Perverts and Cryptosporidiosis

Keys On Main had our company party on Sunday. It was a drunken affair complete with tubs of beer, bottles of booze and tons of food. Best of all, my boss decided the best way to thank his employees for a job well done is to rent over-sized inflatable waterslides.

I am a sucker for waterslides. When I am half-naked, I already resemble a walrus and I can slide until either my ankles or liver gives out. One of the rides was a long slip’n’slide that dumps the rider into a shallow pool. I guarantee at first the pool was filled with clean hose water. By the end of the night, that thing was an epidemiological nightmare. I’d be surprised if we don’t release a shot called cryptosporidiosis after this weekend.

It’s weird hanging out with my co-workers half-naked. Rarely did I ever get a chance to see my teammates at ARUP in bikinis and thong backs. The staff can easily be divided into two camps: fit and trim & flabby and gross. I am pretty sure I belong to the later camp. If I suffered from body dysmorphic disorders, I would have been terrified to run around in grotesque board shorts. To the chagrin of my co-workers, I had no problem wandering around gut out and moobs jiggling.

I used to go to the boxing gym regularly until I hurt my knee three months ago. Fight 4 Your Life was my sanctuary to try and stay in shape and my justification for polishing off a plate of tacos with no remorse. I liked boxing because it was an excuse to hit a heavy bag and it forced me to do a gazillion sit-ups. Without the fear of disappointing the coaches at the gym there was no way in God’s green earth I was going to rack a solitary push-up unless I dropped my burrito on the floor.

I decided last week that I needed to get back into shape. I am not talking about any shape that any sane human being would find attractive. I simply wanted to lose a dozen pounds and maybe try reaching the weight that is on my driver’s license. Because I am more walrus than man, I went back to the swimming pool as a way to ease into my new “healthy” lifestyle.

Steiner Aquatic Center is a fantastic pool. It has an Olympic sized swimming pool that feels as if it is pushed right up against the Uinta Front. Swimming laps is tedious but doable. Too many of the exercise regimes require folks to be slaves to their iPod. Swimming laps is boring but really rewarding. I spend all day with a podcast on blasting in my ears that the time spent in the water is probably the only time that I don’t have somebodies voice barking in my ears.

I’ve read that swimming isn’t a very effective way to lose weight but rather is a good way of keeping it off. I don’t care. I figure anytime I do something athletic it is better than sucking down a bucket of chicken. Besides, when the weather is scorching outside hopping in the pool feels fantastic.

Now, swimming a mile in the pool does have a couple of problems. For starters, there are some really athletic jerks that treat swimming like an Olympic trial. Sharing a lane with these idiots is a pain in the butt. They do the equivalent of tailgating and shoot looks that say, “Take that weak-ass stroke to the kiddie pool, Fat Ass.” And this is just the ladies doing water aerobics.

The second problem is that the harder I try not looking like a pervert at the pool, the worst I look. I wear glasses because I am blind without them. I don’t have prescription goggles so when I come up for air and look around, I have a bad case of the Mr. Magoo’s. I guarantee the sunbathing mothers are terrified the John Candy look-a-like is going to grab their kids and drag them off to a white panel van. The only good reason I considered getting Lasik is to avoid looking like Jackie Earle Haley in Little Children.

Speaking of perverts and cryptosporidiosis, it’s mandatory to shower before entering public pools. I guess one too many mothers let their kids take a dip with an over-flowing diaper. I hate that we have reached this point in civic regulations that we have to remind parents that you can’t let your kid swim with his Pampers filled with poop. I have made peace with God that every third person at a swimming pool is peeing in it but I really try not to think about the floaties coming out of junior’s bottom.

In high school, I was subjected to PE classes that forced us to shower after playing capture the flag. Stripping bare and gingerly showering in some open room with every one of my classmates staring at each other’s pecker is a good way to get over any body issues. It was either toughening me up or preparing me for prison life. I hated the group shower—it’s probably why I am kinda anti-orgy nowadays.

What is surprising at Steiner is the proximity of children playing in the pool and the men’s locker room. If I am breaking some sort of “bro”-code, I apologize upfront but why does it seem like every time I go shower before swimming my laps I have to see grown men buck naked shaving at 5:30 at night? Last week there was three generation of exhibitionists completely naked shaving shoulder-to-shoulder at 7pm. Short of attending an important boardroom meeting at night, these guys are totally cruising.

I swear to God that I saw a guy shaving in the buff today with his foot on the counter. What’s the deal? Does his wife not let him shave his balls at home? Does he not have a load bearing sink counter at the house? We throw tissy fits when people spit in drinking fountains or when somebody flicks their butt into the street but nobody says anything about the contortionist shaving on one leg? I wish I knew if this meant the terrorist were winning or losing.

I try to shave every morning because it signifies that the morning has started and it is time to attack the day. I don’t remember a single moment in my life where I woke, ate breakfast, showered and shaved and then went right back to bed. There isn’t a big enough hangover to draw me back to the sack after doing all of that. I like shaving because it is the only time a man can stare at himself in the mirror and not be a wicked narcissist. I’d rather sport a Hank Williams Jr. beard before toiling away the late afternoon publicly shaving in the nude at a municipal pool. Bocephus would probably agree.

We left the employee party early. I figure after a couple of beers and a couple of ridiculously hard landing in the waterslides it was time to go home. I am appreciative to work for a company that takes care of its employees. I never went to work to make friends. I went to work to make money but I am happy that I made a couple along the way. I really had a good time sliding down the rides until one of my last rides when I landed on my boss’s daughter’s boat. I figured after crushing my ribs on a Hello Kitty yacht I would have a perfect souvenir from a fun summer party.

In terms of better health, I figure that the best workout plan for me is to cut back on the hooch, bid Del Taco goodbye and keep up the swimming. Short of digging up the backyard and putting in a pool, I guess I’ll have to get used to putting up blinders when I hit the showers.

Ben Raskin bartends at Keys On Main. Follow him on Twitter @BennyRaskin. Check out his podcast, SLC PubCast, on iTunes. He’s looking forward to taking his niece to Raging Waters.

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