129 Splash-sensitive service

“Gott!” burst the German tourist. “Die Limonade ist radikal!” His glossary of contemporary American terms and common phrases was dated. He was from a Rhineland village, several miles from the river itself, and much of the modern world floating by was out of sight.
“Yumpin a-Yimminy, like die Scanderhoovians say . . . fresh!”
He looked completely satisfied. With two more great gulps, he looked as if there was no further need to communicate. But Ross Valley bobbed by and asked if he was enjoying himself.
“I heard you had something of a contretemps with the town holy man.”
“Der little shvami salute to me and said das ‘Heil.’ This is not I think funny . . .”
They were interrupted by a service technician who’d arrived to brush the swimming pool and test the pH.
“Should I come back another time?” he inquired, noticing a party fully underway. With a gallon bottle of chlorine in each hand, he waited for instructions.
_____ _____ moved their way to discreetly examine him, but not with a film role in mind. She was placing the man visually and atmospherically, projecting him to her own rather larger pool at the house in Ross. She returned with a glass of lemonade for him after scooting to the Baccarat bowl.
“Ja, ja, it is good lemonade, that I can tell you!” the tourist assured everyone. He resumed his conversation with Ross. “Und I vas going to bash him over der head, but then I saw das baby Drew bash die bicyclists, so I forget about der swinehund swami . . .”
“Well, I’m glad you were able to join the party here. And next time you’re in the States, just give a shout.”
“Dot I can do! Give der shout to greet hello!”
“Will it bother anyone if I pour the chlorine in the pool now?” The pool man looked almost hapless, unsure how to proceed with the comfortable and decorous party surrounding him. “I wouldn’t want anyone to get too close and get their linen slacks splashed.”
“Go right ahead, everyone here is smart enough to stay a splash-plus distance away.”
The pool service man’s shoulders shook. Ross thought it was nerves. _____ _____ could see he was laughing, but unobtrusively.
Despite her nearly voracious knowledge of people – in the service of future Hollywood roles – she couldn’t determine why.


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