It is my habit to go swimming daily in the summer. This is the time when I am home from college, but the poor Mumbai University chaps are trapped in exams. The swimming pool as an habitat is a fascinating picture. And with no distractions it proves to be an ideal ground to pay attention to the human species, not to mention overhear conversations. I’ve come to the conclusion that swimmers can be categorized and a taxonomy is not far off.
First up are Blubbers. Physical characteristics: men, past their prime, pot-bellies. It is undoubtedly easy to identify a Blubber. A lone Blubber is not so interesting. A tendency to not take effort leads him to float on his back. Since fat people float without effort, he can enter a state of quiet contemplation.
It is when Blubbers congregate that things can get interesting. If you ever have the opportunity to stand next to a Floogie ( a group of Blubbers ), watch them try to out do each other every time they talk. You will notice that all those ‘achievements’ are always in the past. Exploits of swims attempted in rivers in their youth, or nephews and sons who have reached heights come up often. But mostly it is the banter of how the country is going to hell and how every politician should be burnt and what they would have done in the same situation. I should mention that it is quite common for them to also plan the next drink-guzzling afternoon where-in each will try to increase his beer-belly more than others. Warning: It is dangerous to expose children to Floogies. Make sure you are strong minded and get far away at the first moment of light-headedness.
We now turn to Ladies. Their count is lower due to a lack of time or often devotion to other things. I should remark that swimming seems to bring their words-per-minute down by about 80%. Owing to the awkwardness involved in getting close to one, Ladies are quite an under-studied species. Some female readers might be interested in expanding upon this, the US military is always looking for ways to spend money on completely pointless things.
Kids. Don’t you wish you could be one. Kids are extremely easy to identify. They are small.
Some tend to morbidly afraid of the water and will not go in until forced by a Moleskein guardian ( see below ). Once they take to the water they immerse in their own world, unaware that they are about to kick a swimmer. Groups of kids often avail of trivial pursuits like throwing a coin into the water and rushing to get it. This is encouraged, it is known to lead many to become Swimmers later. Interoperatability between the sexes is best at this point, after all ignorance is bliss. The ease of swimming is inversely proportional to the number of kids in the water, as normal traffic rules do not apply to them ( Lack of rules has also been observed in Blubbers ).
The author feels no qualms when he puts himself in the species called Swimmers. They are the alpha males of the pool, strong, lithe and confident of their ability in the water. Their aim is to exercise, to push themselves to do as many laps as possible. It is quite unfortunate then, that every other class conspires to block them, hit them and more generally just piss them off by mere presence. In densely populated pools, Swimmers have been known to demonstrate extreme reaction times. It is my inference that this is due to the need to grind to a halt when a Kid comes in the way.
Moleskeins. Mostly harmless.
A major cause of concern in my pool is the lack of a species called Beautiful Girls. Taxonomically perfectly named with the English word ‘beautiful’ denoting physical appearance and ‘girl’ meaning ‘young of female gender’. Extremely rare species in these parts of the world, swimologists have laboured to collect information about them. Your author has had the bad luck to observe only one in his 3 month sojourn. It is unfortunate that she could swim a bit. This immediately discounted the species Damsels in Distress. This is bad because it has led to my inability to be called “my hero” which is important for a Swimmer’s confidence.
The rarety can be comprehended by the fact that only once in this time was the BG close enough to attempt communication. Alas, I was checked in my attempt by the arrival of a Blubber who attempted to teach the BG the right stroke. Considering that Blubber’s are incapable of coming within 50 yards of the right stroke, I think he must have read it in a book. This has led to my lifelong hatred of that species. It is the wish of me and my colleagues that Beautiful Girls increase in number, and that is the reason why I’m all for feminism.
( this is meant to be an anecdote, my first attempt at writing one. I will not apologize for any Politically Incorrect behaviour. I do not believe in PC in jokes. Enjoy :) )