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July 2011 Volume 13 , Issue 7 submit to us!

by Dianne B Hardy -- Contributing Author [Email This Story]

A recent trip to Ireland with daughter Tammy, left me determined to get fit, well--more fit. Extra cab rides to accommodate my aching feet, were expensive and embarrassing, and I resolved to remedy myself upon arriving home.

Within a day I checked out the Logan Sports Academy and joined, intrigued by a class for people my age--water aerobics called "Rusty Joints."

Monday morning at nine o'clock I found thirty geriatrics in the therapy pool and more arriving by the minute. The few that glanced my way looked annoyed and no one spoke to me.

Women and men formed two distinct groups and each one acted as if the other were the interloper. One tall, angular, woman was the exception because she cast longing glances over at the group of men. With shiny white hair, impeccably styled into a 1960's bouffant, eyebrows like crowbars, fresh lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, and rouge--her countenance said, "I was beautiful fifty years ago and I'm certain you remember me."

Seeing that no one was going to welcome me, I walked over to one side of the pool and began stretching my legs.

A hostile woman, wrinkled as a spit wad, her spine curved like a warped ruler, shrilly dismissed me.

"This class is full; there are already thirty-five of us packed in here like sardines."The men's clique occupied a whole corner. Two of them were good-old-boying one another while others watched and chuckled approval. The ring-leader puffed his chest out and yelled belligerently--swaggering gestures in school, but obnoxious in an elderly man:

"Hey Jack, ain't you married to a blonde?"

"Well, she used to be. These days she's gray like me," Jack answered.

"Do you know what the blonde said when she found out she was pregnant?"

Jack reddened, waited.

"She said, ‘Are you sure it's mine?' "

The men all guffawed. One shook his head in admiration, "Boy, that Gus, he's still got it, don't he?"

"Yeah, he ain't lost it yet and he's over eighty," grinned another man.

A lady carefully stepped into the pool. She was tiny with bright blue eyes that looked young and out of place alongside her sagging grey skin. As she cleared the last step she teeter-tottered in place, her eyes focused on distant sights. Seconds later with a sign and a smile she began taking warm-up steps with the rest of us.

Women scuttled away from her in disgust.

Noticing my bewildered look, one bristled, and sneered, "That Mary Margaret--Lady Margaret--just peed in the pool! It's like she holds it until she's here and then just lets go. First thing every day--standing there with that stupid smile, proud of herself. They oughta kick her out!"

The instructor began class by telling us to grab hold of the side for our leg lifts. Everyone hurried to secure a place. Most of us lifted a leg as the instructor counted backwards from twenty, but a few people, only interested in visiting, kept talking, pretending to lift a leg, but only holding onto the side.

Next came jumping jacks, twenty of them. These were more strenuous and several class members didn't pretend to do them--only stood there, ignoring the teacher. One guy who resisted the work, made a show of getting out of the pool while loudly telling everyone he needed to make a potty stop.

A fat woman with a heavy sleeve of flesh hanging from her upper arm, pointed at the man and sputtered, "He always pulls that trick when we're doing the hard stuff. He'll be back at the end of the class when we work out with them spongy noodle things that you wrap around you."

Another woman chimed in, "Well, at least he gets out to do his business, unlike some people," she said staring indignantly at the one who peed earlier--reluctant to drop the matter.

"This here ain't no toilet and people should just hold it til' we're done."

A woman in a hot pink polka-dotted suit kept looking over at me. Finally she broke from the circle, smiled and said,

"You're new here. What's your name and where are you from?"

"I'm Dianne and I live here in Logan."

"Oh? What ward are you in?"

Caught off guard I stammered,

"I'm not a Mormon."

With a "piss on you" look she turned her back to me and whispered to her friend.

Suddenly a huge, defiant woman entered the pool. She sneeringly scanned the crowd and then walked up to me, as I stood trying to listen to the instructor and do the exercises.

"Hi, I'm Jackie--who are you?"


"So what do you think?" she asked pointedly looking at different people.

"Don't let em' get to you. They'll try to drive you off like they did me, but it didn't work. I've been cummin' here since this place opened twenty years ago. These here people hate my guts but it's cause' I've known them since we was kids, and they can't pull the wool over my eyes. Ya see that one there in the pink suit--Miss Piggy?"

"Yes," I replied. "She just asked me what ward I was in."

"Ha Ha," she belted, dancing in place. "Did you tell her the psycho ward?" she yelled contorting her face, spewing out gibberish, and whacking her chest.

"Miss Piggy over there. She's always a tellin' them women how wonderful she is, goin' with her husband on church missions and all, but I don't listen to her shit because I remember how she went to bed with every Tom, Dick, and Harry when we was young. She had a hard time getting' her man cause' in those days men didn't marry the cow that gave them the milk for free. I think she was nearly twenty-three when she got hitched--darned near an old maid. Then she changed overnight--got religion--got herself one of them there revelations, ha ha."

"Anyway, I've got the dirt on most of these people here and they stay clear of me because I tell it like it is. See that guy over there?" she said pointing to one, all mouth and sinew, in the center of the men.

"That pompous ass is a Smith--claims to be a direct descendent of Old Joe himself. He's here everyday bragging about his restored cars and properties, loves showing off his knowledge of the stock market."

"How'd he get his money?"

"Who knows?" she shrugged. "See how all those guys stand around kissing up to him? Well, not me! He's no better than the rest of us--we all pee in the pool!"


"You bet--especially those that rant against it," she said pointing at the crowd of women. Think about it--all of us over sixty-five and incontinent as Hell. The water in here is getting warmer and yellower by the minute, by God. Once I went right up to that crowd of men and told that Smith guy to stop shitting everyone, told him he pees in the pool just like the rest of us. He got all indignant and denied it.

"Sure you don't, I said--just like Bill Clinton didn't inhale."

"And do you know what he said?" Jackie snorted. "He yelled,

‘Don't put me in the same category with that philandering son-of-a-bitch. I only peed a couple of drops--didn't even empty my bladder.' "

She shrieked with laughter as she hacked, "Time for another cigarette, I guess."

I've thought a lot about it and I believe Jackie about the pool peeing. The difference between her and the others is that she openly talks about it. Strange in this day and age when we talk about everything--religion, health ailments, (seniors love those) depression, alcoholism, even sex.

But nobody, when asked what they did today says, "Let's see, I weeded the garden, did three loads of washing, shopped for groceries, went swimming and oh, I almost forgot, I peed in the pool."

I'm definitely staying with the class although I'm not yet accepted--that'll take time. Our common bond is that we all pee in the pool--for now that's enough.

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Features -- July 2011 -- Beginning Month Issue