Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream....for the Pool!





Martin Luther King day at the pool. But did freedom reign? Well, in a manner of speaking.

Did peace and goodwill and equality for all prevail?

Hell no.

There was a CRASH. And of course, there are two sides to every crash. Literally and figuratively. Literally, Flailing Chinese Woman climbed into Powerful Swimmer Woman’s lane without telling her. Figuratively, the Culture Crash was something that could have been avoided if only Someone had been paying attention.

So. FCW began her flailing spastic backstroke down the center of the lane as usual. But watch out! Here comes PSW, careening down the center of the lane (because naturally, since FCW didn’t inform her that she was joining the lane, she was swimming down the center). Her backstroke was strong. Her powerful arms churning through the water. Her eyes on the ceiling, not ahead of her where lo and behold, here comes FCW and KAAABOOM!!!!

Heads collide. The lifeguard gets up off his ass and starts blowing his whistle way too late. Much language confusion as PSW tries to mime how FCW shoulda told her that she was getting in the lane before she started swimming. Of course, FCW is pissed off. What the hell is going on? Why did That Woman run into her? She was just swimming along, minding her own business, flailing in oblivious abandon.

Well.

Later, when PP was getting ready to get out (she’d had enough, too, though no crashes, thank goodness, just lots of sandwiched swimming between mighty splashers) PSW was getting out and offered her lane to PP.
“Thanks,” PP grinned, trying to make light, “I bet you’ve had enough after your crash.”

Shaking her head, PSW smiled ruefully, “Yeah, not only did she crash into me head-on, but then she hit me a couple of times and she even scratched me right....” She glances up and down her arm and then shrugs. “Well, she did.....and I just think that if the lifeguards were a bit more proactive, then this sort of thing wouldn’t happen.”

PP nodded, agreeing. She’d thought the same thing. After all, the lifeguards know the scoop. They watch in bored nonchalance as FCW gets in a lane everyday and proceeds to spaz out at every swimmer who has the great misfortune to try to share a lane with her. But no. The lifeguards just sit up on their stupid chair, picking at some scab on their leg, while the pool devolves into complete anarchy in a matter of seconds.

They know that FCW is a challenge. The guy today had to have seen her get into PSW’s lane. Why the hell didn’t he get up and stop the Crash before it happened?

Oh yeah, that woulda taken not only some initiative but also some highly advanced speculative critical thinking skills that obviously is not in the YMCA’s lifeguard job description!

Hello? It’s not Rocket Science, Lifeguards. Wake the hell up and stop the Chaos!

But then, later, in the hot tub, when PP sunk into the thankful warm bubbles and FCW was in the tub nursing her wounds and her psyche, PP did feel a little sorry for her. FCW proceeded to act out the Crash in the hot tub for PP’s elucidation. “Blah blah blah (this is all in Chinese) BOOM! Blah blah blah blah...BOOOM!!!” etc, all the while motioning at her head and the imaginary lane lines symbolized by the hot tub tiles.

And PP had to think, hell, she didn’t get it that she was in the Wrong. And then PP had to remember, that it was MLK day, and what would Dr. King have said about the situation?

After all, he was a Pacifier and Negotiator kinda guy who might have had a solution to the Pool Chaos that’s been rampant at the Y the last few weeks.

Well, at the very least, PP would like to echo his sentiment:

“I have a Dream that one day every swimmer will have her/his own lane and live out the true meaning of the pool: Utopia”

Baring this, PP has the dream that at the very least, there are always two stories to every crash, and with a little bit of Dr. King’s compassion, well, maybe just maybe, we can all get along.

At least for a little while. In the pool. Let Freedom ring till the next crash happens!

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