I'm So Small!

“He chose your lane cuz you’re a really good swimmer so when he gets into trouble you can haul his sorry ass out.” Sandy shakes her head in swimmer sympathy as DL and I crack up. I want to say that I wouldn’t haul his ass out, no matter how much trouble he was in. He was just too gross. I’d been telling Sandy and DL about the ‘splash sandwich’ that I’d had to endure at the Oakland Y for, fortunately, only a short while.
When I spied him lurking on deck, standing in front of My Lane, his blobby white belly spilling out over his too small blue Speedo, I prayed silently to myself that he wouldn’t choose my lane.

Of course he did.
They always do. Why is that? I think Sandy is being generous in giving them that much of a critical thinking future brain. But I like it that she assumes that I’m a ‘good swimmer’---I don’t think she’s ever seen me swim!
No, I think they choose me cuz I’m small and easy to push around. When they splash in, their massive waves bounce me into the lane line, I gulp large quantities of water or hafta hold my breath when I pass them. It’s hard!
So, tonight, when Gross Belly Man splashed in with his bright yellow Zoomers, I cringed. Why me?
And I know why.
I’m small.
Most of the time I like being small. But this week, for instance, on the most crowded BART since Communist China bus rides, my smallness was a drawback. I was immediately smashed under some hipster’s armpit who was completely oblivious that I was even there with his earbuds in and his smelly flannel shirt.
I had a minor panic attack and was looking for an escape when a nice young woman offered to share the ‘senior seat’—why was she there in the first place? “OH that’s so nice of you!” I had said. “I can just sit on your lap!” She laughed softly, her seatmate moved over too and I perched on the arm of the seat for the 10 minute ride to West Oakland before I climbed out.
I couldn’t do it.
Tonight, fortunately, a lane opened up and I was able to move out of the Splash Sandwich lane after only a few laps.
But even a few laps was too many. With Belly Over Speedo man. Sorry, but some guys should just not sport those suits!
Maybe I should bulk up. Eat more ice cream and Nation’s Pie. Expand my girth. This way I wouldn’t be such a target. Those large belly guys would see me, my wide round expanse filling the lane, and think, ‘Nah, she’s too big. I’ll go swim with someone else......smaller….”
Yet, I don’t think I could really achieve this kind of expansive deterrent. I could swim in the middle of the lane more—lane hog---yes, I do try for this. But I think, cuz I am small, this just isn’t enough to dissuade the large undesirables.
Maybe Sandy is right. I’m too good of a swimmer. So, next time, when I see a Big Belly Man lurking in front of my lane, ready to jump in, I’ll just start swimming really badly. I’ll splash a lot. Wave my arms in inefficient stroke motions. Generally create an image of floundering inexpertise.
That should dissuade them.
I’ll give it a try this week and let you know how it goes.

In the meantime, I’ll eat some pie and ice cream and cookies and M&Ms and….

Hey! I already do that!
Splash on!


Ian said…
That's what I do when I see someone about to chose to share a lane. Some extra splashing and bad lane-hog swimming. I'm not as good, smooth, or small as you of course, which makes you an ideal swim/ share target. Of course, once they're standing at the end of your lane it's too late. You have to make the bad impression when they're still scoping the whole pool/ lane situation. It's a tactic.

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