You can always tell it’s the New Year when you find the ‘lost’ remote control between your fat stomach rolls and you feel as obliged to exercise as you did to visit tedious relatives just a few days previous.
Gym intolerant and lacking in suitable outdoor footwear I decided that swimming would be my sport of choice for this year’s half-arsed attempt to get fit.
I would have been better off lying in the bath and wiggling impatiently.
I know its London, I know it’s packed, I know we have to be rammed against people on transport that smell like a sewer drain full of dirty undies and rotting used-tampons but does it have to be packed everywhere?
So, I arrive at the pool across the road from work; convenient dream, yes. Enough room to drown an anorexic hamster, no. I made the largest discovery of screaming children crammed into a small space since Gary Glitter’s basement was raided, and was greeted by enough wet old people to assume it was a tidal wave at the post office.
One of the delightful kiddies was clinging onto the side of the pool and repeatedly filling his inane little trap with water and then spitting it out at his volume-control challenged sister. Nobody complained, but one of my fellow swimmers said that perhaps he had attention deficit disorder. That’s just 21st century PC bullshit for ‘what a lot of rude little fuckwits we’re raising in Britain these days’.
I concluded that since ADD allowed him free reign to gob all over the pool, that I would save my next visit for when I had the hangover shits and see if blind eyes were still turned beneath the goggles then.
Given the horrors of the Kings Road Sports Centre I tried a venue closer to home in Brixton. Getting into the ‘slow lane’ I noticed that the sign dictated that swimmers go clockwise yet the two people already in were going the wrong way. I accepted this and joined in, lane democracy and all.
Soon enough an angry dwarf in red shorts and a whistle (member of staff), chose to pick me off from the herd. We had been a trio of anti-clockwise vigilantes yet despite being the last, and most reluctant to join, I was in for a kicking. I’ve never seen such an aggressive display of jobsworthyness and never been made to feel so bad for such an irrelevant ‘crime’. In Brixton, where you can buy skunk from outside the tube and get shit-faced 24-hours-a-day, you are not allowed to swim anti-clockwise unless dicated by the sign. Fact.
Fuck swimming. Fuck New Year’s. Pass me the remote and some chips and keep me out of the water or someone’s going to get hurt… (plays Jaws theme).