People constantly look for signs that bad things are going to happen. For instance, the senile old man and his glue-sniffing moron followers who thought the Rapture was going to occur on May 21 were expecting earthquakes. Several others, including myself, believe that a shortage of hamburgers and hot dogs will be the catalyst for the end of the world. Rosie O'Donnell will consume the planet because there won't be anything else to eat.
But what about my gym? Is there any way I can predict if there will be lots of fat women or annoying kids in the pool? You may not think so, but there definitely is.
Whenever Russian Mustache Chick (a cute, but mustachioed Russian chick) is working the front desk, something bad always happens. If you recall, I was nearly gunned down by ex-cons playing in a basketball league the first time I ever mentioned Russian Mustache Chick. A week later, I got into a fight with White Afro Lady. Russian Mustache Chick is clearly the key. I'd call in ahead of time and avoid the gym if she's working that day, but then I wouldn't have any jerks to write about. And what fun would that be?
I showed up at the gym at 3 p.m. this past Sunday (the day before Memorial Day). My gym closes at 4 on Sundays, so because I had an hour to swim a mile, I took my time and talked to some people. I eventually got changed and walked out of the locker room and onto the pool deck at 3:17. My friend Vasil was lifeguarding that day, and as soon as he saw me, he walked over:
Vasil: Hey, the pool closes at 3:30.
Me: What? No, it closes at 4 on Sundays.
Vasil: Usually, yes, but the gym is closed for Memorial Day tomorrow.
Me: Huh? What does Memorial Day have to do with today? It's not Memorial Day yet!
Vasil: I don't know.
Vasil just shrugged his shoulders and shook his head, confused as I was about my gym's idiotic rules. Seriously, why the hell does the gym have to be closed a half hour early on the day before Memorial Day? What purpose does that serve besides pissing off the members?
Making matters worse, every single lap lane was full. I'll describe:
Lane 1: Two corpses were floating in the lane. I'm not kidding. There were two old men who were just floating in the water and not moving anywhere. I'm not sure when their time of death occurred, but I wasn't taking any chances after watching The Walking Dead.
Lane 2: A man and a woman occupied this lane. The woman was an elderly lady who sported an awesome comb-over hairstyle. The man looked like Mr. Green from Clue. Unfortunately, he did not have a cigar in his mouth.
Lane 3: A pair of fat ladies patrolled Lane 3. Since it was close to dinner time, swimming with them meant certain death.
Lane 4: One fat lady occupied Lane 4. She was in her mid-to-late 60s. She sported a magenta bathing suit and this really weird hairstyle. First of all, it looked like her hair was gelled up like some punk rocker. And second, I can't even describe her hair color. It was sort of a purplish-orangeish-reddish hue. I swear, if a Crayola employee saw her hair, there would be a brand new crayon color within a week.
I took my chances in Lane 4. I'd be zombified in Lane 1, killed by a candlestick in Lane 2 and eaten alive in Lane 3, so I really had no other choice. I hoped that I'd scare Fat Magenta Woman into one of the two free-swim lanes.
My plan failed. Instead of moving into Lanes 5 or 6, Fat Magenta Woman positioned herself onto the lane line and started kicking feverishly. At first I thought she was excited about munching on the lane line, but I soon realized that she was actually trying to kick me. Yep, while I tried to intimidate her out of Lane 4, she was doing the same thing to me. Fortunately, I swim well, and I was able to avoid being crushed by her monstrous legs.
I swam about 700 yards before Vasil tried kicking everyone out of the pool at 3:30. This did not go over so well with the fat women.
Vasil: It's 3:30, the pool is closed.
Fat Russian Woman: VAT DO YOU MEAN POOL IS CLOSE? POOL CLOSE AT 4; NOT SREE-SIRTY!
Vasil: It closes at 3:30 today because it's Memorial Day tomorrow.
Fat Russian Woman: IZ NO GOOD! I PAY MEMBERSHIP HERE 25 YEAR! POOL ALWAYS CLOSE AT 4 ON SUNDAY!
Vasil: I'm sorry.
Fat Russian Woman: I NEED SIRTY MORE MINUTE TO CATCH AND EAT GUY SVIMMING IN LANE 4 NOM NOM NOM NOM!!!
OK, I made the last part up, but Vasil did in fact have a similar conversation with just about all the people in the pool. Everyone was angry. Comb-Over Lady even threatened to stop paying her membership fees.
I felt sorry for Vasil because he had to deal with this, but I really can't blame everyone for being pissed off. Hell, I was furious too. There was no reason to close the gym half an hour early on the day before Memorial Day.
I just wish I could have done something about it. Hmm...
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Pool Revolution
A pool revolution! That's what I should have done. I should have united the fat women and the corpses, and took a stand against my gym's maniacal and inexplicable policies.
In all honesty, I actually thought about staging a pool revolution, but my only reservation was that Vasil would have gotten into trouble. I don't want to get any of my friends fired, you know? But the next time the gym decides to screw the members over like this, I'm starting a pool revolution as long as I don't know the lifeguard.
I wonder what would have happened though if I actually went through with my pool revolution...
Vasil: The pool is closed at 3:30 everyone. Time to get out.
Me: I will not stand for this anymore. This gym likes to screw us over all the time. They close the pool at random times during the week. They rent out the pool to anyone who has $5 in their pocket. They used to close at 9:30 on weekdays and 4:30 on weekends, but now it's 9 and 4. I refuse to let the man bully me around anymore!
Vasil: Come on, Walt. I just want to go home.
Me: We all want to go home. But not at 3:30. We want to go home at 4 - like we all planned on doing before the Man changed the hours today!
Vasil: But I had nothing to do with...
Me: People of the gym pool - join me in rebelling against these evil gym people! I will not stand for this anymore, and neither should you! Give me another half hour, or give me a free membership!!!!! Who's with me!?!?!?
Comb-Over Lady: I'm with you! I will not pay my membership anymore!
Fat Russian Lady: ME WANT TO STAY SIRTY MINUTE MORE SO ME CAN EAT YOU!!!
Corpse A: UHHHHH... MUHHHH... UHHH...
Me: See? I already have three followers! Other pool patrons, join our pool revolution!
Fat American Woman: FRIEND IN MAGENTA BATHING SUIT, ME SEE YOU EATING LANE LINE. LANE LINE VERY TASTY WITH KETCHUP AND COCOA SAUCE!
Fat Magenta Woman: NO, ME NO EAT LANE LINE. ME TRY TO KICK GUY IN LANE 4 WHO RUIN MY SWIM-SWIM.
Corpse B: Ehh??? Who shaid anything about shwimming? I wantsh to go to the poolsh.
Mr. Green: What did you just say? You're in the pool now, idiot.
Corpse B: Weh??? Where I am? Who am I?
Mr. Green: I've had enough of you, Corpse B.
*** Mr. Green kills Corpse B with the rope in the conservatory. ***
Me: Damn it, Mr. Green. That's one less recruit for our pool revolution.
Comb-Over Lady: I agree, Mr. Green. Stop killing people!
Mr. Green: Quiet, woman.
Comb-Over Lady: No! Everywhere we go, it's rope this, revolver that. When will the killing end?
Mr. Green: Woman, I said quiet for the last time. Now you'll be silenced forever.
*** Mr. Green kills Comb-Over Lady with the wrench in the billiard room. ***
Me: Great, Mr. Green. Now it's just you, me, that zombie and three fat women. What kind of revolution is that?
Fat Magenta Woman: DO YOU KNOW WHY ME TRY TO KARATE KICK YOU? NOT ONLY YOU RUIN MY SWIM-SWIM, YOU CALL ME AND MY FRIENDS FAT ON JERKS OF ZEE WEEKS!
Me: That's because you guys take up the whole lane and try to eat innocent people like me.
Fat American Woman: BUT YOU VERY TASTY NOM NOM NOM.
Fat Magenta Woman: AGREE. NOW ME TRY TO KNOCK HIM OUT SO WE CAN SPLIT TASTY AMERICAN MALE 50-50 AGREE YOU?
Fat American Woman: AGREE ME. YOU KNOCK HIM OUT, ME GO GRAB KETCHUP AND COCOA SAUCE.
Me: Wait, guys, what happened to our pool revolution?
Fat Magenta Woman: HADOUKEN!
Me: Whoa, did you just heave a blue fireball at me?
Me: Come on, fight fair. I'm getting tired of blocking while my energy slowly drains away.
Mr. Green: This definitely is not fair. Don't worry, I'll take care of this.
*** Mr. Green kills all three fat women with the lead pipe in the ball room. ***
Me: Phew. That was a close one.
*** Corpse A bites Mr. Green on the arm and runs into the locker room to look for more humans. Mr. Green bleeds to death and will almost certainly turn into a zombie in 4-24 hours. ***
Me: Ah, crap. There's no one left in my pool revolution.
Vasil: You have to get out now.
Me: How dare you? Didn't you hear that I've started a pool revolution?
Vasil: Yeah, I know, but your "revolution" has already lasted 30 minutes. It's 4 already. You have to get out of the pool anyway.
Me: God damn it.
You know, based on this alone, I beginning to think that starting a pool revolution isn't such a good idea.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Shoe Bench Man
As mentioned, my gym accepts money from anyone, so they have no problems giving memberships to complete nut jobs. I've mentioned creeper extraordinaire No Space Man multiple times. Now, I'd like to discuss a guy I'd like to call Shoe Bench Man.
Shoe Bench Man is a short Russian guy in his 60s. He actually looks a lot like an older version of Barney Rubble. Just imagine Barney with white hair. That's Shoe Bench Man.
Shoe Bench Man isn't the happiest guy in the world. One Friday a few months ago, Shoe Bench Man was sitting on a locker room bench with a grimace on his face. My friend Joe noticed this and started messing with him.
Joe: Look at this guy, he has the biggest and brightest smile in the world!
Shoe Bench Man: No, no, I no smile.
Joe: This guy has the best smile I've ever seen.
Shoe Bench Man: No, I never smile in my whole life!
In your whole life, eh? Were you raped by a creepy uncle at 6 months old and then put into foster care your entire childhood, or something?
So, Shoe Bench Man is depressed, but that's not why I'm making him a Jerk of the Week. It's because of an exchange I had with him about a month ago.
It was an ordinary Friday, and I walked into the pool locker room around 3. I sat down, untied my shoes and put them on the bench. Shoe Bench Man took issue with this.
Shoe Bench Man: Why you always put shoe on bench?
Me: Umm... what?
Shoe Bench Man: You always put shoe on bench. Every day I see you, you put shoe on bench. Always! Why you always put shoe on bench?
Me: Uhh... I don't know?
Shoe Bench Man: You don't know!? If you don't know, who know!?
Me: I don't know. Who cares anyway?
Shoe Bench Man: Who cares... ha, who cares! I care! Everybody care!
Me: I don't think everybody cares if I put my shoes on the bench.
Shoe Bench Man: No, everybody care. Everybody care except you! Everybody care because shoe is dirty. I read in magazine - shoe is the dirtiest thing in the world.
He read this in a magazine? What sort of magazine publishes an article about shoes being the dirtiest thing in the world? Must be a very boring magazine made for people who have never smiled in their entire life.
Anyway, this guy was clearly out of his mind, so I decided to have some fun with him.
Me: So, are you sure that shoes are the dirtiest thing in the world?
Shoe Bench Man: Yes. I told you I read zis in magazine.
Me: So, you're saying that shoes are dirtier than Lindsay Lohan?
Shoe Bench Man: Socks iz second dirtiest thing in the world but zey have protection.
Me: Protection from what?
Shoe Bench Man: Protection from shoe!
I'm not sure how that works, but I guess I have no choice but to believe Shoe Bench Man. After all, I don't spend my days reading articles about shoes and how dirty they may or may not be.
Shoe Bench Man is nuts and could stab me, so I'm never going to put my shoes on the locker benches ever again. Well, not until Mr. Green has his way with Shoe Bench Man. Shoe Bench Man definitely won't be smiling when he's being attacked with a candlestick in the library.