Saturday, January 30, 2010

Swim Fan

As I had a Bleo injection in my tongue on Friday I won't be swimming for awhile. This procedure often results in punctures at the injection sites and well, lesions on my tongue. That always sounds so Old Testament, "And then did he have lesions on his tongue which did swell mightily". Needless to say, when your mouth is a skunkworks of bacteria, you don't really want to immerse it in a public pool so Thursday I went for my last swim for at least a couple of weeks. All the regulars were there.

Frogger
Green Cap
Bela Lugosi
Raul Pudd
Baldy and the Silver Bullet
Dick Clark
The Hobbit
Esther Williams

…to name but a few.

Let me explain. When you go to the same pool regularly, you see the same people but you don't their name. So you assign them one based on some prominent trait.

Frogger
White swim cap. Neoprene gloves. Blue fins. Swims in an odd underwater breast stroke. Occasionally swims in a butterfly stroke for about 20m then stops abruptly in a curious splayed frog pose. Thus the moniker.

Green Cap
A guy only a little older than myself. A good swimmer. Often swims two lengths doing a butterfly stroke. Then stops for a few minutes to recoup. Usually swims front crawl.

Bela Lugosi
Strange older guy. Imagine the Sesame Street puppet "The Count" has aged badly. Imagine said puppet is human, in his 70s and wearing small, wildly patterned Speedos. Yup. He's very talkative and engages in anyone near him. Especially young woman. Always young woman. Who are evidently a little uncomfortable about talking to an excitable senior wearing wildly patterned Speedos. Bela swims while wearing the kind of paddles some people wear on their hands to give more resistance, thus a better work out. This is fine when swimming a front crawl, but he often does a kind of weird back stroke/floating thing. I suppose his intention is a back stroke or maybe some kind of upside down-reverse breast stroke but it doesn't really work out that well and he mostly floats in the lane. He doesn't stop in the pool. In the change room he's always trying out his language skills on some unsuspecting soul. I have no idea of his original language. Hungarian? Slovak? Russian? It's impossible to know. Especially as he practices broken Portuguese, Spanish, and Russian on confused naked men as he asks, "fja uyafvn afii?" God only knows what he's on about. Makes me fear for my own senior years.

Raul Pudd
Just some guy who kind of looks like Paul Rudd, but not really - sort of a bizarro Paul Rudd.

Baldy & Silver Bullet
Two guys who always show up together, swim consistently in the fast lane. One is bald, the other wears a silver cap. They seem to be having interesting conversations. My other take is that they swim in some club/team which is a lot harder than the casual swim they do at Trinity-Bellwoods.

Dick Clark
An older guy, obviously looks like and even sounds like Dick Clark. Apparently a teacher who seems to have been swimming at this pool for years and knows everyone. Swims in the medium lane. A talker. Let me just say talking to other people when you're near naked is not really my deal and I find it a little bothersome.

The Hobbit
Short fellow. Looks like one of the actors who played a Hobbit in LOTR. That's it really. He runs a nearby contemporary furniture shop. We bought our couch from him and he'll often say hello as he recognizes me. One thing I've learned from having um, irregular facial features (having a face for radio) is you couldn't get away with anything, so don't try. I've come to accept that more people will remember me than I will remember. I guess that's what it's like for famous people. Yes, that's right, I'm like a famous person.*

Esther Williams
I can't figure this woman out. She wears a cap and totally darkened goggles and oddly, very bright red lipstick. She also wears one of those old fashioned one-piece swim suits with the little skirt? Can you still buy those? I guess you can. The effect is that of a 1950s extra in a techni-color aqua-musical.

I suppose sometimes I wonder what their description of me would be. "Funny looking guy. Swims pretty hard. Spends a lot of time fussing with his goggles. Absolutely, under no circumstance, will he put his bare feet on the tile floor, going to great lengths to avoid it."

Hmph, I say, shrugging my shoulders. To each his own.

*I completely forgot this but last weekend I saw 3 small "c" celebrities in one city block of Queen West West. Kenny Holtz from Kenny vs Spenny, Christie Blatchford, Globe & Mail columnist and Sora Olah, host of a local food show who served me coffee at a local coffee shop.

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