“That remind me of goin on a cruise!” Golden Toweled Woman chuckled to herself as she plopped down on one of the wooden stools across from the hot tub, pointing to the large white lifesaver ring newly hung on the wall. “For Emergency Use Only” was written in black felt tip marker round it, on all sides. Top. Bottom. Middle.
PP had noticed it last time she’d been in the hot tub, and had thought it was kinda weird. Who was gonna drown in 3 feet of water in an 8 X 8 foot tub?
But hey, maybe a cruise is what it was all about, so PP nods in agreement as she glanced up at it.
“It sure is a good thing they put that up though seriously,” GTW asserted, the chuckle subsiding, but still echoing in PP’s imagination.
“Yeah. I seen a woman. She got took away by a ambulance. She was a new member. And they told her she was stayin in there too long, but she don’t listen. She was in there 30 or 40 minutes every day. So one day she just passed out and they took her away in the ambulance.”
PP wanted to ask if she had been okay, but was afraid to. It didn’t matter, though, GTW was still talking. “And these other ladies, I seen them laying there face down in the tub and they pulled them out and they was okay but now it’s a good thing they got that there.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” PP agreed, still wondering what happened to the ambulance woman.
“HEY! You find out who tol?” GTW hollered to the Square Chinese Woman in Pearls and nothing else who'd just stomped into the room.
“No! No…. I didn’t!” Pearled Chinese Woman shook her head, than leaned over and spat in disgust into the sink, making a hissing sound as she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
“It wasn’t That Lady I seen in the Steam Room?”
”No. Not her. I dunno,” PCW shook her head again, eyeing her reflection in the mirror ferociously.
“It’s not Her is it?” GTW nodded toward the showers to an unseen showering woman or at least this was PP’s assumption.
“That Good! She was my Partner in Crime!” GTW let out a booming chuckle, her big brown arms shaking in mirth.
PP couldn’t stand it anymore. What the hell were they talking about? “What Crime did you commit?” she blurted out.
GTW stopped laughing, but still shaking her head, wiped a tear from her eye. “We oil up and go in There,” she nodded, solemn and secretive now, as she nodded toward the sauna. “We not suppose to do that so someone tol on us, and we don’t know who!”
“Why would someone care?” PP asked, thinking how petty some people were that they would actually take the trouble to ‘tell’ on someone oiling up in the sauna. It was like some of these women never left 7th grade.
Or they watched too many soap operas.
Or they were just bitches.
GTW shook her head, mystified for a moment before sighing heavily. “It against the Rules. But we clean up after ourselves. No one knows we be oiling up. But the Rules…..” She sighed heavily, placing her large hands squarely on her toweled lap for balance. “You know the people who tol on us? They’s the Same People that don’t take a shower before they go in There. (She pointed to the Hot Tub where PP floated in the corner. Thank god she’d taken a shower today!) They’s the Same People who don’t take a shower before they go in the Pool. They’s the Same People who wear their Street Panties in There!”
Again she pointed at the tub where PP sat in her swimsuit. Thank God she’d taken off Her Street Panties! Yet, PP loved this term! Had never heard it before. And yes, she’d seen plenty of panties worn in all sorts of strange permutations here at the Y. In the Hot tub, of course. Under swimsuits, the thick dirty white bands hanging out from under the suit. In the sauna. In the shower.
Street Panties. They were everywhere!
Damn! Why doesn’t everyone just toss those Street Panties out the window? Dance naked into the showers. Bob naked in the hot tub. Lounge naked in the sauna. Swim naked in the pool……
No, nix that last one. PP did NOT want to see most of the swimmers at the Y without at least their Street Panties on in the Pool! The thought of some of those swimmers letting it all hang out. Well…..PP didn’t want to go THERE!
“But Rules, they’s Rules…..” GTW shook her head in resignation. She’d gotten away with it for so long and now what?
PP was pretty sure she’d get away with it again.
As long as everyone just kept their Y Panties on and their Street Panties Off!