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Ripples #6

Compiled and written by Lenny Giteck

Neiman Marcus Offers
$1.5 Million Dale Chihuly
Swimming-Pool ArtRipples art

If you have ever visited Las Vegas and found yourself at the registration desk of the opulent Bellagio Hotel and Casino, you are familiar with the artistry of Seattle-based glass sculptor Dale Chihuly, who was responsible for creating the breathtaking, multicolored installation suspended from the ceiling over your head.

In the nearby City Center, there now is an entire store dedicated to Chihuly's work, with the largest shimmering piece - which resembles a tall evergreen on steroids - going for a mere $450,000.

One-upping even that bit of extremity, Ripples has learned recently that Neiman Marcus is offering a $1.5 million "Dale Chihuly Pool Sculpture Installation" in its new Christmas catalog. The entry in the catalog states the following:

This luxury gift offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a privately commissioned Chihuly art installation measuring up to 22 feet by 12 feet - at the bottom of your swimming pool. Drawing from the forms and fluidity of nature, Chihuly combines vibrant colors and rich textures to create an aquatic experience that is both organic and fantastic.

The text goes on to note, "The lucky recipient will be able to work with the artist's studio for a rare inside look at Chihuly's creative process," and concludes with this promise: "Chihuly will transform your pool into a world-class private work of art." (Apparently, for $1.5 million you don't even get the pool itself.)

Ripples wonders at the timing of this particular offering. True, the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog is renowned for including one completely over-the-top, mega-expensive item every year - but this one comes at a time when a multitude of Americans are suffering a variety of financial misfortunes.

Ripples asks whether it isn't somehow in bad taste to offer $1.5 million worth of swimming-pool art in so public a fashion. By a strange coincidence, that just happens to be the Join the Dialogue! question in this issue of WaterShapes EXTRA! Ripples encourages you express your opinion via the Join the Dialogue! section of the newsletter.

PHOTO: To see a photo of Dale Chihuly's pricey pool art, go to http://tinyurl.com/255fvon

Cops Gone Wild: Officer Gets
Naked, Plays Footsy in
Homeowener's Pool

In the last installment of Ripples, we reported on the Miami federal prosecutor who was arrested after swimming in his boxer shorts in the pool at a local bar. As he exited the pool, his most cherished private parts exited the boxers - an unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction" that landed the gentleman in handcuffs.

Apparently not to be outdone was an on-duty police officer in Cathedral City, Calif., who was called to a home in the middle of the night because of a noise complaint. Upon observing three women lounging in the backyard pool, he "unbuckled his gun belt, unbuttoned his shirt, dropped his pants and underwear, and jumped into the pool."

The report on the incident, published on the Web site news10.net, went on to quote one of the women as saying," We just couldn't believe he was actually getting into the pool." The homeowner, who was also the husband of one of the women, claims the cop followed the three around the pool for about 10 minutes, flirtatiously "playing footsy."

While the incident was still in progress, the Cathedral City Police Department received a call regarding the officer's bizarre behavior (presumably from the husband), and as soon as the in-the-buff man-in-blue realized his fellow officers were on the way, he quickly dressed and fled the scene. The police department has placed its as-yet-unidentified member on paid leave while it investigates him for misconduct.

Waterpark CEO Gets Down
and Dirty With AFR
on National TV Show

Face it, AFRs (Accidental Fecal Releases) are a fact of life whenever a large number of human beings - especially very young ones - spend a lot of time in water. They may not be as common as AURs (Accidental Urinary Releases) or IURs (Intentional Urinary Releases), but AFRs do take place and must be dealt with in a mature and professional manner.

When an AFR needs to be cleaned up, the unpleasant chore usually doesn't fall to the CEO of the large chain of waterparks that owns the site. That's exactly what happened, however, when Kim Schaefer, CEO of Great Wolf Resorts, appeared in an episode of the hit CBS series "Undercover Boss." (She was the first female CEO featured on the program.) Great Wolf reportedly is the largest group of waterpark resorts in North America, with $330 million in business, 12 facilities and more on the way.

Schaefer appeared on the show under the guise of a longtime homemaker reentering the workplace - and as such she supposedly was also the subject of a reality show being filmed. (Hence the cameras following her around.) Kelly, one of her young and completely unsuspecting underlings, instructed her to pick up some floating poop from a pool.

She handled - literally - this and several other difficult workplace situations with grace and humor, although not always with flawless success. Schaefer came away from the experience with a deeper sense of humility and even greater understanding of, and appreciation for, her staff.

VIDEO: To view a brief segment of the show that includes Kim Schaefer's AFR adventure, plus an emotional scene in which she reveals her true identity to two employees (Kelly being one of them) and makes their dreams come true, click on the following: http://tinyurl.com/25yqf8g

Flying Through the Air
and Crossing The Pond -
Without Benefit of a 747!

Just as Ripples was mystified when rapper Vanilla Ice drove his vintage Caddie through the air and into a pond - a stunt that almost left Mr. Ice permanently melted - we are equally mystified as to why some daredevil young people choose to ride their mountain bikes up and off a ramp, attain an altitude of more than three stories, perform acrobatic feats while careening through the air and end up in a hard "water landing." Nevertheless, as with the earlier Vanilla Ice escapade, we present the video documentation as a public service.

VIDEO: To watch in amazement, amusement and some trepidation about the future of our youth, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3GribQCg6c

Till the next installment of Ripples...
Happy Watershaping to You!

- Ripples is compiled and written by Lenny Giteck

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