Returning to the pool for the first time in a few years brought it all flooding back. Every annoying wazzock I ever came across there suddenly came to the forefront of my mind so I have compiled my top five. Call this venting if you like but I find it cathartic to berate these people.
Here are my top five annoying idiots found at the swimming pool.
1. The Over Extender
Because I returned to the pool last night for the first time in ages I knew that I was unlikely to be up to much, so I did drills of four lengths and called it a day after 500 metres. I’ll soon be up to speed. The Over Extender cannot do that. You see, he (and it always is a he) is a similar age to me (39) and also has not swum much recently, but he cannot admit it to himself. So, rather than pacing himself and gently easing back into it sensibly he instead hurtles along, front crawl for one and a half laps and then spends the rest of his time pretending that he is doing some strange interval swim. That is the only way he can cover up the fact that he has exerted himself far too hard, has probably pulled something and so he keeps doing single laps to prove he still has it.
You don’t need to do anything about this guy. He is already hurt and it is a matter of time until he has to stop.
2. The Fast Lane Zombie
The first of two idiots who blockade the fast lane, Fast Lane Zombie is a man or woman who clearly cannot swim fast by any measure, yet insists on hogging the fast lane. They also are completely oblivious to other swimmers getting annoyed at having to wait for them because they don’t let you go before them – something I personally am happy to do when faced with someone clearly in a different league to me. I hate you not because you’re slow, but because you’re too dense to observe the world around you and adapt to make life easy for all. It is a communal pool after all.
Zombie is best dealt with by swimming around them and splashing them. Glaring or even not-so-subtle hints do not crack their thick skulls. They’re completely clueless.
3. Two by Two
Two by Two are like the Binars from Star Trek: The Next Generation. They do everything together, at least in and around the pool. They swim on both sides of the lane so that nobody can get through and they talk incessantly. They talk when they swim. They talk when they rest. They talk when they get out. They talk in the showers. They talk on the way out. All the while they are in my way. No human being can possibly have the need to talk non-stop for hours like that.
The best way to deal with them is via the lifeguard, otherwise you get a tantrum.
4. Sista Doing it for Herself
I can already hear legions of feminist attack dogs being primed for this one but I don’t care. Sista Doing it for Herself is the one I hate the most. She is a slow swimmer in the fast lane and she isn’t letting you through under ANY circumstances, even though you’re obviously a lot faster than she is. Why? Because you’re a man, and the one thing she has had drummed into her for decades is to concede NOTHING to a man. She won’t let you through, she won’t let you pass, she won’t admit that you’re a better swimmer than she is, she won’t go in the slow lane where she belongs and she won’t respond well to even the most polite request to be reasonable and let the other swimmers flow more easily, because screw you Mr Male.
There is no point reasoning with her. She is doing it for the cause. The only way to deal with her is to get in front, splash her as much as possible and hopefully drive her out of the lane with an “accidental” kick in the face. She will usually clear off after that.
5. Doggy Paddler
The final one is a strange one. There are people, and Doggy Paddler is the worst, who swim on one side in the lane. By which I mean; rather than swing the body sideways to breathe a la front crawl, they swim the entire time on one side of their bodies. It is very strange and it makes them very difficult to navigate around because they are unaware of the world on the other side. These people really should not be lane swimming. They don’t need to. If they swim in the regular pool they will be no worse off, but lane swimmers have to constantly dodge them and try to get them to consider others but they don’t. They are best off ignored where possible.