The baby pool - or the kiddie pool, as I incorrectly referred to it before - has been something I've discussed in previous jerks entries. For those who missed it, it's a pseudo hot tub at my gym. Since it's warm and two feet at its deepest, it's technically for parents to bring their children so they can splash around. That's what it was designed for, anyway. However, 99 percent of the time, old men like myself occupy it and lounge around in it. The baby pool is usually kept at 102 degrees, so it's quite relaxing after either working out or skipping the workout on a lazy day. I have plenty of lazy days.
This all sounds great, I know, but my gym is not the paradise I make it out to be. I've discussed the various characters who go there, such as Homeless Grudge Woman, an abomination who looks like the monster from the Grudge - click the link to see a picture - and aimlessly walks around the pool countless times for no rhyme or reason. The gym itself is disgusting as well, featuring bathrooms with poop running down the walls. L.A. Fitness has nothing on this establishment.
Unfortunately, the baby pool has its flaws as well. I can't recall a month in which it hasn't been closed for at least a week. The water isn't clean either, as there always seems to be random crap or pubes floating around in it. Sometimes, the water gets this murky yellow shade, and that's when they decide to close it. You might be wondering, How is it a shade of yellow when old men frequent the baby pool instead of kids? And to that, I say that you answered your own question. I have no doubt that nine of 10 wrinkly men who step foot into the baby pool relieve themselves, present company not excluded.
The baby pool has more benefits than being a place to both relax and relieve oneself. Amusing things happen in there, like the one guy I discussed in the first link I posted who tried to hit on the 22-year-old lifeguard by both insulting her and then threatening to take her job. I've also learned interesting things. For example, this old lady struck up a conversation with me one afternoon...
Old Lady: You there shonny, you're sitting by the thermometer, how warm is the pool?
Me: Let me see... it's 102 degrees.
Old Lady: Thank you, shonny. There's nothing like relaxing in here after a long workout!
Old Lady: I am training for the Olympics, after all!
Olympics!? This woman was like 80. Unless dying of old age was now considered a sport, there was no way in hell she was telling the truth. She clarified herself, however.
Me: You're going to the Olympics? You mean to watch?
Old Lady: Ah, shorry shonny, I should've specified. I'm going to compete in the Senior Olympics.
Me: Ah, OK. That makes more sense. What sports will you be competing in?
Old Lady: All of them!
Me: Wow. All of them?
Old Lady: Yesh. There's running, swimming, biking, basketball and Scrabble.
Uhh... Scrabble? How the hell did that make in there? Was the Bingo machine unavailable? Seriously, I'd like to know the thought process behind that. Like, why Scrabble over other board games? Chess would make more sense if they wanted one, but why even have a board game in the first place? It seriously takes no athletic ability to play Scrabble. The fattest person in the history of the planet could win at Scrabble, so therefore it doesn't have any sort of spot in any type of Olympic Games, even if it's 80-year-olds who are participating.
I wished the old lady good luck, but that was futile...
Me: Good luck in the games!
Old Lady: Ah, I don't need it, but thank you!
Me: Why not?
Old Lady: Because I win all the games every single year!
Even Scrabble? Wow, what an athletic specimen! I can't believe I was sitting next to a sporting legend in the baby pool this entire time and didn't realize it. I felt like such a fool.
I wouldn't call this old lady a jerk. A show-off, perhaps, but not a jerk. I did, however, have three instances involving jerks that I wanted to mention in this entry...
There's a woman in her late 60s who frequents both the regular pool and baby pool whom I call the Scowl. I haven't discussed her yet because Homeless Grudge Woman has occupied my thoughts (and nightmares) pertaining to the gym. However, Homeless Grudge Woman has at least one fan - and that would be the Scowl, because without Homeless Grudge Woman creepily stalking people at my gym, the Scowl would be the scariest person there.
As you've probably guessed, the Scowl tends to sport a menacing scowl on her face. And by "tends," I mean "always," and by "menacing," I mean "so absolutely horrifying that you have nightmares about people's faces melting." I am not exaggerating. I've had these recurring night terrors for months now.
The Scowl never stops looking pissed off. The first time I saw her, she stared at me as if she wanted to slit my throat. She scared me half to death, but I checked back a few minutes later to see if she was still inexplicably angry at me. She was. Only this time, it seemed like she wanted to sneak into my room late at night and suffocate me with a pillow.
I'm not the only one who has noticed this, as I discovered in a conversation with the lifeguard.
Lifeguard: What's the deal with that old woman? She looks like she wants to kill me.
Me: I get the same feeling! She keeps staring at me with this angry-looking scowl on her face.
Lifeguard: Me too! I asked her if she could move over just a bit so I could reach for the thermometer, and she looked like she wanted to kill me. I didn't think it was that much of a request!
Me: Well, I didn't even say anything to her. She just shot me the stink eye even though I've never said anything to her before.
So, what does this have to do with the baby pool? The Scowl is always in there, without fail. Just the other day, I sat on the other side of the pool from her and I made the mistake of looking at her face. She shot back an expression that said, "I'm going to murder your entire family and make you watch, you f***ing son of a b***h."
But then, something weird happened. The Scowl looked down, and she gave the baby pool water the same glare. I figured she was disgusted by how dirty the water was, but then she gazed at the wall just as angrily. I'm 100-percent sure the wall didn't do or say anything to her, so what was going on here?
That's when it hit me - her face is always like that. To confirm my hypothesis, I took a peek at her when she wasn't staring at anyone. She had the same expression.
Ouch. Sucks for her. It must even suck for her husband, who probably has no clue whether his wife is happy or miserable. I can only imagine their conversations.
Husband: Honey, why are you so angry?
The Scowl stares menacingly at him.
Husband: I'm sorry, my love, for whatever I did! If you want me to paint the house and clean the gutters, I'll do it, even though you didn't ask me to!
The Scowl: I wasn't angry at all! I was quite happy, actually! But now I'm pissed off at you because you thought I was mad!
Now that I think about it, the poor lady was disfigured because of some ailment, and here I am making fun her. I guess I am the true Jerk of the Week after all.
The Stoner, the Gay Fat Kid and the Annoying Girl:
The baby pool seldom has any kids in it, but they do pop in once in a while. One afternoon, this middle-aged guy brought three kids to the pool. They refused to go into the adult pool, opting for the baby pool instead. This enraged at me at first because those bastards were going to ruin my relaxation, but hearing them interact was actually amusing.
The large kid spoke with a lisp and spent the entire time flicking around water. The girl took offense to this, citing the rules even though the guy who brought them didn't seem to care; he spent the entire time texting on his phone.
Annoying Girl: Mr. Hudson said no splashing!
Gay Fat Kid: I'm only splathing a little bit!
Annoying Girl: No splashing, Jonathan!
Gay Fat Kid: Juth a teeny bit! Thee? Juth a little tiny teenthy bit of splath!
Annoying Girl eventually focused her attention on the third kid, who looked stoned. He just stared at a sign that said "Pool Open."
"Pool open?" he muttered to himself. "Pool open? ... Pool ... open?"
Annoying Girl: Hey, Colin, the pool is open!
Stoner Kid: Pool ... open?
Annoying Girl: Hey, Colin, which girl do you like in school?
Stoner Kid: ...
Annoying Girl: Hey, Colin, what's your favorite food?
Stoner Kid: ...
Annoying Girl: Hey, Colin, how old are you?
Stoner Kid: ...
Annoying Girl: Hey, Colin, what's your favorite soda?
Stoner Kid: ...
Annoying Girl wouldn't shut up. She kept peppering Stoner Kid with questions, yet he showed absolutely no interest in answering her pointless queries. She kept going, however, but he kept sitting there, completely ignoring her... until she asked something that set him off, apparently.
"Hey, Colin, what's your favorite pizza topping?"
I have no idea why this question enraged him, but he lunged at her and tried choking her. She was stronger than him, however, so she wrestled him off. As this was going on, Gay Fat Kid began splashing more violently.
"Mr. Hudthon, they're fighting again, pleath make them thop!" he whined, but to no avail. This Mr. Hudson continued to text. I don't know if he was completely oblivious to the situation, or if he just didn't care.
My money is on the latter. If I had to deal with annoying kids like these, I wouldn't give a damn either.
There's an annoying Indian man who frequents the pool. No one likes him. This includes the lifeguard, as he mauled her over one time trying to enter the pool deck.
"Sir, the pool is closing now, you can't come in!" she protested, but to no avail. He just marched forward and plopped into the baby pool, unwilling to move. She walked by the pool and told him to get out.
Indian Man: I cannot. I need to do back exercises.
Lifeguard: You're not doing back exercises! You're lounging in the baby pool!
Indian Man: This is my exercise! The doctor told me to do this!
Dr. Seuss, you mean? Who else would recommend lying around in a pseudo hot tub - with no jets, I might add - to cure back pain?
I had an interesting interaction with this man on another day when he joined me in the hot tub. He sat down a little too close to me and tried to strike up a conversation.
Indian Man: What is your name?
Indian Man: Orange?
Indian Man: Your name is Orange?
How the hell did he get "Orange" from "Walter?" I thought it would be amusing to let him believe that my name was Orange, so I just nodded my head. He continued...
Mr. Orange: So, Orange, this pool is hot, yes?
Mr. Orange: It is very hot, Orange.
Me: That it is.
Mr. Orange: This pool is very hot.
Mr. Orange: Hot. Very hot.
Mr. Orange stopped talking to me - but only momentarily. A minute later he looked at me and said:
"This pool is very hot."
And a minute after that...
"It is very hot in here!"
And a minute after that...
"I'm so hot in this pool!"
He was pissing me the hell off because I was just trying to relax. I nearly lunged at him like Annoying Girl, but I instead shot him a dirty look. He stopped talking to me after that.
I imagine that he went on his computer that night and began updating his blog, ThisPoolIsHot.com, where he ranted about a guy named Orange at the gym whom he would refer to as "The Scowl."
Hey, if that's what it takes for him to stop asking me annoying questions, he can call me whatever he wants. In fact, I should just scowl at everyone. Perhaps the real Scowl lady is on to something.