Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Shark in the Water

In the early mornings the pool is divided into three wide lanes.

The swimmers have - with no apparent discussion - decided that it's a kind of wet version of a motorway.

In the left-hand lane you get the slow swimmers, in a kind of Citroen 2C way. In the middle lane you get the slightly faster swimmers - the Renault Clios and similar - and in the outside lane you get the Porsches, zipping along at top speed.

In each lane, though, you are supposed to swim clockwise to stop you bashing into the other swimmers.

I am - - modest cough - - too fast for the slow lane. Granted, that's probably because the average age of those in it is about ninety-six, with a couple of younger women whose main aim in swimming seems to be to protect their hairstyles.

I am most certainly too slow for the fast lane. There you will find the proper swimmers, like my friends Jo and Deb, whose excellent strokes mean that they can zip through the water very fast with very little disturbance of the water's surface.

No, my natural home is the middle lane and there I would be very happy, swimming up and down counting the lengths, bothering nobody and being bothered by nobody.

Except that in the middle lane there is the Shark.

He's a huge, shaven-headed man of about fortysomething. He swims faster than everyone else in the middle lane, and therefore he thinks the diagram about swimming clockwise doesn't apply to him. He goes straight up and down the middle and woe betide you if you happen to be approaching the end at the same time as he is - - - he just swims straight across you.

He looks very scary and never makes eye contact. When he nearly crashes into you - as happened with me last week - and you have to make a sudden movement to get out of his way, and you nearly get cramp in your leg, and don't go swimming the next day because of it - - does he apologise? No he does not, just splashes off into the distance at top speed. His every stroke says GET OUT OF MY WAY FOR I AM MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU!

I expect he has LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles, rather badly. Outside the pool I am certain he has a grubby white van with a couple of Rottweillers in it. At home he has a rather subdued and usually drunk girlfriend and three or four children. I expect he has six or seven older children from previous relationships whose career options include a choice between Housebreaking and Stealing Cars, probably with a bit of Grievous Bodily Harm thrown in.

Do I know all this for certain? No, of course not. But I surmise it from his general anti-social behaviour and I bet I'm right.

He may be fast, but his swimming is actually terrible. His left leg comes out of the water at the end of the kick of breast stroke, sending a huge arc of water across the entire pool. He creates such a wash as he ploughs up and down that a couple of times I've had a coughing fit when it's broken over me.

After he's finished swimming, he stands still for about twenty minutes and jogs on the spot, making sure he's in a place that will demonstrate to all just how very, very fit he is.

I am always on the edge of complaining about him but I haven't yet, partly because I think he might follow me home and petrol-bomb my house.

I am sure that the other regular morning swimmers find him as annoying as I do, but we have none of us worked out what to do about him.

I think that the only solution might be to wait until he's jogging on the spot, and then all leap at him and hold him under the water until the schools arrive at about half past nine. That sounds like a plan.


Blogger Silverback said...

Sounds like premeditated murder to me.....but hell, go for it.

I used to hate people like that too but now that the occupants of the pool here are all oldies and couldn't swim a length to AVOID a shark, there are no such problems.

Floating wigs, dentures and artificial limbs, now those ARE a problem !

9:04 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I were you, I'd ring the pool and put in a complaint. If you do it early in the morning, you might even get to speak to the duty manager who could take a look at the problem. With all your experience with role play, I'm sure you could adopt a persona that wasn't you. As you haven't made eye contact so far, just don't make eye contact in the future. You could even say that other people have voiced their disquiet. One person should not be allowed to spoil it for others, especially as you've all sacrificed sleep for this privelege.
And here is a sign from the Gods to go ahead: verification word is 'monarbit'.

10:05 pm  
Blogger Katherine said...

Yep - Lucy's got the idea. He sounds scary.

1:26 am  
Blogger Grumpy Old Ken said...

He sounds like an absolute pillock. Product of an unhappy childhood?

3:26 pm  

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