My Last Swim
by Alister Thorpe
reality strike. Having a relaxing, if lazy
Saturday morning in the Sabah Hotel contemplating
life as one does when in the middle of a mid life
crisis, I decided it was time to try out the
hotels swimming pool.
Not to swim mind you, just a quick slash and
paddle. Never really having learned to swim, I
can with a sort of toad-like breast stroke/
splash for all of 10 metres and if Im
feeling particularly energetic a robotic /
cadaver back stroke. No potential olympian here,
but a dreamer of greater things.
rustled through my backpack to find my well-worn-white-activity
shorts and my never-been-to-the beach, beach
towel. Taking a quick look in the mirror ( its
always quick these days ) I perused my once manly
figure and after missing a beat or two,
darted out of the room towards the lift.
The pool was
fortunately devoid of swimmers and apart from a
few sun baking ( must be from Europe ) we had the
place to ourselves.
comfortable with this fact, I ordered a beer and
a mineral water for my dearly beloved. I know
before you say it, You mustnt drink
and swim. True, but as I explained, I
shimmy rather silly than swim out on a limb. (
sorry, I couldnt help myself )
A beer and the
tropical sun builds a mountain of confidence. It
was time to take the plunge.
Off with the T
shirt, a final adjustment to the leisure shorts
and a quick stroll to the pool ladder. Just
before committing, I looked up and to my utter
astonishment, the pool was now full of 20
somethings looking trim, lean and mean.
The men were
built like Greek Gods and the women came straight
from the garden of Eden. Not an ounce of fat to
As if to react
to this sight, my sea of fat decided to become
mobile. Waves of cellulose, starting from the
navel, travelled south looking for landfall only
to fold up and over my shorts looking much like a
melting toy Humphrey B Bear placed to close to
the heater. ( You would have to be Australian
from the mid 60s to understand that one. )
I slinked down
the steps and covered the erupting jelly as fast
as I could.
reader as i said before, Im a dip-and-leave
sort of swimmer, but I had to endure 1 hour of
soaking until the last of the super beings left
And before I
finish this little ditty I wish to leave you with
this image. Remember the old white faithful
leisure shorts of mine? Well, just think of
wet and transparent! Not a pretty sight.