Posted by: Vicky V | April 20, 2009

A dire start to the week

I was first in line at the leisure centre for this morning’s lane swimming session. Lanes were divided into slow, medium and fast although on closer inspection geriatric & infirm, delusional (those who can’t gauge their own speed so make like a pot of boiling lobsters) and olympic goldfish (can at least swim, unlike a delusional lobster) would have been more accurate labels. Having been captain of the swim team 1990-94 and with reasonable arm strength gained from badminton games with Suze, I joined the goldfish in the fast lane and psyched myself for 30 minutes of solid, uncompetitive, cardio vascular activity.

Three minutes in and I was stuck behind a man doing breast stroke in a loose, cropped short. He had clearly made an inaccurate assessment of his swimming abilities and belonged in the middle lane but I soon realised that trying to communicate this to him was the least of my problems. Not only was I failing to get my heart rate up but, courtesy of a pair of extremely high tech goggles, I had front row seats for his swinging pair of goolies. How on earth was I going to overtake him without contravening rule number 2 and, more importantly, not being sick in the water?

I reasoned that overtaking would only be a contravention if I actively overtook and then got back in lane, thus flagging myself up as someone to be “competed with”. So, I edged myself into the slim lane space between people swimming up the pool and down the pool and continued with my brisk front crawl. I managed two blissful lengths, imagining that I was in my own private pool of lilies and incense, when someone on the poolside urgently tapped me on my swimming hat. It was another man in a pair of loose shorts, this one a lifeguard. And this time I had an upward view of a pair of goolies. This outing was nothng more than a cheap bit of porn. He barked at me, “Get back in lane with everyone else”.

It was much too complicated to go into the rules and solo swimming in a lily pond so I continued with my stroke, only for my hat to be grabbed violently at the other end. “Oi, Princess Anne”

I suppose he thought I looked like her with my swimming hat on

I suppose he thought I looked like her with my swimming hat on

“Have. You. Got. Ear. Plugs. In? You. Do. Not. Get. Your. Own. Lane. Obey pool rules or eff back to Buck’nam Palace”

I had no choice other than to get out of the pool. A victim of society’s rules and my own. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Preferable to an involuntary goolie invasion anyday.

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