It's often hard to define what something is, but you sure as Hell know what it isn't. For example, it's hard to put your finger exactly on what love is or what freedom is...but you know love isn't getting kicked in the balls, and freedom isn't, well, that isn't getting kicked in the balls, either. You know, come to think of it, getting kicked in the balls, really only has two uses in life. A great defense if some guy is about to rape you...and a perfect analogy for what things aren't.
Anyway, maybe I don't know EXACTLY what good pool etiquette is. But over the past week, I certainly have experienced what it isn't.
The Belly Rubber
Typically, in pools, there is a lane line. It's plastic. It separates one lane from another. And, in theory, its very existence screams in a Gandalfian kind of way "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" Why don't people ever listen to Gandalf?
One guy, we'll call him The Belly Rubber, was doing the backstroke "in his lane," but not being a very talented swimmer, or because his hand was magnetically drawn to my stomach, kept, it seemed, trying to get a genie to come out of my ass by continuously rubbing my stomach with his stroke (perfect term) as we passed each other. Seeing as I don't have a genie inside of any of my bodily orifices, I guess the joke was on him.
But, you know, that old saying is true. Rub my belly once while doing the backstroke by crossing under the lane line shame on you. Rub my belly twice while doing the backstroke by crossing under the lane line...I'm calling Chris Hansen. So, after this happened a few times, I moved over.
Another man, we'll call him Air Hugger, was doing freestyle "in his lane," but couldn't put his arm directly back in the water while he did his freestyle stroke. Oh no. He liked to come all the way out to the side, over the aforementioned lane line and into my lane, like he was hugging the air. For thirty minutes I kept dodging him and dodging him...and wouldn't you know it, right before I got out of the pool, I stopped paying attention, and our arms ran into each other, in some sort of Lambada of the elbows. Well, once our forbidden dance was over, we both stopped and stared at each other across the lane line. And he had the AUDACITY to tell me to watch where I was going!
Sage advice. Jerkoff.
Stupid Bitch and Stupid Bitchier
But my favorite moment of the past few weeks has to be with my two new favorite people in the world, Stupid Bitch and Stupid Bitchier.
Sometimes, when the pool is full, you have to share your lane. So, instead of going up and back, and up and back, and up and back, (again and again and again and again...it is really fun, let me tell you) in your own Lane A, you end up having to circle...which means you go up in Lane A, and back in Lane B. None of this is very interesting, but it is pertinent to the story.
Normally, when you have to circle, everyone in said circle has to agree, the two people in the pool as well as the third person who is coming in. This way, we all know that, yes, we will go up in Lane A and come back in Lane B. So simple.
Well, one day, a gentleman (Stupid Bitch) decides he is going to circle without letting anyone know first. So while minding my own business, swimming up and back in Lane A...all of the sudden...BAM. Stupid Bitch rams right into me and we have a head-on collision. Stunned, I doggie paddle and politely ask him "Um...what are you doing?"
His retort, "I thought we were circling."
"Um...you kind of have to say something FIRST. So we don't...you know...run into each other."
But accidents happen. I let it go...and continue swimming down Lane B, instead of Lane A, in circle fashion.
When I get to the end of Lane B, Stupid Bitchier is waiting for me...and she ever-so-politely goes off on ME for a few minutes about being in HER Lane B without telling her that we were going to circle first.
I listen to what she has to say, waiting to let her know that I was just run into and I thought he told her we were going to circle. But no...After Stupid Bitchier tears me a new asshole for daring to finish my lap in HER lane...all I manage to get out of my mouth is, "I agree with you...but in my defense..."
And she just swims off..and she doesn't stop swimming for the next thirty minutes until I leave the pool so that I never can retort.
So...as you can see, none of these things seem like love, freedom, or good pool etiquette to me...but they do seem awfully close to getting kicked in the balls.