I'm sorry, Russian Yoda Man. I've had an update I've been saving about the man who once said, "Best time to swim at night, eight o'clock, agree you?" but I just haven't gotten around to posting it yet.
As it so happens, I have several things to write about pertaining to my old gym, most of which are about previously mentioned jerks.
Swim Lesson Brats:
Swimming at my old gym can be frustrating. In addition to the old people who want to kill me for splashing too much, it's difficult to find a time to swim. The entire pool is closed during the summer because they rent it out to a camp. Even during the fall, winter and spring, it's unavailable at random times. For instance, I went in on a Friday in May and saw a sign saying that the pool was closed the entire day for an event. I went to make sure, and the only people at the pool were these two fat black women and a little girl, presumably dinner for one of them that night.
I asked the lifeguard if I could use a lane, and he pretty much echoed the sign I saw, telling me that they were closed for an event. What was this particular event, Hungry Fat Black Women Want to Use the Pool Before Eating a Small Child Day?
Other times, half the pool is unavailable because some kids need to take swimming lessons. I first mentioned these a**holes four years ago when I noticed that their Russian swim coach ruled with an iron fist, hitting the children and yanking a girl's hair because she wasn't listening to him. This, of course, was completely justified because he was coaching a bunch of spoiled brats who wouldn't have followed his orders otherwise.
Two of these douche bags, a bucked-tooth kid and his friend Melvis, were arguing about state capitals in the pool locker room. Bucked-Tooth Kid proceeded to tell me that Penn State and Pitt were big rivals because they played each other in football every year. I told him that they hadn't battled each other since 2000, but the bucked-tooth chode wouldn't believe me, instead insulting me by calling Joe Paterno a "clown." Looking back, maybe JoePa was on to something.
Many years have passed by, so I imagine Bucked-Tooth Kid and Melvis are in high school now. Perhaps they even drive. That's a scary thought. If I worked at the DMV, I would not give anyone named Melvis a driver's license under any circumstances. The risk is just too great.
Iron Fist Swim Coach is still around, and he's coaching a bunch of new kids now. Two of them happen to be Indian. I would have asked them for medical advice, but they were a couple of years too young; if I were to guess, they were about eight, so I suppose they were two or three years away from entering medical school. I would have also asked them if they agreed with the pretentious douche bags in the media that the Redskins team name needs to be changed, but I figured that might be a touchy subject, even though a high school in Arizona (Red Mesa) sports the "Redskins" team name all while 99.3 percent of their student body is Native American. But that's another article for another time that clueless, guilt-ridden white people can ignore.
Anyway, I'm not so sure these two Indian kids will become doctors. They just didn't seem quite that intelligent. One kept spinning around in circles, shouting, "WHYY ISSS THIIISS HAPPPEENNING!?!?!?!" The other constantly picked his nose, pulled out boogers and wiped them on the lockers. I'm not sure which was worse.
Can you imagine these children as grown-up doctors? They'll both be in the operating room. One will be holding a scalpel, but wouldn't know what to do with it. Instead, he'll spin around uncontrollably, yelling, "WHY ISSS THISSS HAPPENNING!?!?!" The other doctor, meanwhile, will wipe his boogers on his patient. Good luck to you if that's you on the operating table.
So, what will these two kids become when they grow up? Janitors? Eunuch circus performers? Naive media people who whine about irrelevant things like the name of a football team that offends no one? No. The answer is simple. They'll become doctors. Because that's what Indian people do. That, and proudly call themselves Redskins.
Russian Yoda Man:
Everyone loves Russian Yoda Man. How could you not love an elderly Russian man who both looks and talks like a Russian version of Yoda? I've never heard anyone say anything bad about him. It also seems like he's buddies with everyone at the gym. He calls everyone, "my friend," and even warmly greets me despite the fact that I made him a Jerk of the Week long ago. This is a typical exchange I have with him:
Russian Yoda Man: How are you, my friend?
Me: Good, you?
Russian Yoda Man: Upon me, fortunes are smiling, I believe.
Me: Glad to hear it.
Russian Yoda Man: Too, I am glad, yes?
While everyone loves Russian Yoda Man, perhaps he loves everyone else a bit too much. I was on my way too the pool when he called me in from the shower room.
Russian Yoda Man: How old I am, do you believe?
Me: I'm not sure.
Russian Yoda Man: Oh please, humor me, my friend. How old I am, please guess.
Me: Hmm... 75?
Russian Yoda Man: A few years off, you are, my friend. Eighty-two I am, believe it or not.
Me: Oh, wow.
Russian Yoda Man: My muscle, you feel.
Russian Yoda Man: My muscle, you touch, please, my friend.
I wasn't quite sure what Russian Yoda Man was implying, but he pointed to his bicep and wanted me to feel it. This would've been awkward under normal circumstances, but it was worse because he wanted me to do so in the shower. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I guess.
I touched Russian Yoda Man's muscle. It was quite big for a man his age. I was impressed. And I just realized that those three sentences sound like they belong in a gay sex novel. Fifty Shades of Gay? I want royalties if someone writes that.
Anyway, I hopped into one of the pool lanes that wasn't occupied by Iron Fist Swim Coach's lessons. As I swam, I noticed that Russian Yoda Man was lingering around the swim lesson lanes. I didn't think anything of it, as I assumed he just wanted to talk to Iron Fist Swim Coach. Once I was done my mile and spent some time in the steam room, I popped into the shower room to rinse off. I didn't want to stay there long once I saw what was going on.
Russian Yoda Man: My muscle, you touch.
Kid: WOW YOU HAVE BIG MUSCLES MISTER!
Russian Yoda Man: My muscle, you touch, please, you next.
Russian Yoda Man was standing in the shower room with half-a-dozen kids, just as their swim lesson finished, coincidentally enough, asking all of them to feel his bicep.
I won't even say "not that there's anything wrong with that." There's most definitely something wrong with that. Asking a grown man to touch your bicep in the shower is one thing; wanting six 10-year-olds to do the same is very strange, to say the least. Perhaps I should start calling this guy Russian Sandusky Man.
Now that I think about it, perhaps there's a legitimate reason Bucked-Tooth Kid called Joe Paterno a "clown."
BBall Mad Man:
One other character from the gym I need to address is BBall Mad Man, whom I play basketball with sometimes. I don't play basketball at the gym often because I'm busy on the weekends, but I make it up on Saturdays if I have nothing going on.
BBall Mad Man is certifiably insane. I'm not kidding. From my previous entry, he once shot the ball from under the basket. He didn't have a good angle, so the ball clanked off the rim and hit him in the face. He then called a foul, thinking someone hit him. When we tried to tell him the ball was the thing that hit him, he incoherently shouted, "RESPECT THE CALL! RESPECT THE CALL!" This, of course, was just minutes after he clotheslined me and got pissed that my teammates called a foul on him while I was lying on the ground and gasping for air.
Playing with him might be more frustrating than going up against him. He'll hit some shots, but he tends to get bored, so he inexplicably fires up some behind-the-back hookshots that sail over the backboard. He'll then yell, "OK I'M NOT DOING THAT ANYMORE!" and he'll repeat that action minutes later.
BBall Mad Man was in fine form a couple of Saturdays ago. For whatever reason, he was trash talking a 70-year-old guy who plays with us sometimes. Unprompted, he'd say something like, "WE GONNA START THIS GAME, OR WHAT? THAT GUY NEEDS TO CHANGE HIS DIAPERS!" or "LOOK AT THAT GUY, HE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS? HEY DO YOU KNOW WHAT DAY IT IS? DO YOU KNOW WHAT YEAR IT IS?" He then chuckles, while everyone else shakes their head or acknowledges that he's an a**hole.
The 70-year-old guy who plays with us can't usually stay in for two consecutive games when it's hot in the gym - God forbid they turn on the air conditioning - so he asks to be subbed out in the middle sometimes. We were playing up to 11, so he asked someone else to come in when we were up 6-3. He specifically said, "I'm coming out when someone gets to six."
A few minutes later, the opposing team closed the gap, and we led by the score of 7-6. BBall Mad Man lobbed up one of his patented behind-the-back hookshots that nearly sailed into the second-floor track.
Teammate: You're killing the team when you do that!
BBall Mad Man: OK I'M NOT DOING THAT ANYMORE!
Teammate: That's what you said last time!
BBall Mad Man: OK BUT NOW I'M REALLY NOT DOING THAT ANYMORE! HEY WALT, YOU'RE GOOD WITH NUMBERS, WHAT'S THE SCORE?
What does that even mean? I'm good with numbers, for whatever reason, so I should know what the score is? How does being good with numbers even remotely correlate to scorekeeping?
Me: It's 7-6.
BBall Mad Man: NO IT'S NOT! NO IT'S NOT! YOU'RE WRONG!
So much for being good with numbers.
BBall Mad Man: THE SCORE IS 6-5! WE'RE UP ONE! IT'S 6-5!
Opposing Player: It's 7-6. Walt just scored.
BBall Mad Man: WALT SCORED THE SIXTH POINT! IT'S 6-5!
Me: It can't be 6-5. He subbed out when we scored our sixth point, and I just scored, so we have seven, and we're up one.
BBall Mad Man: THAT GUY DOESN'T EVEN KNOW WHAT PLANET HE'S ON! TRUST ME, IT'S 6-5!
What does the 70-year-old man's age have to do with the point I just brought up? He wasn't making the point. I was. So, BBall Mad Man just went out of his way to insult the old guy again just to prove his point correct with flawed logic. This is what I have to deal with when I play basketball on Saturdays.
No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't convince BBall Mad Man that the score was 7-6. He called everyone a cheater, including me, despite the fact that I was one of his unfortunate teammates. Because we were cheaters in his mind, he quit. He stopped moving on defense. The guy he was supposed to guard basically was able to trot near the basket and score an open layup on almost every possession. Eventually, I had to defend that player in addition to the guy I was supposed to guard.
Meanwhile, on offense, BBall Mad Man fired the ball up wildly every time he got it. He airballed his shots every time. Because he was pissed, he didn't bother apologizing anymore. Instead, he yelled stuff like, "THAT'S BETTER THAN WHAT THAT OLD GUY CAN DO! HE CAN'T EVEN SEE!"
We lost, 11-8, meaning they outscored us 8-2 to close out the game. BBall Mad Man walked off the court, refusing to shake anyone's hand. All of this because he was pissed that his teammates didn't acknowledge that the score was 6-5 instead of 7-6. We would have been up by one regardless, so I don't understand what the issue was.
But then again, I'm not a deranged lunatic, so perhaps I don't understand why that 6-5 score was so important.