Monday, July 7, 2014


A couple years ago me and the fabulous Mrs. Warburton decided 
to take our little wolverines to Palm Springs for the weekend.
the hotel we chose was the most
child unfriendly establishment in the
Western Hemisphere.

After a harrowing weekend of shouting
I decided to write a short comedy piece
loosely based on our trip and submit it to
The New Yorker's
Shouts and Murmurs 


Hello and welcome to the 5 Star Grand Dionysian Resort and Spa! It’s hot out and you’ve no doubt come to enjoy the world famous amenities the pool has to offer.  Swim a couple laps! Soak up some sun! Have a drink! Or simply relax on one of the chaise lounges with your favorite book! There’s something for everyone at the pool. That’s why we’re here with our kids!


Well, how were we supposed to know that the hotel’s mantra of “hip, retro and modern” meant “young, single and childless” (not to mention “pierced, tattooed and practically naked”).   But fear not!  We’ve prepared these simple guidelines to help us get through this beautiful day by the pool-- TOGETHER!

DIVING – Those lounging in the pool, or at a range of 1.5 chairs from the edge, may be subject to frequent, hairstyle-collapsing downpours caused by our children’s cannonballs, belly flops, jack knifes and other assorted novelty dives. Grumbling protests and withering stares will not be tolerated and might actually draw “them” closer to you.

RUNNING – We will be strictly enforcing the pool’s ‘no running’ policy with sudden, often startling shouts of “SKYLAR, WALK!” immediately followed by “DID YOU HEAR ME? I SAID WALK!” and “SO HELP ME IF I HAVE TO SAY WALK AGAIN!”. These demands will have no effect whatsoever but will undoubtedly prove to you, the pool going public, that we are concerned parents and not blind to the problem.
You’re welcome!

RESTROOMS – All potty breaks will be announced by both children, either separately or in tandem, as loudly as possible.  Announcements may include, but are not limited to, “I HAVE GO PEE PEES!” and/or “UH OH, POOPY TRAIN COMING!” There is also a 68% chance that a bathing suit will be partially (or fully) removed before reaching the bathroom.
Note: Announcements may be withheld if the kids have already relieved themselves in the pool.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES – There will be absolutely no refunds given for drinks that are spilled, kicked into the pool, or ravenously devoured by kids who think they’ve found an abandoned Slurpee.  Speaking of which, Daddy could really use one of those frozen daiquiris right about now.

ALERTS – We are pleased to provide pool goers with immediate, free-of-charge alerts regarding bees floating in the pool. Just listen for the horrified shrieking and then follow the flailing kid(s) to the nearest exit.
Please note: Our children also reserve the right to loudly point out public displays of affection, fat people, and big boobies.

POOL ACCESSORIES – Feel free to borrow any of the wide variety of accessories we’ve brought! We’ve got rafts, floaties, beach balls, boogie boards, water wings, Super Soakers, diving toys, those dumb foam ‘noodle’ things with the bite marks all over them and much, much MORE. So much more, in fact, that Daddy couldn’t fit his goddam golf clubs in the car. Like it isn’t MY vacation, too, right?  But you know what? That’s what I’m here for. So help yourself. And tell that waitress with the nice legs to bring me another daiquiri, would ya?

POOLSIDE MENU – Of all the delicious food served at the pool who knew you could get pancakes whenever you want?! Amazing! And the portions? Big enough for BOTH kids!  Unless, of course, your daughter refuses to share them with her brother. Why? Because your wife lets her do WHATEVER she wants.  Because her Mother never let her have anything of her own, a fact that’s been brought to your attention at least twice a day for the past what? 15 years? THAT’S why we ALL get to hear little Madison screaming “MY PANCAKES! MY PANCAKES” in a voice so shrill it nearly drowns out that-- what do you call it-- house music? That just goes THUMP THUMPA THUMP for, like, EVER!  What IS that crap anyway?! It’s enough to make you order your eighth goddam daiquiri. And bring a beer chaser with that, okay, whatsyername… Destiny?  Seriously?

MANAGEMENT – What are you looking at?  You’ve never seen a grown man and his family forcibly removed from a hotel pool before? Well, %$^#^@  you! And %$&@$ all your stupid tattoos! They’ll all look like &%#$ when you’re 40 anyway. And ^&@*&$ your hair and your flat stomach and your--

Oh God, I want to go home.

By Tom Warburton

Mr. Warburton is the creator of Cartoon Network’s hit animated series
Codename: Kids Next Door and author of HarperCollins picture book 1000 Times No.
He is currently creative director on the Disney Channel’s latest animated series, Fish Hooks.


Unfortunately, the piece was rejected:

Dear Tom,

We’re sorry to say that your piece, “Enjoy the Pool,” wasn’t right for us, despite its evident merit. Thank you for allowing us to consider your work.

The Shouts Department

But writing it 
worked as a form of 

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