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Deadman's float

A story arc started from July 21st and ended on July 26th of 1986 in which Calvin's mom signed him up for swimming lessons, which he vehemently protested.

Calvin didn't like having to get up so early for it (as the lessons started at 9am) and didn't like how cold the water was -- and to make matters worse (for Calvin), the instructor for the lessons ended up being Rosalyn, Calvin's "sadistic" babysitter. One thing Rosalyn did to invoke discipline, at least for Calvin, was threatening to make use of a "rat tail" (a wrung wet towel used as a whip).

The first thing Rosalyn taught to Calvin and the other kids was the "Deadman's Float," which caused Calvin to freak out and start screaming for his mom. In the second-to-last strip of the arc, Calvin complains to Rosalyn about how he doesn't need to learn how to swim, feeling it's unnecessary and that he'll just stay on dry land the rest of his life. When Rosalyn questions what Calvin would do if he were to fall out of a boat, Calvin claims (and demonstrates) that he'll just wear a lifejacket, saying it's "no big deal."

In the last strip of the arc, Calvin's mom gives him a ride home and he spends the ride complaining to her about the swimming lessons, questioning her on why she didn't sign him up for something more exciting (like hang gliding or sharpshooting) or something more practical (like learning how to drive -- despite the fact that he won't be legally old enough to drive for at least a decade). Calvin's mom then reveals that she signed him up for piano lessons, which start the following Tuesday. This causes Calvin to start screaming out "No!"