The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Sunglass ads notwithstanding, these don't actually strike me as a feasible mode of relaxation. Aside from the fact that shifting your weight suddenly means a dunk, aside from the "invitation to melanoma" factor, aside from the chlorine fumes, it's hard to feel truly mellow when your head bangs against a concrete pool rim every few minutes. C-

Water Wings
Although they look goofy on anyone over the age of five, these inflatable armpit training wheels are at least more humane than the other traditional method of learning to swim, the "uncle throws you into the deep end" school of aquatic instruction. They don't look like an incredibly reliable device -- I wouldn't want them handed to me when the whale-watching tour boat I'm on is capsized by a shy humpback -- but hey, whatever it takes to give a kid a little confidence. C

Water Polo Equipment
Ball games are odd. People seem obsessed with trying to combine ball games with every mode of transportation: horseback riding, ice skating, and I once saw a game where people run cars into a huge Earthball. At any rate, I'm not entirely sure what being wet adds to the sport, aside from making a great Mountain Dew commercial. My invention to make it more interesting, at least for the spectators: Marco Water Polo, where everyone has to keep their eyes closed. C

Diving Sticks
These I've only seen in catalogs. They're brightly colored sticks, and apparently the idea is that you throw them in the water, they sink, and then go you get them. Sounds pretty tedious, unless you aspire to be a golder retriever. I've always found pocket change to be both more of a challenge and more of a motivator. D

Floaty Horsey Rings
I can't remember the last time I saw a real floaty horsey ring, but I'm willing to endorse them on principle. I have a soft spot for things that I see more often in cartoons than in real life: floaty horsey things, boxer shorts with hearts on them, anvils, round black bombs with sparky fuses, polite gophers, that sort of thing. So if I did actually run into a floaty horsey ring, I'm sure I'd enjoy it. A

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