As a child, the swimming pool drain was akin to the monster lurking in the basement. The urban legends at my pool cautioned all who heard it to avoid getting too close to the drain after a dive off the board, lest you end up like little Mikey McGuire (there was no such incident).
When I became a pool lifeguard in my teens, I worked to curb my fear of the drain. And, in time (and after having to clean the drain after losing a game of rock-paper-scissors with another guard), I got this irrational fear under control.
Now there's news of the tragic death of a 14-year old girl that was sucked into the drain at a hotel pool in Tunisia. And, my heart aches for her family.
While you might think this is one in a gazillion, 170 people have been caught in pool drains in the U.S. since 1990. 27 died. One little girl was disemboweled.
I'm rethinking my thoughts on getting too close to the drain.