Friday, November 8, 2019

Rivals

I have seen folk get into it a bit at the pool around lap lane use and general pool etiquette, but I never thought that I'd be involved in disagreements while in the water. Given that I am at the pool most days, I suppose I should be surprised that a water spat hadn't happened sooner.

The recent time change has meant that I am getting up a bit earlier than usual these days. Wanting to do something productive with my new-found morning time, I checked out an early lap swim slot at a new-to-me pool in my hometown this past Monday. This particular pool happens to be housed at my old high school's rival high school. I did sort of feel like I was in 'enemy territory' when I looked up to see the rival high school's mascot, a massive Great White, staring down at me from a mural on the wall. Given what then transpired, the gnarly-looking shark on the wall was a bit of foreshadowing.

Arriving at the pool that day, I found a water aerobics course to be in full swing. The exercise class was cordoned off from the lap lanes by a divider. I picked an empty 'slow' lane closest to the class to use. When I was half-way down the lane, I noticed that a woman from the aerobics area had moved into the lap lane and was using it to perform her exercises. Never really wanting confrontation in any form, had I seen her in the lap lane from the start, I would have moved into a shared lane and been done with it. Encountering her there presented me with a choice. I had either to ask her to kindly move, or shove off myself. I opted for the former.

'Hi, I'd like to use the lap lane for lap swimming.' 

'Oh, that's fine. Go around me.' 

'I'd rather not. I don't want to inadvertently run into you while swimming.'

'I'll just move down to the end then.'

'Could you just move back into the water aerobics area?'

'I have a disability! I have a right to be here! If you don't like it, then take it up with the manager!'

None of the above was particularly pleasant, but I had kept my cool while the woman escalated in both tone and language. 

Then she said---I forget the exact wording---that I was being rude and disrespectful(?) and that is when I lost it. I told her that she was 'full of shit' before swimming away. When I reached the neighboring lap lanes, I was met by two sympathetic-looking swimmers. One of them invited me to join his lane. I can't help but wonder if the disgruntled woman had flipped me the bird, or something, as I was retreating. Some 15 minutes later, I noticed that old 'I have a right to be here!' had moved back into the aerobics class area and that another swimmer was now using the vacated lap lane.

I've since been back to the rival high school pool. I use any lane but the one closest to the aerobics class.


The pool is located in the blue-roofed building.

21 comments:

  1. I remember (to my shame) lane rage.
    My particular bug bear was people who took up the entire lane and refused to move over.
    I mostly bit my tongue and moved.

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    Replies
    1. I would probably just move as well, were I in the same situation.

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  2. I think it is funny how something can 'get to us'.
    It used to be called 'the time of the month'. I haven't been able to use that excuse for years and years.

    I just call it 'the time of the mouth'.

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  3. Next time, hold her head under until the bubbles stop coming up. No actually, don't. Let her up for a breath every now and then.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps a slap fight in the water would be best.

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  4. We see this kind of thing in our pool from time to time - selfish people with zero awareness of others - and yes, the occasional argument.

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  5. Some people just have to take up as much space as possible. I'm not sure why that is. I wonder if their parents never taught them that others share public spaces and to be aware of those around them.

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  6. Interesting that these days people like to call one another out over Special Rights & Entitlements. Once people stood their ground because they simply wanted to be somewhere. I swam in a university pool once where a foreign student swam across the shallow end of the pool!! Apparently they were afraid to be in the open water of a lane yet had to negotiate all the lane dividers as a nice little challenge. Needless to say there was a fair bit of aggro when they crossed a fast swimmer. One of my favourite tea-towels has a cartoon of a swimming pool divided into Fast Lane, Slow Lane and General Bewilderment Lane where the swimmers are all standing around in their goggles in their spacious lane.

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    Replies
    1. Hahahahaa! Brilliant tea towel. General Bewilderment Lane is often where I find myself.

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    2. I have that tea-towel too. Judy Horacek is the cartoonist - and she is often brilliant.

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  7. Love your stories. I hear the same from my sister, when I see her on occasion. You swim every day, and rude pool behavior seemingly is ubiquitous.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joanne. And I would have to agree with your assessment.

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  8. The lap lane usurper had a powerful and completely unjustified sense of entitlement.

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    Replies
    1. Agreed, Debra. That she then gave up the lane, in the end, was certainly very curious.

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  9. What a bunch of crap. Sorry that you had to deal with it. It seems like people are feeling more and more entitled to be shitty and don't care about their behavior.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was a bunch of crap. I felt that I'd lost a bit of self-respect by responding, though. -wish I'd not told her what for.

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  10. You telling her that she was full of shit made me grin. :D

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