Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Rape of the Lock

Originally uploaded by Lump Of Hesitation
It all started with the naked little old lady.

Okay, it didn't. It started when younger daughter's morning swim lesson was rescheduled to accommodate a disappointed swimming student whose lesson had somehow been mis-scheduled. The lady who co-ordinates private lessons at Oak Bay Rec asked me if I would do her "a huge favour" and bring younger daughter in at 9 am this morning. Fine, only that entailed leaving the house an hour and a half earlier, so to be sure, we caught a bus instead of walking in and arrived shortly after 8:30. This meant that the change room was full of little old ladies. Nothing wrong with that; I have aspirations to becoming a little old lady, especially considering the alternatives (Joan Rivers or death, as far as I can figure). It's just that after seventeen years of navigating change rooms with my daughters, I've learned that little old ladies who come to recreational centres have a certain, shall we say, proprietorial attitude to said change room. This is particularly true in Victoria which is often called "land of the newly-weds and nearly-deads", except that the feisty and assertive elders in Victoria have none of that apologetic am-I-in-your-way air of older people in Ottawa. They've been using the facilities since before-you-were-born-young-lady, so this morning when I saw the naked little old lady set up camp in the corner we ordinarily use, I cast about quickly for a different locker, and set about stashing our stuff.

It was only after I turned the key that I realized younger daughter's goggles were inside. Philosophically, I accepted the loss of twenty-five cents and re-inserted the key. To no avail.

"Is that 206?" inquired another little old lady. "I had trouble earlier this week with that one. The lady at the counter had to open it for me." I silently wondered why no warning notice had been posted, but smiled cheerily at my informant, instructed younger daughter to stay put and padded out bare-footed to the front to fetch help. She came, armed with keys and a chain and commenced her assault, watched with great interest by a posse of LOL's. No dice. She saw me glance at my watch.

"Are you on your way to work?"
"No, but my daughter's goggles are locked in there." She told me to go back out and ask the desk to lend me some goggles. The desk was in the middle of telling me that this was against policy when the private lesson coordinator hurriedly okayed it and dashed to the change room to help. By the time I'd got some goggles, with instructions to submit them for sterilization, the locker had been jimmied open and younger daughter was wailing because she couldn't locate her goggles in the bags. I hurriedly handed back the unsterilized goggles and produced our own unsterilized goggles (which evidently don't need sterilizing) before escorting younger daughter to the pool deck with five minutes to spare, wondering if the new locker was going to jam, and listening to one of the youthful pool instructors repeat over the public address system several times that lessons were about to begin, and thus the hot tub was closed. The two little old men in the hot tub studiously ignored him.

1 comment:

Jane Henry said...

Oh dear god that's funny. Sorry, probably wasn't at the time, but I seem to spend my life at our local baths trying to relocate lost goggles and having to buy them new for the zillionth time, so much fellow feeling.

Little old ladies can be a scary breed. Once went to an aquaaerobics class where a gang of them terrified the poor lifeguard with a constant stream of innuendo. He didn't know where to look...

I think the only thing worth hanging out for in old age is the ability to behave as outrageously as possible and sod the consequences, which is what I intend to do...