In the Swimming Pool
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In the Swimming Pool 

מאת    [ 01/02/2012 ]
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In the Swimming Pool

Most pools consist of two parts: One for players, another for swimmers. The players’ part is for children and children at heart. These are relaxed humans who see the pool as source of fun. The swimmers’ part is for humans who perceive the pool as mixed blessing of varying degrees, fun and work.

In the swimmers’ part, there are different characters:

First, the no-nonsense group. This is the most boring group in the pool. It consists of people who come to swim, period. They have an assignment to fulfil, and they do not relax until reaching the end they set for themselves. They do not talk. They do not mingle. They swim. This group is quiet and usually courteous.

In this group we can discern different types of swimmers:

The boxers – They take deep breath, head into the water and then with clinched feasts punch the water as hard as they can until they remain breathless. Then they raise their heads above water, another deep breath, head under water (someone told them that this is the correct way to swim), and another punching round. They move slowly, and finish this exercise utterly exhausted.

The defeated cockroaches – They lie on their back, belly they adorned for a good part of their lives above water, sometimes sun glasses completes the show, they start progressing backwards with small movement of hands and sometimes legs, completing one or two rounds in one hour.

The wide breast stylists – They advance with very wide breast strokes that do not dread human flesh. Quite the opposite. Encounters are welcomed. Usually this group consists of men, usually older men, whose wide style reaches beyond one assigned lane. Sometimes such encounters yield shouts and screams, usually between elderly men and elderly women, or in other words, between wide breast swimmers and swimmers with wide breasts.

Then we have the don’t-give-a-damn swimmers, also divided into sub-groups:

Statutes – Usually of elderly women who dress up for the occasion with their best outfit which was THE hottest fashion in nineteen hundred and seventy five. Their doctor told them to exercise, and that “swimming is very good for you,” and as conscientious patients they follow doctor’s advice. In the pool they meet like-minded women and began exchange vital information for their well-being, discussing their personal affairs (health), family affairs, neighbourhood affairs, community affairs, national affairs, and international affairs. Covering all these highly interesting and sometimes controversial issues takes a good hour, at least, the time they pledged their doctors to spend in the pool. As long as they stay put, they are like unmovable sectors on your hard disk. Swimmers know they are there and circumvent the statute. They become trickier when they talk and walk. Then unpleasant encounters can develop between the movable and the assumed unmovable objects.


Misguided torpedoes – This group consists of swimmers who insist to swim on their back. They usually cannot keep a straight line, and of course have no idea what lies in front of them. They are not easily deterred unless they hit a very sturdy man. Only such painful encounter, bone to bone, bone to muscle, may cause them to change their mind and swim like considerate humans.

The Phelps – This group consists of swimmers who are determined to break Phelps’ world record. Nothing would stand on their way, especially not other swimmers. They are racing against unforgiving clock. Of course, they never break Phelps’ record but they never stop trying. This is the most dangerous group in the pool. You better clear the way, or else...

The astronauts, or the free-spirited – All swim clockwise but then there will always be one who swims in the opposite direction, absolutely oblivious to the burning red clockwise signs. As they are astronauts also outside the pool, they associate the nasty encounters with other swimmers to the natural hazards of life. As free-spirited astronauts, only the voice of reason of a resolute life-guard may resolve the anarchical blunder and restore peace and order.







רפי כהן-אלמגור


Twitter: @almagor35

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