Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
- Community Blog
- Daily Crasher
Blood and Chlorine
The other day I was at LA Fitness, having just finished a few games of basketball. I don't usually get there at noon, and when I walked in there were so many people I decided instead of waiting 20 minutes for a game, I'd play some racquetball.
I found a guy to play, but he couldn't return my shots. And that doesn't make things very fun, and it certainly isn't a good work out.
After two quick games, I noticed only two people waiting to play. I stood near them, assuming we'd get the next game. A few other people came in after me, and when it got to be around seven people waiting (teams only have five), I figured there would be an argument. And there was.
These guys are all friends, and they wanted their friends to play. I said that I was there before the other guys. They said I wasn't, they were just lifting weights. I laughed and said, "So...can I call next game, and then go to McDonald's and grab something to eat and come back, and still have next game? It doesn't work that way. You have to stay here and wait."
Nobody was budging, so I suggested we shoot free throws to see who plays (I once won a bet making 90 out of 100, so I'm biased towards this way of decision making).
I ended up playing, and after making the first four baskets for our team, I think they were happy with the results.
I was swimming laps in the pool afterwards, and noticed a guy staring at me. I didn't think much of it.
A 60-year-old Asian woman said (in broken English) as I got out of the pool, "I see you here before. You swim funny. Your head no go in water." I laughed and told her I don't have the best form. I wondered why she'd even comment, when she was just walking up and down the pool lanes.
When I went into the sauna I look up, and he's sitting right next to me. He says, "Did you have a good swim?"
I'm thinking...here it comes. He's going to ask me out, and I'm going to have to say I'm heterosexual. I said "Yeah, it was okay," as I open up the LA Times. He said, "Can I say something, without you being offended?"
He continued, without waiting for my answer.
"You are the worst swimmer. You look so awkward out there. Did you just learn how to swim?"
I laughed and said, "Hey...I'm not trying to become the next Michael Phelps. I had been playing basketball, and I'm tired. I just wanted to swim a few laps and get some exercise."
He went on to say that he runs triatholons, and how he hired a swimming coach to teach him all the proper techniques. I said, "As long as I'm getting exercise, and not splashing the hell out of the person next to me, I don't care."
When I drove up to UTC after I left, I saw that the Blood Bank had their bus nearby, so I decided to give blood.
I guess I decided to "pay it forward" with the comments, too. A nurse was singing a Don Henley song over and over, and I joked about her bad singing.
When she got my arm all tied up she said, "You better watch out. I'm a better singer than I am with this needle."
She ended up telling me about her daughters, and when we finished she said, "That was such an interesting conversation, thank you." I said, "Well...I figured if I kept you talking, I wouldn't have to listen to your singing."
She punched my arm. The same arm that had just had a needle in it for 15 minutes. But I guess I had that coming.