Saturday 17 August 2019

Revenge paunch and the case of the towel-less man at the pool

David Looby
David Looby
My latest attempts to get fit were like something out of Dumb & Dumber.

THERE are times none of us men like to recall.

Times when we achieve the absolute Mount Everest in man made stupidity.

Usually it's a rush of blood to the head type thing suffered in teenage years, like cycling into a wall while checking out the more beautiful and smarter species across the road. Oh yes, this has happened at least 50 per cent of men, don't let your other half fool you into thinking otherwise.

My latest D'oh! Homer Simpson moment came following a steely minded decision to start flapping around in the water like a porpoise with a purpose.

Swimming most people call it.

I went down to the pool and everything was going swimmingly. I even managed a few half laps and was feeling fairly chuffed with myself.

I moved with surprising fluidity through the water and the paunch was a soon to be a thing of the distant past.

This was to be the glorious start of a back-to-my-best future.

Emerging from the pool I went into the unisex changing area and noticed that a woman was drying herself with a towel.

Then, in that crystal clear moment, the dreadful penny dropped.


In mitigation, I have not been to a public pool unaccompanied by The Good Woman in some time.

'Time to hatch a plan,' I thought as I sidled my way into the men's room.

Once inside that cocoon of calm all kinds of desperate scenarios flooded my mind.

Would I have to wrap myself in toilet paper and dash to the car like a mummified toilet paper man? Worse still would I have to dry myself with one of the elongated driers in the public area, risking sudden dismemberment?

In my deepening shame, I approached reception dripping wet asking for a towel, for a fig leaf of decency. Having been directed into the pool area I was met by two lifeguards who seemed surprised by my conundrum. I got a look similar to one I previously got from a local having nearly driven The Good Woman and I off Brandon Point in Kerry many moons ago. 'This kinda thing happen much?' I had asked then, with a vigorous nod. 'No, you're the first!' the bemused Kerryman told me.

At the pool I concocted a perfectly reasonable storyline whereby I had left my towel in the car, but this wouldn't wash, would it. As one lifeguard rummaged around for a spare towel, the other seized the moment, eyes dilating in feigned wonderment at my unique predicament.

The eyes narrowed, crushing me.

'You're in luck,' he said with a wry, disbelieving smile, handing me the towel, my fig leaf of decency and respectability shredded to bits.

I managed to collect myself and exited the pool complex without a fuss.

My attempts at getting rid of the vengeful paunch will continue. I know it all starts in the kitchen, but I cannot resist good food and all I think about is food and dessert, which is also food, so my chances are slim.

My previous attempt to start walking last winter was cut short when I got a punctured shoe on my first outing from glass on the footpath.

This time I was my own downfall, but I'm determined to arrive back at the pool, this time with a full bag, complete with a towel, which I will bring into the pool complex.

Wexford People

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