There’s only one song I sing in the shower now, I Wanna Be A Lifeguard! (Sorry about the visual you just got) I can’t help myself.
I, I, I wanna be a lifeguard
Hardly any clothes
Sand between my toes
White stuff on my nose
I Wanna Be A Lifeguard. Lifeguard, lifeguard, lifeguard!
And who wouldn’t want to be one? The Parks Department is spending… ready? – you might need some lifesaving after reading this — $3 or $4 million dollars for each new Lifeguard Station. The $3 million dollar ones are slightly smaller and only has one indoor pool and spa. They can’t be calling it the shack anymore. Lifeguard Chalet, anyone? Lifeguard Palace? Lifeguard Shackadelic.
Four million bucks. Parks tells me it’s not all being spent on marble toilets and diamond plated showerheads. Some of the cost includes having David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson give morning pep talks to the guards. Besides the big screen TVs and Pina Colada kiosks for after-work gatherings, the stations will have its own nail salon and 99 cent store.
The lifeguards will have valet service. They no longer have to park their own beach cruiser bikes, PEP officers will now do valet parking and place the bikes in the special parking garage attached to the Liam Kavanagh wing of the Lifeguard Palace.
As anyone who lives near Shore Front Parkway can attest, the Parks Department work crews have been working through the night. They are in a hurry to finish installing the hot tubs and massage tables in something called the Presidential Suite. “Lifeguards have been ignored and overworked for too long,” a top Parks spokesman told me at a meeting last week. “They deserve a place to rest in comfort and maybe enjoy an occasional sleep-over.”
“Too bad I can’t swim, I wanna be a lifeguard so bad,” I said.
“Oh, there’s four million being spent on the building and Bloomberg is setting aside another 2 mil for lifeguards who can’t swim.”
He gave me a look like, isn’t it obvious? With a $4 million dollar shack you need to hire some people just to hang out in it. It’s Sandy money, man. It’s kinda like a employment training program.
Really? I don’t have to get a sunburn or lip blisters?
How do you look in a Speedo? He asked, a bit hesitantly.
Uh, with or without black socks and shoes?
The Park Official grimaced but I was undeterred. You know, Sandy swallowed the first floor of The Wave building and since then we’ve had to work in these dusty, cramped conditions. And now here’s a chance to work at a $4 million dollar workplace? I’m going for it. I won’t save people. I’ll just write about how I would save them, if I could swim.
I just have to figure a way around the speedo rule. That’s just not happening – we’d need more Community Grant money if I went out in a Speedo (talk about a disaster) — but if I grow a scraggly beard, stayed inside the $4 million dollar shack so I could get pasty pale, and then wore a wool hat maybe they’d let me lifeguard at the shack nearest the hipster beach.
Three or four million bucks. Each. The Lifeguard Palaces are gonna make Rockaway look like Dubai (Maybe lifeguards won’t wear speedos but dress like Arab Sheiks).
Who knows, I Wanna Be A Lifeguard might become a protest song. I can see Lew Simon and hundreds of others singing in front of the palaces. Oh, boy. That’s scarier than me in a speedo.