I think I've got Spam Flu.
I'm getting a scratchy throat and runny nose. And I don't have allergies.
At least swines taste better than spam!!
But processed meat product flu or not--I'll give you an entry today.
This entry was inspired by a conversation I had earlier this week with my sister T.
, a plight involving a pool I read about on Donna Lee's
blog, and the fact that Wendy
thinks I'm honest.
I'm supposed to list ten truthful things about myself.
Truthfully? I can't come up with 10 that you probably don't know already.
But I can think of one.
I can't swim.
This used to embarrass the heck out of me.
But you know what? When you grow up in Alaska, your "beaches" look like this.Photo from virtualtourist.com
And if you walk on them they can suck you in and can kill you,
or they might be full of large boulder sized rocks covered in slick algae.
Not to mention that if you fall in the water up there (some lakes in the summer aren't so bad) that hypothermia can kill you in under 10 minutes. Swimming and treading water isn't going to help you in very cold water either. That just wastes precious body heat.
Needless to say, learning to swim wasn't up there on the list of must-dos.
However, in 9th grade in gym class suddenly learning to swim was a must-do.
9th grade gym was a graduation requirement. Part of 9th grade gym was swimming.
You had two options: You could take a simple swim test where you swam one lap of the pool and you passed that unit and could go back to playing dodgeball or smoking in the locker rooms (or eating donuts and reading the sports page as the shop teacher-come-gym teacher was apt to do).
Or, if you couldn't pass the simple swim test, you could take a two week lesson that would teach you to swim.
As I was telling my youngest younger sister--I want to remember that I didn't attempt to swim the lap and just told Mr. Donutmuncher that I couldn't swim.
But to be honest, I think I tried to pass the test and made a complete ass of myself flailing around in the pool.
Cut to me and Tommy the Pigeon Toed Kid--the only other person in my class who couldn't swim a lap in our swim class--taking our basically one-on-one How To Swim course with the high school's swimming coach.
One problem: Do you see my profile picture up there in the corner?
Do you see what I'm wearing?
No, not the curlers (although those might make a great PFD!). The glasses.
I've worn glasses since I was a little bit older than Chunky.
I've never been interested in contacts. Because honestly, the idea of putting a foreign object on my freaking EYEBALL skeeves me out. And I'm lazy. I'd rather sleep than use that time worry about putting those contacts in/taking them out/cleaning them, etc.
Mr. Swimcoach always made me take off my glasses in the pool. They weren't allowed or something.
So here he is showing me how to stroke, kick, turn my head and breathe and all that shit, and here's what I'm seeing:
But to get the true effect--make that image slightly doubled--and that's how well I can see without my glasses.
You can imagine that I picked up a lot of useful information squinting at Mr. Swimcoach for two weeks and listening as Tommy the Pigeon Toed Kid learn to swim better than me.
At the end of the two weeks Tommy PTK and and I were taken to the deep end where our final "test" would be to see how we did jumping into the deep water and coming back up to the surface.
You know how you piss your pants in scary situations? And how you're not supposed to pee in pools?
Honestly, I can't guarantee I didn't pee myself doing this exercise.
Tommy PTK went first and was in and out of the water and on with his life.
I, on the other hand sat perched at the side of the pool while Mr. Swimcoach treaded water in the pool waiting for me to jump in.
I was wearing a life jacket, so it's not like I was going to die. But there's something about that instant that the water hits you and swallows you up and everything goes silent except for that muffled glug-glug of the water filling your ear canal and the way the water presses in on your ribcage making you want to gasp for air, but you can't that is so frightening.
After about four minutes of me hemming and hawing at the edge of the pool and Mr. Swimcoach assuring me he wouldn't let me drown he finally gave up and started screaming at me:
"The boat is burning! The boat is burning! Jump or you'll die!"
Next time I'll take Death by Smoke Inhalation for $500, Alex.
Labels: Alaska, memories