Yahoo! Answers: Where mean-spirited and uncreative people go to get advice:


I laughed at the idiocy and wickedness of this response (as well as the legitimacy of the “source”)

But apparently, it was exactly what the doctor ordered:


In stumbling upon this page, I am reminded of one of the funniest things I have ever heard.

It was on a Sunday morning and I was in sixth, maybe seventh grade CCD (Sunday School).  It was a quiet moment during Catechism class.  We were left alone and my friend David* and I got to talking.

*You may remember David as the person I tried to dump my role as Jesus in the Passion Play onto.

I don’t remember what we were talking about to bring it up, but David told me about an experience he had at a public swimming pool:

“I watched a kid almost drown because another kid told him that the bottom of the pool smelled like strawberries.”

Almost immediately, I burst into a fit of laughter, which was contagiously picked up by David.  For a very long time, we just sat there.  Laughing hysterically.

Looking back, I find it tragic that I have only had a few of these intense laughing experiences.  Where it isn’t laughing as it is traditionally known, but rather wheezing in a long, never-ending exhale that continues even after there is nothing left to exhale.

David found a gap of sanity in which he was able to speak, and chose to fill it with the repeated words, “And he almost died!” and we once again burst into uncontrollable laughter.

Now, as I write this, I am realizing that it sounds somewhat harsh.  I suppose it might seem cruel to be laughing, especially so hard, at a child who almost drowned to death, especially while sitting in Catechism class.

But when David told me about it, I think it was acceptable to laugh because of the key world “almost,” which implies that the kid made it through the ordeal and lived happily ever after, perhaps laughing about it for years to come.  Maybe even contributing his experience to Yahoo! Answers.

And I think that it is okay that I still chuckle to myself when thinking about it as an adult because, well… it’s just so funny.  David’s one-sentence story told a much larger story, saturated with punch lines.

It is not the fact that the kid almost died.  It is the fact that he fell for it.

Actually, no.

See, it’s not even the fact that he fell for it.  It is the idea that there is nothing to fall for.  The creator of the concept that the bottom of the pool smells like strawberries almost certainly said such a thing, not to trick anyone, but simply because it was a funny concept.

A similar concept that comes to mind is when someone suggests that I put my bottom lip over my head and swallow.

Someone telling me this results in a brief thought bubble of comical delight.  I momentarily envision a cartoonish version of myself using my hands to help stretch my imaginary rubber-like bottom lip over my forehead, over my scalp.  Then, taking an enormous gulp, I swallow myself into a giant chin, and then into a poof of nothingness.

Someone taking a whiff of the bottom of the pool has a similar implication of impossibility that it must also be envisioned in a cartoon-like manner.  It is something that Daffy Duck might do, but never anyone real.  Not even a stupid kid.


Whether you are told to put your bottom lip over your head and swallow or to smell the bottom of the pool for strawberries, you are essentially being told to reach your ultimate demise.  But you are not being told to do so maliciously.  The person who told you to do such a thing doesn’t hate you, but respects you.  Otherwise they would have told you something much more pointedly mean.  They told you to do this crazy, impossible thing to make you laugh a little bit.  Additionally, they respect your intelligence enough to know that you won’t actually attempt such a feat.

Which is why I am certain that after being told one of these things, nobody… nobody… in all of human existence began touching and pulling at their bottom lip, testing its elasticity.
And that was the glorious bonus of David’s story.  That it included someone who actually had such an unquenchable curiosity and desire to smell the fresh scent of strawberries, that it drove him to dive to the bottom of the pool and inhale.

And I guess the reason that I fancy this story so much is the fact that no matter what stupid, idiotic, or reckless action I ever take in my life, I will have never almost drowned because someone told me that the bottom of the pool smelled like strawberries.

That, as well as the fact that I will never have to rely on Yahoo! Answers to tell me how to prank people.

Because their suggestions aren’t terribly helpful:


Okay, well maybe one suggestion was awesome:
-Youngman Brown

0 thoughts on “The Bottom of the Pool

  1. Your “Does Not Smell Like Strawberries” pic is now hanging on my Wall of Awesome next to my Mike Rowe autograph and my Nathan Fillion 'Firefly' action figure. Huzzah!

  2. LMAO yes no matter what I do in life as well I will never have almost drowned because I wanted to smell strawberries…hahaha…too funny. And having to use yahoo answers is just low, that first one is just down right mean. Unlike the strawberries that one should never fall for..haha

  3. Oh you missed my post where I confessed to pretending to me a doctor on Yahoo answers!!! LOL!!!

    Anyways, this is VERY funny!! There is nothing like a “I can't breathe and I'm gonna pee” laugh 😉

  4. This was so funny, that I'm not even going to abbreviate 'LAUGH OUT LOUD.'

    Loved everything about this post. I even teared up with laughter at:

    “David found a gap of sanity in which he was able to speak, and chose to fill it with the repeated words, “And he almost died!” and we once again burst into uncontrollable laughter.”


  5. haha very funny- yes Yahoo! answers always has responses like that. But honestly- I hope this person was okay!! I feel so sad that she was about to be attacked by a group of girls.

    and as far as your laughing attack- gosh i love those. they are rare but oh how joyous, especially in youth. I don't think you need to apologize, if the incident had been serious- I doubt you would have had that reaction.

    and do you ever notice that all of Yahoo! answers state “4 years ago” as the posting date?

  6. I can't help but laugh at stuff like this. Sure it's scary to actually think about a kid drowning, but it's also funny as hell too. If we avoid laughing at anything that may offend someone, we'll never laugh again, and that would be tragic. If something is funny to you, for pete's sake, just laugh. I think this is some kind of genious Darwin test. If you actually try to smell the bottom of a pool, you deserve to have to be pulled out coughing and sputtering.

  7. What a funny post! lmao (BTW I hate it when people say that online, OMG! LMAO etc.)!
    I'm so glad to know that it does not smell of strawberries at the bottom of the pool. (-:

  8. Even if the bottom of the pool did smell like strawberries, was the kid that crazy about the scent that he had to dive right in for a whiff? I mean, if someone told me that (and assuming I believed it and that it was true), I'd just be like 'well, that's nice'. Did this kid go around smelling everything that someone told him smelled like strawberries? “Here, smell my gym socks, they seriously smell like strawberries.” “Smell my dog, she smells like strawberries.” “Smell my laptop, it smells like strawberries!”

  9. I'm not sure what's worse — that they wanted tips on bullying or that people gave it to them.

    The strawberries, though. Yeah, I've known people who would have checked.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

  10. I had the same reaction to that one line as you did. As soon as I read it I thought 'that is freaking EPIC' and laughed myself silly. Just picture it, right?
    Great post.

  11. I have to know – how did you stumble across this very helpful question and answer page? Were you, yourself, looking for mean pool tricks? 🙂

    And, great, the next time I'm in a pool, I'm gonna have to see if the bottom smells like strawberries.

  12. To be completely honest, I had the idea to write about the bottom of the pool smelling like strawberries and was searching the internet to see if it was a popular trick (which it is not) and that is how I found that page, and decided to include it.

  13. There is no end to the evil things people will do to one another…or how hilarious those things are. Honestly though, line up and pee on her! my goodness.

    I have a pool and have NEVER heard that the bottom smelled like strawberries and as the oldest of 4 kids that is EXACTLY the kind of thing I would have told my little sisters. Yup, I'm a bit evil like that.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  14. I love how the suggestion of multiple people kicking someone in the head (which yeah….5 people doing that does not equal an 'accident) was a “perfect” suggestion. Regardless, this did make me laugh and I love the inclusion of the comment telling them that they're shallow and need to grow up.

  15. I have a cartoon vision of a swimming pool with strawberry plants growing on the bottom. Better than smelling them even would be to take a big bite of one while you were down there.

  16. No…no. If someone told me the bottom of the pool smelled like strawberries, I'd be smart enough to drain the pool before trying to smell it. See how brilliant I am?

    (I teach Jr. High Sunday School, and we all laugh at random stuff like that a lot. Maybe Lutherans are more fun than Catholics…or maybe just more “dark”. Or maybe it's me.)

  17. So if the bottom of the pool doesn't smell like strawberries…what does it smell like?

    I felt distinctly uncomfortable reading that mean pranks exchange. At least when I was a kid people could only do the mean things that they could come up with themselves.

  18. You know, these are some pretty good points you've made here. I think I get it. I have a headache, so maybe not. Wait. That sounded wrong. Your post didn't give me headache, I just happen to have one. Oh, nevermind!

  19. I absolutely love those kinds of laughs. We don't have enough of them. As a matter of fact my most recent one was from Tellingdad's “The Blog Fee”. I laughed so hard no sound was coming out and tears were streaming down my face. Then later started talking about it with my sister and started the whole laughing thing all over again. I appreciate all you guys I follow for making my day a little brighter with your stories. BTW I love strawberries too so the bottom of the pool had better smell like strawberries but I'll leave that up to some other goober to let me know for real, lol.

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