Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ahh... Bally's!

I started this blog to get back into the swing of writing again. I haven't been making much use of my English degree, so this seemed like a good way to practice. But I often have trouble with thinking of topics and finding inspiration. When I was a child, when my parents tucked me into bed, they would give me "things to think about" so I wouldn't have bad dreams. There is no one these days to give me "things to write about."
But as luck would have it, my friend Sarah wrote a blog about romantic foibles and lame pick-up attempts. While romantic foibles and I are familiar bedfellows, what she reminded me of was a time when every day of my life I witnessed some of the most bizarre behavior imagineable: the years I spent lifeguarding at Bally Total Fitness. My co-worker, Damon, and I chronicled in an extensive 140-some entry directory of some of the weirdest, meanest, and dumbest people you could possibly scrape together, every one of them a new bechmark in awkward, indignant buffoonery. We would have contests to see how many of them would show up during a single shift.
Ah those were the days!

Well here is my first blurb in what will hopefully be a series of stories (with Damon's help) about being trapped in a room with a pool, a hot tub and some very strange people.

I must have been about 20 or so and I was lifeguarding at Bally Total Fitness on Rt. 40 in Catonsville. I had my little table with the records log, the chemical kit for testing the chlorine, the first aid kit etc. While there were two chairs on either side of my table and only one of me, it was fairly apparent that this was "my area" and I liked to keep it that way. This never really stopped anyone from choosing to sit there when there were plenty of open seats and this one fella in particular decided that was the right spot for him.
So he sits down and I furrow my brow deeper into the book I was reading but he undauntedly ignores my body language and begins chatting idly, not getting much more than a word out of me. He was rough-looking, fifty-ish, gnarled teeth and faded tattoos. His pleasantries ended abruptly when he asked me a question that caught me off guard.
"Do you drink?"
Just an odd question to ask a stranger. "Sometimes," I replied before springing his little trap.
"Do you drink," I stupidly, stupidly asked?
"Oh I'll do anything that pleases me." He proceeded to discuss some sordid details I can't quite remember about what he and his partner enjoy doing in the bedroom. I put down my book and got up.
"What are your plans this evening," he continued.
"Don't really have any, Mack."
"Why don't you call your friends and have a threeway or a fourway?"
I left the pool unattended.

Thanks for reading and as always,

My lips to yours!

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