Water Aerobics

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 04, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 04, 2019



Water Aerobics


Last Friday, George retired. Saturday, he kept busy with the house and yard work he had put off for the past month. That evening his wife and friends honored him with a wonderful retirement party. His favorite gift was a plaque, “Retired. Under new management. See wife for details.” Sunday, his children and grandchildren came over after church for a BBQ. Cooking, serving, playing and the cleaning up left him pleasantly exhausted at day’s end.

Finally, Monday. the first weekday George could remember when he did not have school, work, or a busy vacation. After lounging in bed later than he could ever remember, he took the family beagle on a leisurely walk around the neighborhood.

He made his favorite breakfast of fried eggs, cooked to his own standard of perfection, along with toast, hash browns, and bacon. He eased himself down in the lazy-boy. His stout belly made a perfect table for his plate and the end table a fine place for a mug of fresh coffee.

Scrolling through the movies he said to the flat-screen TV on the wall, “So many movies, so much time. Where to begin?” he pressed enter on “Sudden Impact.” He mopped up yolk with toast and enjoyed watching Dirty Harry chase bad guys.

Leaving a little bacon, he laid the plate on the floor. The beagle’s tail beat against the recliner while licking the plate clean.

The door to the garage opened and closed. “George,” his wife Audra shouted from the other room. “I bought you some things.”

“Thanks, dear,” George said loud enough for his voice to carry.

Audra strode into the room, “Here is a new bathing suit, pool-shirt, and sandals.” She held them up between George and Clint on the TV, who was saying, “Go ahead; make my day.”

“They seem a little big,” he said craning his neck to peek around them.

“This is the style for men these days,” Audra responded.

“Thank you, dear. Someday, I’m sure I will have a chance to wear them.”

“Not someday, George. Today.”

“I’m watching a movie. Maybe tomorrow.”

“If you think you are going to be a recliner rat watching old movies in your retirement, you better think again. I signed you up for water aerobics which starts in a half hour. We need to leave in ten minutes. Put these on!” she said dropping the trunks, shirt, and sandals into his lap.

Audra took George’s mug, picked up the plate from the floor and left for the kitchen.

George scowled, hit record on the remote and powered off the TV.

The suit seemed extremely large. He pulled the strings tight under his gut and tied a large bow before tucking the strings into his suit. He glanced in the mirror; his sizeable belly hung over the waistband. He frowned, held his breath sucking in his substantial girth and turned sideways. He let out a gust of breath and watched his belly bounce. Audra is right, I need more exercise. Water aerobics here I come.

“Put your clothes and a towel in a gym bag. You can change after class,” said Audra as she walked by in her swimsuit and coverup. A large knitted bag with kittens on the side in her hand. “And get a hat. You don’t want to get skin cancer.”

They arrived at the outdoor pool and checked in. Audra handed him a floatation belt. He watched his wife wrap her belt around her middle, so he did the same. This thing makes me look like the Michelin Man.

“Make sure it is tight,” she said as she tugged on his strap. “You don’t want it under your armpits.”

They put their bags on a chair and started down the steps into the pool. It was then George surveyed the others in the class. All he could see were women of various sizes. Most appeared well beyond him in age. Not what I remember of girls in bathing suits, he thought. He pulled the brim of his baseball cap low, adjusted his sunglasses against the glare, and tried to block the vision of the garish ‘bathing beauties’ from his mind.

His next step missed the bottom of the pool, thrashing about to get some footing, Audra grabbed his hand. “Relax dear. You can’t drown.”

“But it’s deep.”

“Float! The belt will keep you up.”

Staring at ‘8 ft’ stenciled in big blue letters he wanted to grab onto the side, but he couldn’t show his panic to his calm wife. He froze in indecision.

His head remained above water. I’m not sinking. He inhaled and exhaled.

“To warm up, dog paddle in a circle,” yelled the instructor through a plastic megaphone. George could barely hear her over the music blaring from speakers high on light poles.

Audra introduced him to a few women before striking up a conversation. George followed, but could not keep up. He was on his own. He paddled around the pool dodging women who kept up a running conversation while bobbling like beachballs.

Then he noticed the hats. The women all wore ornate hats, functionally they kept the midday sun off their heads, but they would be acceptable at any royal British garden party. Flowers, glitter, lace and all the colors of the rainbow circulated in the water like table centerpieces.

After the fourth routine, George was out of breath, his heart pounding like a native Tahitian drummer and his legs and arms felt like they had after the first day of Army boot camp. Only forty minutes more to go. While doing the side stroke across the pool, two grey-haired women passed him discussing recipes for lasagna.

He spotted Audra. She was chatting away on the other side of the pool. She pointed at him while talking to a lady with yellow sunflowers on her broad-brimmed lime green hat. They smiled and waved.

The rest of the hour George went through the motions. The women were so nice to explain moves like the pendulum, superman, and angel. He floundered about as the exercises required more coordination in the water than he possessed. Time moved faster during his last day of work than the last half hour of water aerobics.

He was relieved when he heard the instructor yell, “Thank you all. Have a wonderful day.” He followed some gossiping women up the steps out of the pool making the mistake of gazing up. ‘Keep your eyes on your feet,’ he muttered to himself.

He grabbed his bag and met Audra who said, “Shower and change. I’ll meet you in the car.” She walked off telling another woman what their grandchildren had done yesterday.

George sat on a bench in the locker room, waiting for his heartbeat to slow and letting some energy return to his arms and legs. He stood to pull his new swim shirt over his head. Then he reached for the string in his suit, found an end and pulled hard. “Shit!” he yelled, doubling over in pain.

“You all right?” asked a tall thin man who was buttoning his shirt.

“My bow was wrapped around my umm… tools. I just pulled it tight.” George panted, his voice a bit squeaky. “I’ll be fine.”

George turned to face the locker and tried to get his hands into his suit. Either he had tied it too tight or it had shrunk. Going in around his doughboy belly and into the waistband from the top would not work. He tried to reach up his legs, but being so exhausted, lost his balance and fell against some lockers.

He sat back down on the bench, took a deep breath, and resumed his struggle to extradite himself from the draw-string. Too many years of breakroom treats and midnight snacks were in the way. He could not see what he was doing. The strings were too tight and naturally became tighter the more he struggled. He trembled and broke out in a cold sweat.

He scanned the locker room. There were two other men, one showering, and one dressing. “Excuse me, gentlemen. I seem to be in a predicament. Would one of you be so kind as to help me with my drawstring?”

As soon as George said it, he knew it was a crazy request. The other two men ignored him and seemed to be in a hurry to leave. Alone, his futile attempt to pry the string over his testes brought tears to his eyes.

Just then, a man came into the locker room and said, “I was told you have a problem. May I be of assistance?”

George cried out, “Yes. Please!”

“Come around and stand here,” said the man as he sat on the bench in front of George. He bent over and gently started to investigate George’s dilemma.

The locker room door opened. George turned his head around to see a boy, twelve or thirteen, wide-eyed staring at him.

 “I think… Yes there we go. I got it,” said the man kneeling in front of him.

George felt the release of pressure, his head arched back, let out a giant sigh, saying, “Thank you very much!”

“Oh my God. I’m telling!” a high-pitched voice yelled.

“Some little boy thinks he is seeing something he is not,” the man said.

He heard the locker room door open and close.

For the first time, he beheld the face of a tall thin young man. “Thank you,” he said again. He had never felt such relief in his life.

“It was my pleasure. I’m going back to my laps,” the man said.

George dressed, donned his new sandals, and exited the swim center shuffling his feet through the parking lot as fast as he could. He was almost to his car when… “That’s him,” yelled a familiar high-pitched voice. “That’s the man I saw.”

“You there. Hold up,” came a much deeper voice. “We would like to have a word with you.”

George turned slowly in the middle of the parking lot to see two police officers walking towards him. In the distance, a woman put her arms around the young lad, turning him back towards the pool office.

“Oh no,” George groaned under his breath as a short, stern-looking female and a tall muscular male in officer’s uniforms walked up.

“I am afraid we are going to have to take you in for questioning,” said the female officer.

They handcuffed George before starting through the protocol of asking for weapons, patting him down and reading him his rights.

Audra’s booming voice stopped everyone, “George! What is going on?”

“Please step back, ma’am,” said the larger officer outstretching his hand in a ‘stop’ motion.

 George beheld his wife; wide-eyed, mouth open. Behind her, the women with whom he had just shared an hour in the pool, stood on the sidewalk all hairy-eyeballed wondering what George had done. Mothers ushered their children around the scene; cars went into reverse and backed away.

“Why is my husband being arrested?” demanded Audra placing her hands on her hips.

“Lewd and lascivious behavior,” responded the policeman.

George started chuckling.

“What do you think is so funny?” sternly asked the policewoman, her face a few inches from George.

“Let me tell you a story,” said George smiling.

“Go ahead, make my day,” said the policewoman.

George’s belly jiggled like waves in the pool.

© Copyright 2020 Archiek. All rights reserved.

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