Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Bathing with the Masses

The other day I was going to the toilet – apologies for starting a blog with this sentence, but if you had any standards of taste and decency you’d surely by now know that you need to leave them at the door when dealing with this blog. Without wishing to be indelicate, I was having an extended visit to the bathroom, if you know what I mean. This particular visit was happening in a bathroom in a company I happened to be visiting, not one of my regular bathrooms. I promise this is all important information. It was then whilst “at stool”, that I glanced to the right, to notice a full length mirror. A full length mirror showing a reflection of myself on the toilet. Why on earth would you put a full length mirror in a toilet? I tried to look away, but like a horrific car crash, I was drawn back. There I was witnessing my body in the least flattering of circumstances, and as I glanced down I saw the hideous rolls of fat bulging over the rim of the toilet bowl.

You’re probably feeling somewhat nauseous reading that statement, so imagine how I felt seeing it in person. There at that moment it became clear why I was single, because I had the physique of an old bean bag, recently sat on by Heather from Eastenders (rest in peace). It was time to do something about it, and hence I have made a concerted effort to get back into swimming. Yes that’s right exercise, I know I am as surprised as you.

I’ve previously been a reasonably regularly swimmer, I wouldn’t say I was a good swimmer, but then I’ve never drowned so that must say something. My last regime of water-based exercise ended when I was unfortunate enough to read a set of rules printed on the wall of Brixton Leisure Centre. It was the final rule that got my attention:

“Rule Number 7: If you notice any discharges of bodily fluid into the pool, please inform a member of staff immediately.”

Then printed directly underneath it said:

“Enjoy your swim.”

Which is now impossible, given what you’ve just read. And thus I decided swimming wasn’t for me.

Anyway to mark my return to the swimming pool, just in time for the London 2012 Olympics – which is entirely coincidental I assure you, I thought I’d give you some of my rules of swimming. These rules, you’ll be pleased to know, primarily don’t involve bodily fluids. They simply represent a series of what I believe are socially acceptable ways to behave in a swimming pool – though it probably wouldn’t do any harm to make them law punishable by death.

Here’s the Draconian laws that I will now pass:

·       No affection in the swimming pool. Heavy petting in the deep end, holding hands across lane ropes and god forbid a naughty kiss near the diving board should all be banned. There’s just no need for it, save the hideous displays of affection for the escalators on the Underground (though if it could be banned from there too that would be nice).

·       My speed is the correct speed. The lanes in my pool are divided into Fast, Medium, Slow and an unnamed lane which presumably is for those so slow that they’d be considered static. I swim in the medium lane, if you are swimming faster than me go in the fast lane, and if you’re swimming slower than me get in the slow lane.

·       Don’t pull out in front of me. If I’m coming to the end of pool, and about to turn round, don’t suddenly pull out in front of me and force me to stop. You wouldn’t do it in a car because we’d up having a multi-car pile-up. And a multi-swimmer pile-up will make the least touchy-feely people feel very awkward.

·       Old men should not wear tight inappropriate swimming trunks. Self-explanatory really.

·       Good looking men should wear tight swimming trunks – I need a cheap thrill in my life, and a reason to do exercise. So do your civic duty and help out.

·       Get your hair wet. Anyone who isn’t prepared to get their hair wet should instantly be relegated to the slow lane. Bobbing about with your head above water, in the fast lane is annoying and not fast.

·       No talking at the ends of the pools. It’s not a bloody coffee shop, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend stop showing off and clogging up the end of the pool so no one can swim.

·       No diving over me. I don’t appreciate people diving over me, to get an athletic start in their lane swimming. I remember 999 with Michael Buerk, there’s every chance you could land on me and break my back into more pieces than the NHS will soon be in.

·       No backstroke. Backstroke is about as socially friendly, as releasing a combine-harvester into the swimming pool – only more people get injured. Until some special magic goggles that allow you to see where you are going are invented, no backstroke in the pool.

·       Don’t have more fun than me. Basically this is what all my rules are saying, and to be honest this one can be applied both in and out the pool. I am a grump, don’t have more fun than me, it makes me jealous.

There you go, ten rules that will make my life better in the swimming pool – well they would if I hadn’t shamed myself by choking on water the other day and the life guard coming over to check I was alright.

I’ll be issuing some rules for other life situations soon, so look out for them.

And that is it, it’s also it for a couple of weeks! Sorry guys, I won’t be updating for a little while, because I’m on a work trip to Los Angeles, yep I realise that even saying that makes me sound like an utter w**ker! But if it makes you feel better I’ll be turning 30 pretty much as soon as I get back, see karma giveth and then taketh! Don’t worry I won’t be going on about the LA thing too much – did I mention I’m flying business class. No? Oh I’m flying business class!

Have a great couple of weeks and yummy Easter, and I’ll be back blogging very soon!


jonabuft said...

There's a swimmer who turns up at Archway pool sometimes when I'm there who is basically a machine. She can't be younger than 40 but is clearly an incredibly fast swimmer, and basically powers down the fast lane, and amusingly gets increasingly pissed off that no-one is as fast as she is!
(BTW - disappointed no dig at ITV in this post - I look forward to that bit!)

Matt said...

Yeah I've noticed people like that, but as I've only entered the fast lane once (due to administrative error) she can get as annoyed as she likes. (Apologies, I don't always slag off ITV - ok most of the time, I can compare something vile to Loose Women if you like?)