Feature Story. Pool Cleaning: a booming business in Mexifornia
|A broom, a bucket a pump and the Virgencita de Guadalupe to protect against mosquito bites...|
How did they end up doing that filthy job?
Well, nobody really knows, but the mythology says that, in 1977, a terrible Mexifornia drought pushed owners to leave their pools
|Moolahtita: the desert city of thousands empty pools...|
Let’s take the example of Moolahtita, a posh suburb lost in the Inland Empire desert of Mexifornia. The city of Moolahtita (a city with both Banker and Hispanic heritage) has
|The construction of Moolahtita International airport was almost finished, but had to be scratched... |
Only the tarmac is missing... You can still see the buses waiting for the 1st plane to land...
According to Mush Greed, the mayor of Moolahtita, a lot of abandoned starter houses are taken over by wildcats; empty buildings gutted by copper thieves with pick-up trucks parked in grass-cracked driveways; foreclosed properties harboring kidnapping victims—over the past few
|The kids of Moolahtita are growing up not knowing how to ride horses or play golf, they don’t take violin lessons |
and there is definitely nothing interesting that can be done in an useless empty pool.
"As the infrastructure of our inner suburbs continues to crumble, more and more of the decent, property-owning
|The intersection of Mountain and H Street looks desperate...Photo Hokus Pukus|
The new kids of Moolahtita born after the terrible 2009 recession are now growing up not even knowing how Cancun looks like or how to ride horses or play golf, they don’t go to violin lessons. Private summer camps have become less and less affordable and the average middle class yearly salary dropped down to an appalling $98,000. How can a family of three live the American dream with only $98,000 a year?
|Photo Joey Malouf|
At Moolahtita, the dreams of an international airport had to be scratched, the symphonic orchestra is a thing of the past and the museum of modern art that used to showcase paintings
|Photo Grind Aalot|
But the worse is the hundreds of pools that are left unattended; swimming pools are fast becoming breeding grounds for West Nile virus–infected mosquitoes, something that has marred the environment and lowered the value of the city which pushed Greed to seek of-the-book alternative to keep tax profits flowing in…
|After a hard day of work, it's always Miller Time... Photo B.S. Statik III|
|Before the Bros arrived, this pool looked like a war zone. Photo DMZ|
Since nobody wanted to do the dirty job of cleaning filthy pools, the city was happy to find the “Bros”, whatever their motive was beyond the pool cleaning itself… As Greed once said: “between Samba Bros and Moolahtita, it has been a marriage in heaven…”
But not everybody likes Samba Bros Pool Cleaning. Take Joey Arpeggio, the supervisor of finished jobs for the City. Joe Arpeggio was once the treasurer of the now defunct local Lacrosse team at the Mariposa County. But when the exodus began, no kid enrolled for Lacrosse anymore.
|Samba's cousin, also know as "Sesh" is an actress who appeared|
on "The Harder They Come" with Jimmy Cliff.
Joey Arpeggio also expressed his discontent saying that he heard some cleaners were threatening of returning later on and “shredding” or “ripping” the coping and fears that as soon as nobody watches them, they’ll bring hammers and shovels and resell the pool piece by piece on a so-called “skart” website. Whatever that is… An accusation that could not be confirmed though… Actually, there are a lot of rumors about a huge pool called The Pipeline at Upland destroyed by the crew and the part were later resold several hundred dollars as a trophy. The rumor also says that some parts were used to resurface another illegal pool in a block of Orange County. “I don’t trust them” he says, “I saw an old guy with his body covered with tattoos, and the others were trying to prevent him from cleaning the pool uttering that this would be the master of the disasters. Old guys like this definitely don’t have the kind of stamina required to do the job. They should go work as janitors at Wal*Mart, not cleaning pools…” But Lord Samba, the manager, knows best. Samba, of Brazilian descent, is a query in itself. With his blue eyes and long blond curly hair, he looks like an old school surfer from Copacabana, but nobody is really sure of his gender.
|To Mush Greed, it was natural to ask the Samba Bros to sanitize this pipe too -for free-.|
Although that was not in the initial contract signed by the city, the Bros were elated to follow through.
Photo Warner Bolstered
Finally, Joey Arpeggio is also questioning the righteousness of the team. He recalls one of them smiling and saying that it’s gonna be “Miller time!” Isn’t drinking beer on the job dangerous and prohibited by OSHA? Talking about drugs, Joey Arpeggio also fears that there might be hard drugs involved with the crew. He recalls how one of the cleaners recognized that he was “stoked” upon arriving on a big site (a double inverted kidney pool with spine). He says that: “the guy’s eyes were wide open; he had a drooling mouth and was watching the pool in haze and incredulity. He did not do anything for a good 5mn.”
|Moolahtita empty grid. For God's sake, at least that part was not covered with empty pools.|
Mush Greed refused to comment on Arpeggio’s accusations…
Javier Loones is a staff writer for “Moolahtita Daily”. He has covered many social events for the city of Moolahtita, including the Week-End of Prince Carlos at the sumptuous Motel 66-6, the marriage of Charles and Diana at the Deserted Chapel and the last Gold tournament at 32 1/2 Concrete Palms. His two kids were forced to drop Lacrosse contests last May.
Disclaimer: the pix in this story are randomly coming from the Internet. Thanks to the real Bros that keep the dream alive. I love you guys, that's why I wrote this...