A complicated look at uncomplicated topics to ameliorate your day.
Cast your mind back to the hot summers of your youth… where splashing around at the local pool with your mates, trying to impress cute girls by bombing into the deep end and eating super salty chips from the pool canteen were your only priorities every day. You might recall that time you spent an entire summer crushing over that one gorgeous lifeguard, or when you infamously lost your boardies after a particularly big bomb. Those halcyon days seemed to go on forever, where memories, young loves and friendships were cemented as you shared a Cornetto in the shade of the trees. It’s almost enough to make you ponder, ‘I wonder what my local pool is like these days? Perhaps I should wander down for a dip on the weekend…’
Old Men Who Sit on the Jets
As you enter the pool deck and look around the lap pool, you are slightly puzzled when you notice that there are old men spread out across the walls of the lap pools at about five metre intervals. And they’re all leaning in facing the wall and smiling to themselves…
Ever wondered where the water jets are on the sides of the lap pool? Ever wondered why those old blokes are smiling so much whilst floating in a vat of chlorine?
Yes? Well. Now you have your answer.
In the step between retirement and the retirement home lies the rehab pool. The grey-helmet brigade owns this and the spa with a determined sense of righteousness. The creakier your bones, the better your position in the spa as everyone sits around catching up on The Bold and the Beautiful and discussing ‘What’s Really in Your Laundry Detergent’ after watching it on Today Tonight.
At first glance, they remind you of your beloved nonna or grandpa; it’s heart-warming as you watch them gossiping as they toddle off to their aqua aerobics classes in their outrageous floral bathing suits. You begin to get warm fuzzy feelings and smile to yourself as an elderly gentleman sits down at the end of your lane to hop in. Then, just as you turn to swim off you catch a full frontal view of the fact he’s freeballing under those shorts from approximately 45cm away.
There is no ageing gracefully. And there is no mercy.
Picture yourself on the French Riviera. Tanned, toned and terrific men of all ages and sizes swan past you in their teeny tiny black speedos
Welcome to Suburbia. Where everyone has illusions of the French Riviera. And no one has the body. Or the Professional Waxer.
Thought pattern: ‘It’s a 25 minute lap pool, so naturally I need to bring my industrial size scuba flippers to power me through the water at breakneck speed. I also enjoy entertaining the life guards by walking around the side of the pool like an extra in Happy Feet.’
That One Hot Lifeguard
He’s the one that all the girls fawn over and all the guys joke around with. The little old ladies love him and the old blokes reminisce with him about their wonder years (holding on desperately to the illusion they looked half as good as he does in a pair of speedos). The megawatt smile, the 90210 hairdo and the rippling muscles you just know exist under that shirt. He makes soaking in the vat of human detritus almost bearable as he strolls past and flashes you a grin.
As he is consistently talking to a bevy of women, the other lifeguards or checking his pecs in the reflection of the sauna room windows, it’s highly unlikely he’ll ever notice that you’re drowning, but hey, that’s not the community service he’s being employed for here.
“I’m actually an Olympic Swimmer in my lunchtime” swimmers
In case you hadn’t noticed, we live in a nation of Olympic swimmers. And you probably haven’t noticed unless you’ve been swimming between 6am and 8am, 12pm and 2pm or 5pm and 7pm at any of our fine country’s swimming pools. This is when the real champions come out to play.
But how can you pick a real champion you ask? They will be doing any of the following and usually all of the following at once…
– Diving into the pool, right next to the sign that says ‘No Diving’
– Diving in above two other swimmers who are minding their own business and just about to start a new lap
– Splashing approximately 5.6 litres out of the pool per lap
– Splashing approximately 19.4 litres of water into swimmers in the other lanes per lap
– Tumble turns at both ends
– Pool rage (the wetter version of its cousin Road Rage) which involves waving your arms, tailgating and intimidating other swimmers by overtaking them by daringly speeding out into the path of an unsuspecting oncoming swimmer
– The warm up routine – bounces, wiggles and slapping of the arms on the side of the pool like they’re auditioning for a part in the Seal Show at Sea World. As the seal.
– They’re wearing Serious goggles and Serious bathers. And if you’re wondering how to pick these items, they’re the type that leave indentations on the body and face for at least 38 minutes after removal…
They come to the pool every day, they spread their bodily fluids across the rehab pool, the sauna and the spa and when it comes to the lap pool, well they own that too…
A Day in the Life of a Regular (as told to us by a slightly traumatised witness)
Firstly, after sweating up a storm in the sauna, I’m not going to shower off, I’m just going to drip over to the lap pool covered in my sweat and jump in over your head, splash water directly in your face while you almost drown from the tidal wave I have just created, before splashing past you as if I am Michael Phelps in the first leg of the 100m sprint.
After this one-lap display of intense athleticism, I will then spend ten minutes recovering and talking shit with my mates at the end of the lap lane, making it impossible for anyone else to swim laps in the meantime, while I hang here and ogle any female under the age of forty as she tries to do her exercise.
Then Rinse and Repeat x 3.
Moreso at a pool than any other place, common decorum, manners and decency seem to go on a holiday from a teenager’s vocabulary. It is completely acceptable to swear at your mate and call him a ‘F*** Fag**t C***’ in your loudest voice across the pool deck. Because he threw the ball you are terrorizing all of the other swimmers with just over your head. In fact the only way to communicate is to yell across the eight lane pool, having a conversation in a quieter manner or closer proximity is just not cool bro.
Never has the shower cap had more uses or variations than on a Monday morning at 10am in the Aqua Aerobics class.
This is the time when the trusty shower cap and the substance FOAM have their finest hour. Pool equipment of all shapes and sizes – noodles, dumb bells, mats, swimming boards, tubes and belts – are flung, plunged, worn, pushed, pulled, waved and swung about with gleeful abandon. At its climax, the sight of thirty middle aged women wearing floatation belts whilst plunging noodles into the water is probably the closest you will ever get to seeing ‘SpongeBob Squarepants: The Symphony’.
And the instructor. She’s either a fit and toned middle aged woman dressed in fluorescent lycra who still harbours a secret desire to become the Sue Stanley of the Pool or a middle aged man with a strong penchant for Rolling Stones music and the Richmond Football Club.
Your Sue Stanley wannabe will radiate enthusiasm and positivity and bark orders as twenty-three heads covered in floral shower caps and rubber swimming caps bob up and down puffing and red faced with the determination of a toddler trying to crack a tin of Milo.
If you’re lucky enough to get your bandy legged Rolling Stones enthusiast, he will chitter chatter along with the class telling them all about the football on the weekend (which none of them actually follow) whilst intermittently bursting out into song with a ‘I can’t GET NO satisfaction!’ before continuing to tell the masses to engage their pelvic floor whilst they pump. The class members are usually red in this class too, but not always for the same reason.
The Kiddy Pool
Have you ever toilet-trained a child? Enough said.