suggested.

"Even more" he replied, again nodding his head grimly.

"I would have a very close look at the fat Danish guy in apartment number 108" I suggested.

"He is both a meat eater and a dirty fucker"

Mr. Tan looked a little less glum at my suggestion and the prospect of a potential suspect in the case. I have no idea whether the big Danish guy I had suggested as a culprit had anything to do with the floater in the pool but he pissed me off a couple of months ago in the lift when he grunted a response at me after I gave him a cheery good morning. He has since muttered derogatory comments about Australians when I have seen him in the apartment complex lobby so I have no problem with building management or the police grilling him about the incident.

"In the meantime" I suggested to Mr. Tan and nodding towards the still smirking security guards 

"May I suggest that one of those guys fish the turd out of the pool and you throw a couple of buckets of chlorine into the water? And as a resident I would recommend that a permanent security patrol be undertaken around the pool day and night to prevent any future recurrence"

Mr. Tan nodded his head in agreement and the two security guards lost their smirks and were now demonstrating a state of mild panic.

I will wait a couple of days before I venture down again for a swim.

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