Going to the local pool or, even better, outdoor lido, often seems like the only thing to do on a freakishly hot British summer’s day – the kind where the train tracks start melting and the tabloids start shouting about heatwaves accompanied by photos of sunburned pensioners. Up on the shore they work all day, while we be devotin’ full time to floatin’…
But no matter what part of the country you live in or what day of the week you go, there are certain people you’re sure to find. Every. Single. Time.
1. The person wearing a scuba mask
This is about a million different levels of weird. There are no fish to see here buddy, just little kids trying to discreetly pee in the pool and people fishing wedgies out of their butts. Leave the mask at home. Oh, and the flippers too.
2. The person who doesn’t want to get their hair wet
Sure they’ll go ‘swimming’, but under no circumstances are they putting their head under the water. It doesn’t matter how hot it is, it doesn’t matter if someone offered them £100, it doesn’t matter if a bird pooped directly over their head and the only way to avoid it was to hide under the water’s surface – this person is not screwing their ’do with chlorine. Ever.
3. The person playing loud music
There seems to be some sort of law that says if more than 20 people gather in a communal space, one of them will insist on playing obnoxiously loud music. Despite everyone’s best efforts to sigh loudly in their direction they will not get the hint. Eventually, you’ll forget there was ever a time in your life when you weren’t listening to drum ‘n’ bass/James Blunt/the greatest hits of Metallica.
4. A very hairy man
Why is that juy wearing a jumper to the pool? Oh, wait. No, ok, yep. Not a jumper, that’s all him. Cool. Cool, cool, cool.
5. The ‘hotdogs or legs?’ person
We’ve all been this person at one point or another. Of course you were only being ironic when you did it, obviously. Also, I don’t think that we, as a society, spent enough time talking about why someone would bring hotdogs to a pool or beach for the sole purpose of making them look like legs. Just some food for thought, there.
6. The almost agressively good swimmer
Calm down *frantically Googles the name of an Olympic swimmer* Jazz Carlin. Yes, your full body swimsuit is a little intimidating and you have a more impressive set of shoulders than Atlas himself, but there’s no need to do those fancy somersaults at each end, we all get it. You’re better than us. Well done.
7. The person wearing a ridiculous swimming costume
8. The one who is only really there for the Instagram opportunities
They jump high into the air, stretching their arms to the sky, their mouth wide open with glee before splashing in the pool. As soon as their head emerges from the water they ask in a tone bordering on shouty, “Did you get it? Did you get it?” at their friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend. It transpires that, no, they did not get the perfect shot and so they must do it again. This happens approximately 24 more times.
9. The ones who are kids
So many kids.
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Image: Amber Griffin