Two Pools in Torrance: Part I: The Belching Pool
“See that guy that just got in the pool?” PP’s sis is pointing to a spastic underwater swimmer, who’s just dived into the sweet little pool at the West Side Tennis Club Pool in lovely Torrance. He’s dived into the kids’ side: the lanes (only 3 of them) are all full, with a waiting list. (Oh, this is so Club Culture. The lanes will only accommodate one swimmer at a time. Well, so do the lanes at the Oakland Y, but this is a Club, not a Y—--more on the Torrance Y later!) Thus, the swimmers place their names next to the lane they’re taking:
Lane 1: Joe Time: 5:02
Lane 2: Carla Time: 5:04
Lane 3: Roger Time: 5:05
“Damn!” PP’s sis mutters as she glances up at the clock, 5:06. “Looks like we just missed our opportunity!”
So they add their names to the Wait List:
Waiting List: PP 5:06
PP’s Sis 5:06
It was a decidedly weird system. But hey, when in Torrance….
So there they sit, watching the Guy that just dived into the kids’ side to avoid waiting for a lane, PP guesses, when Sis continues: “I think he’s the guy that always swims crooked. He just swims with one arm I think. So he goes to the left too far one way and then to the right too far the other way. It’s okay to swim next to him going one way, there’s lots of room. But the other way, he runs right into you.”
PP is super glad that he’s in the pool with the kids, and as they watch, he runs right into one of them. A frolicking bikini tanned girl steps on him underwater. He doesn’t notice. She squeals.
It’s the summertime pool in action!
So PP and Sis wait…. And wait…… And wait…..
”They’re only supposed to swim for 30 minutes when people are waiting,” Sis points to the board with the lane assignments. “These people are all pretty good. They’ve put their times in. Sometimes they don’t.”
PP nods, thinking how since she’s had to wait for 30 minutes she wants to swim more than 30 minutes or her usual 45 minutes since her Sis did pay 10 clams for the privilege. Which PP thought was a bit exorbitant, cheapskate that she is. But hey, Sis just shrugged, saying it was okay. So PP went along with it.
But this isn’t really the story at all. PP digresses in her Pool Detail Obsession.
No the story is that when PP does finally get her lane, and starts to swim in the very sweet little pool with the balmy water temp and the cute blue dolphin tiles, and she’s on the kickboard, flippering happily down the lane, when Crooked Swimming Man, in the kids’ side of the pool where he’s created a wide berth for himself, is doing the breaststroke which appears to be not too crooked, but when he comes up for air right when PP is passing him on the opposite side, he lets loose a huge juicy disgusting guacamole infused BELCH that reverberates across the lane and floats over the water's surface smack into PP's face in all its glorious vaporous stench.
“ARRGGGHH!!! “ PP yells across at him. But of course, by now, he’s back underwater, completely oblivious to his Obscene Gastronomic Outburst.
Quickening her pace, PP kicks away from him, shaking her head and laughing. Some people.
But hey, maybe he needs the belch propulsion to keep afloat? Or he just ate too much goddamn guacamole and chips and couldn’t help it. Or he was just a gross old guy who didn’t give a shit.
PP thinks it’s probably the last, but whatever. She’s got her own lane. No one is on the wait list. The sky is bright blue. The palms sway in the wind. Her sis is next to her.
What more could she want?
Nothing, she thinks, as she reaches the edge of the pool, except maybe the the pull buoy she’s sharing with sis.
She makes a grab for it.
“Hey!” Sis protests softly. “I was gonna use those.”
PP pouts. “Me too!”
“Oh, go ahead!”
And now it is perfect! PP gets her own way from her little sis. As she should! Being the Big Sis and all.
But more about sisters in the next installment!