“Hey, PP, did you get a chance to watch That Video I was telling you about?”
Dropping the paper towel into the trash, Gladys (aka Friendly Asian Water Walker) showers PP with a warm happy face.
Laughing softy, PP shakes her head as she rolls her suit up in her yellow towel and gathers up her lotions from the bathroom sink. “No, not yet. Glad you reminded me.”
It comes back to PP immediately. The Video. The first time Gladys told her about it, PP had just walked out on the pool deck, gritting her teeth as she surveyed the Mayhem swim lesson scene floating before her.
One lane actually had a sign posted in front of it, 'Lesson in Progress', where the usual little boy in Hawaiian print trunks was diving for plastic rings with his young, patient teacher in tow. Dad, for some reason this day, was following the two of them up and down the lane, mask and wet suit on, not swimming or talking. Just watching? This is what parents do, PP knows, but it added yet another body to the already crowded pool.
The usual kids section was full of adults, well, maybe not full, but for Hilltopia, having a cluster of 5 or 6 adults flailing about in half the pool was annoying. Not as annoying as a pool full of screaming children, but the mere fact that the pool wasn’t just for ‘lap swimming’ when this is what was posted on the schedule....
Well, you’ve all heard her whine about this before.
So, when Gladys waved a cheery ‘Hi PP!” from the walking lane and then started babbling to PP about some video on Comcast about "a ... that....cat... reporter....." well, PP couldn’t really hear her. She had her earplugs in on top of being distracted by the mayhem. And so, she didn’t even try to understand all that the video was about.
Today, then, when Gladys asked her again, PP assured her that she’d check it out. “I think you’ll really enjoy it,” Gladys enthused, grinning as she bent to unpack her large gym bag.
“What was it called again?” PP asks.
Gladys frowns, pausing for a moment. “Something like Cat Starved for Attention Climbs on Reporter”.’ She giggles. “It’s on Comcast. Do you get Comcast?”
PP shakes her head.
“Oh, yeah, that’s right. You said that yesterday.”
“Can I see it on You Tube?”
“Oh, probably. Yeah. You could check You Tube. Do you like animals?”
“Well, there’s this video on You Tube about a Beluga.”
She grins at PP in amazement. “You don’t know what a Beluga is?”
“It’s one of those whales with the big white foreheads shaped like this....” She makes a sweeping motion over her dark head.
“Oh, yeah. Of course, I know what you’re talking about,” PP laughs.
“I knew you did. Anyway there was a baby one up in Alaska and someone an Animal Rescue Person saw it swimming around and around frantically without its mom and so they called in some help and were able to capture it and save it. They even had to call in a Needle Natal Expert no....not that Neo Natal... That's hard to say!” She starts giggling uncontrollably. "Oh, you know what I mean!"
“Yeah, I do," PP grins, trying to dispel her embarrassment over the Neo Tongue Twister. "That's lucky for the baby whale. So cute.... Did you see the front page of the Chronicle’s Book Review today?”
She shakes her head no.
“Well, there’s a new book out, I can’t remember the name, but it’s about a baby Monk Seal that was rescued from abusive parents in Oahu and how this woman, a marine biologist..... Terrie Williams, I think was her name, brought it to her situation in Santa Cruz and wrote a book about it. So cute.”
“That is cute,” Gladys agrees. “The book review?” she then asks, puzzled. “You mean inside the Insight?”
“Yeah, that’s it.”
PP knows that many people don’t read the book review. In fact many people don’t read books at all. They just watch videos and Comcast. Nothing wrong with that.
Except there is.
Isn’t there? If no one read books then the world would be such a desolate place. Why, PP just finished reading Night Shift by Maritta Wolff. It took her to a world of ordinary desperation in Americana 1940 something. Three sisters all living their lives and losing their dreams and finding their happiness and carrying on in their own private hells.
PP never wanted it to end.
She needs this kind of escape to these other fictional worlds where her imagination can settle in and bask in this alternate universe. Without books, big novels in particular, why she’d just be.... she'd be......
Yet, talking with Gladys this afternoon about the book review it did strike her that she probably didn’t read the book review or many books for that matter. Now why PP has this presumption she can’t really say. Gladys seems like an intelligent, thoughtful person. And she’s retired. Lots of time to read!
But yet, whenever she chats with her, it’s about what?
Sports (Did you catch the US open today?)
Traveling (Have you been to Yosemite?)
Gambling (My brother has a real problem)
Frankly this last one was by far the most interesting tidbit of chatting. Why there's a start to a novel most definitely.
And of course, it’s just pool chatter. You can’t really have an in-depth conversation with earplugs in and mayhem without.
Hell, though, what difference does it really make? If people read more, and spent less time time watching cat videos, would the world really be a better place?
Or is it the other way around? If people watched more cat videos and read less then.... PP has to admit that she can become obsessed with the cat videos on You Tube.
What did they all do before You Tube?
Today, though, PP is gonna check out the Cat Seeking Attention Video on Comcast.
That is if she can get it on You Tube.