Rafts and floats have come a long way.  Instead of thin-ribbed rafts and plain ole tubes, we've got flamingos, swans, avocados floating with us in the pools.  And bulls!

Nothing makes a pool party like a big ole bull-riding contest.  I've seen a few Facebook videos of people trying to make friends with this bull in the pool, and it looks like a challenge even to get on this guy at all, let alone stay on for eight seconds.  Well, maybe it's hard for adults that are a little challenged by gravity.  Kids seem to climb right on and ride away.

Floats are so much fun now!  At least until they pop because everyone tries to hop on at once.  Nobody wants to hear that faint leaky whistle coming from their prized floatie.

The last time I was at my neighborhood pool some friends had an enormous round red raft with seeds that looked like a big watermelon pie.  A few twelve and thirteen-year-old boys took turns jumping on it until they produced the faint leaky whistle, but they had a blast with it up until that point.  After the watermelon popped they switched to an avocado.

All of the sporting goods stores and big box stores have the wild floats so they haven't been hard to find.  Amazon has unicorns, swans, ducks, and turtles, along with the watermelon and the bull.  Walmart has a flamingo, seashell, ice cream cone, and a popsicle, among others.

Hauling these things to the neighborhood pool can be a bit tricky if you're trying to cram a bull or a flamingo into your minivan.  But if you can walk to the pool and drag them behind it might work.  And if you've got a backyard pool just leave the wild floats in there until September, and hope there's still room for you and all of your friends to swim too.

What do you think we'll see next year?  A big floating bottle of Shiner might be fun. To be continued.