On the pool

Our local swimming pool seems to have a rule that it must contain at least one creepy old man at any given time.

There’s a guy who hangs out in the shallow end, goggles on, but who only ever gets wet above the chest when a female swimmer approaches in his lane, at which point he ducks under water and stares. There’s another man who never even gets in the water, but just wanders around or sits in a chair, staring at people. A new guy last night was obsessing over how the instructors teach the kids to swim, and started to berate one of them in the middle of a lesson for doing it wrong. (Buddy, you don’t get to talk about streamlining until you’ve lost at least 50 pounds and waxed your back).

This situation means that the pool’s female users are very proficient in the art of the disgusted look, specifically of the “you filthy pervert!” variety.

And last night, one of those looks was directed at me!

I would like to state for the record that I do not have a pregnant woman fetish. It’s just that two of my friends were in the dive pool with all the other expectant mothers, floats secured above and below their bumps, and doing some gentle exercises with the rest of the class. I’d chatted to one friend before the class started – she tries to arrive early so we can do a few lengths together – but we hadn’t had a chance to arrange the weekend’s social events. And I completely missed the other friend arriving, because she was running late and went straight to the class. So as I walked past the dive pool on my way to the showers, I mouthed “call me!” and did the thumb-pinkie finger telephone sign with my hand.


I did this because my two friends were at opposite ends of the pool, but the effect was that I seemed to be trolling the entire class for a date. At least that’s what I guessed when the woman next to my second friend gave me the familiar “you filthy pervert!” look.

I would also like to state that I am not an exhibitionist, and did not exactly plan to stage a mobile one-woman wet t-shirt competition. It’s just that I forgot to bring a towel, and had to put my cycling gear back on and ride home before I’d dried off.


About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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21 Responses to On the pool

  1. Mermaid says:

    Even your pool has the oddballs in them? What is it about pools? I think even if you were trolling for dates, you were being very overt about it, so I am not sure that would classify as being a pervert (depends on your definition, I guess). The man hanging out checking out women underwater just gives me the creeps. Perhaps he needs a case of the old “turning so fast that I missed my kick off from the wall and accidentally belted you in the chest”? I could help you fine tune it! And if you missed and hit…elsewhere….it wouldn’t be your fault.Did you get lots of honks on your ride home?

  2. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    “Even” my pool??!! You’ve been to my neighbourhood, right??!! ;)I don’t know how to do those turns at the end of the lane… but I might need to take a lesson! Mind you, the one lane that’s open to adult swimmers during all the kiddies’ lessons gets crowded enough that I could probably just kick him. I really just don’t see the point of what he does though. I mean, he’s not seeing anything that isn’t on display to everyone else in the whole pool when women first walk in, or rest at the end of a length…

  3. Hermitage says:

    Hmm, for first creepy dude I propose a solution:1. Approach his lane very closely2. When he dives under immediately start treading water with the wildest feet kicks possible3. Cackle when he comes up with a bloody noseI propose to do this directly before closing time as they’ll have to shut down the pool due to his possibly communicable ‘creepy old guy’ germs.

  4. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Wow, my readers are violent people! Remind me never to piss you guys off ;)It is tempting though.

  5. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Tempting to kick the guy, not to piss off my readers.

  6. Mad Hatter says:

    Okay, so let me sum this up: you gave the impression you frequent the pool wearing a wet T-shirt to hit on pregnant women???Hahahahaha!!! :-)Oh, and by the way, there’s no need to wait till the pervert dives underwater to kick wildly. There are plenty of other good targets besides his face, if you know what I mean!

  7. Professor in Training says:

    Hahahaha – well done!

  8. EcoGeoFemme says:


  9. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Mad Hatter, your summary is inaccurate. I put on the wet t-shirt AFTER hitting on the pregnant women.I’m glad you’re all amused 😉

  10. Mad Hatter says:

    Ahh…well there’s your mistake. Had you been wearing the wet T-shirt, perhaps the reaction would’ve been quite different! 🙂

  11. ScienceGirl says:

    LOL! Sounds like you were even more impressive than the creepy guy at the bar 😉

  12. PhizzleDizzle says:

    you made me laugh today! hahah!

  13. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    Mad Hatter, I’ll try that approach next week and report back. If they let me back in.SG, I try!Phizzle, glad to hear it! How’s the internship going?

  14. Nina says:

    You forgot your towel again? ;)I am not sure if your neighbourhood pool is the same that I frequent when I am in Vancouver, but I’ve even heard men complain about these filthy perverts …

  15. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    This is actually the first time I’ve forgotten my towel…The pool is by the Nat Bailey stadium, near QE Park. But I’m sure the problem isn’t unique to our pool! They’re opening a new one some time this summer – Olympic size with a brand new gym attached – as part of the Olympic development next door. Can’t wait!

  16. Mad Hatter says:

    Cath–If they keep letting the creepy old men in, then you should have no problem! 🙂

  17. Barn Owl says:

    I usually swim laps without wearing my contact lenses (though I can manage lenses + goggles for outdoor distance swims), and under those circumstances I don’t see well enough to determine whether there are creepy underwater guys in nearby lanes. When I was in grad school, a few friends warned me that there was a creepy exhibitionist dude who frequented the university pool, and who would pull down his Speedo to expose himself when women swam by. I can’t say whether I would have noticed this, being so nearsighted while swimming laps. My friends thought this was rather funny … the guy would have been wasting his genitalia display energies on me. There is a creepy old dude who sits on the bleachers for long periods of time, during lap swimming hours at the school district pool here. I know all the lifeguards now, and he’s not one of them.

  18. Mermaid says:

    Ew, pulling down the Speedos when women swam by? Wouldn’t that just give women a target for their kicks? Seriously, that man NEEDS to be kicked. Or taken for an outdoor swim session someplace where the fish are hungry ;).

  19. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    MH, erm, thanks!Barn Owl, your first paragraph cracked me up. It’s hilarious to imagine someone trying to flash you, and you just swimming on by, oblivious!The guy who watches the kids, though… different league. Has anyone notified the pool staff?Mermaid, are you thinking of this?

  20. Mermaid says:

    Well, I was thinking of any fish, but that would do.On a much brighter note, I went to swim training last night and our group was delayed by 15 minutes. Normally I would be annoyed, but the group that was still training was the men’s national swim team. Not only were they amazing swimmers (they had wakes coming off of them…like on a speedboat!), but there was an entire pool full of men that looked like this: http://binside.typepad.com/binside_tv/images/2008/08/11/cullen_jones.jpg.Imagine, if you will, a triathlon club left speechless – both male and female. We tried not to creepy about it, but we couldn’t help staring at them. Wow.

  21. Cath@VWXYNot? says:


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