Flipper Woman Mows Down Red Baron Man
P had been blissfully swimming in the end lane of the Oakland Y for 30 minutes. Each minute that went by without intrusion, was a sublime revelation. Why couldn’t it always be like this? Dreamy Aqua Murkiness.
She’d been thinking about what DL had said earlier, “He must have some sort of Bacterial Infection,” in reference to the too smelly guy in the weight room. No that doesn’t even describe it. The Smell was so strong. Not really sweat smell. But a wrong smell. Something clinical that vapored up and into the gym, causing P and DL to clutch their bellies to stifle the nausea. So P had said,” It must be something clinical” and then DL had nodded and said, “Yes, it was something BACTERIAL.” Of course this had cracked them up, and P was still laughing underwater when she almost mowed down Red Baron Man.
She’d seem him earlier. Crossing under the lane lines, stopping everyone from their steady lap swimming. She’d ignored him though. He was on the other side of the pool and she was in the end lane. No one was gonna share this lane with her. No one liked to swim against the wall. This lane was hers!
So, when she did see him, out of the corner of her foggy mask, glance across her lane, she figured he was just using the ladder to get out.
Till she almost mowed him down.
How the hell had he gotten down to the other side of the pool without her seeing him?
She was going to blame her Bacterial Infection Reverie for not paying as close attention as she usually did.And also her false sense of security in having nabbed the end lane.
It was the Oakland Y. No lane was secure.
He was in the middle of the lane. Flopping slowly going nowhere. Simply doing the Blocking Float. P was swimming freely, mightily, kicking hard with her fins, thinking about bacteria when….
She almost mowed him down.
Stopping just in time, she stood in front of him, glaring through her foggy mask: “What the hell are you doing?! I almost hit you!”
“You saw me,” he claimed. Indignant? Entitled? Crazy?
Instead of moving to one side of the lane and continuing on or apologizing and getting out or offering some sort of explanation, he simply plopped back into the water and continued to float block the lane.
Definitely crazy. P knew this from past observances of Red Baron Man at the Oakland Y. She’d never actually seen him swimming ‘laps’ but instead he was always just doing the Floating Block or the Standing Crazy. She’d seen numerous swimmers stop to keep from hitting him over the years. He just didn’t seem to get the concept of lap swimming.
Why was this? It didn’t seem that complicated. But yet, P had to think that he wasn’t quite all there.
Later, when P had told DL about the incident in Utopia, DL had come up with the title for this blog and they’d both shared a good laugh. And when, as they were leaving the Y, P had seen Red Baron Man at the front desk, causing some sort of trouble, and pointed him out to DL, DL had said, “Oh, he’s in his 70’s” (Earlier DL had claimed how she was really good at telling ages. P is not. Esp. through her foggy mask. So, when P had told DL about the incident and DL had asked how old he was, P hadn’t a clue, “50s? 60s?”)
But now, 70s? Okay, well, this might be one explanation, But P knows plenty of people in their 70’s who are completely aware of their surroundings and would never do the Float Block.
So what was it that made Red Baron Man so clueless?
P has a theory. It’s the hat. It doesn’t belong in the pool. It belongs on Snoopy. Or it belongs in the Great Gatsby. But it is not a swim cap.
Without the proper headgear in the pool, well doesn’t it make sense that the brain wouldn’t be protected in the proper manner from all those chemicals at the Y and therefore, situations might be skewed?
P likes this theory. It’s better than simply saying he’s nuts. Which is probably the real explanation.
She’s going to get him a Lime Green Cap from Big 5. Suggest he give it a try. See if it helps to guide his brain to one side of the lane or the other.
P hears your skepticism. But it’s worth a try!
Who knows. The green cap may keep some future poor lap swimmer from Mowing him Down.
And isn't that what everyone wants? A Crash Free Pool?
At the Oakland Y?
Only in your dreams, P. Only in your dreams......