Going to the gym on a non-routine day proved to be hazardous. My current regimen had evolved in order for me to avoid prison time for drowning the obnoxious pool diva. No such luck on this particular day.
She and her spouse affected an air of entitlement as they entered the swimming pool. Her perfectly coiffed tinted red hair and carefully applied makeup turn heads. Sporting a designer swimsuit with enough spandex to shrink wrap three small children, she stepped into the pool.
The spouse trailed behind, lugging enough workout equipment to supply the US Olympic swim team; an indicator they are going to monopolize the pool waaay too long. Our fitness center has lanes for swimmers only and lanes for both exercisers and swimmers. Their expression made it clear sharing a lane is beneath them. They refuse to exercise in separate lanes and have no qualms about asking swimmers to vacate their lane in deference to them.
Obviously nettled when I entered “her” lane, she asked me to designate which side I planned to use. Rules posted on a big bold overhead sign state how to share lanes. I smiled my most benign smile and stated, “We’ll work it out”. Her hasty retreat, accompanied by a disdainful sniff, indicated that was not the correct response.
A swimming lane opened up and I rushed over to it, only to discover another pool diva joining me at the opposite end of the pool. She had the persona of a bloated sea urchin that washed up on the beach at high tide. She was doing the dead man’s float in the #@!% middle of the swimming lane. Avoiding her substantial girth was like navigating the stern of the Concordia.
My sister happened to be in the pool at the same time. Torn between laughing, which we have been guilty of at inappropriate times, and horror at what I might do to the lane hog, the coward fled to the locker room. It was a smart move because it gets worse.
The pool clown in the adjacent lane, with full knowledge that the timbre of his voice creates a rip tide in the water, asked if the bloated object floating face down in my lane was alive. This unfortunate choice of words escaped his lips just as the bloated object chose to surface. Her expression indicated she wished we would both drown. I’d like to say I was gracious and did not laugh.
I will not be going back to the pool on that particular day, at that particular time – ever.
Categories: Biased, Unbalanced and Politically Incorrect
I am a lifelong Southerner, short story author, and essayist. Home is Dallas, Texas.
My essays have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Writing.