Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Swimming and the Criminal Element

Or otherwise titled: Things I Typically Try to Avoid on a Daily Basis.

But alas, today would not be that day.

I went back to the pool today, six weeks post surgery.

Let’s just say those six weeks off did not do a body good.

The first 200 were like swimming through concrete, the second 200 were about as close to drowning as I have come, and the next 400 were simply a battle with my mind.

When I hit 800, I decided that I would just round it out at 1000, and call it a day. I rationalized that, just like when I returned to running, it all starts small.

But just to prove I haven’t lost my competitive edge, I was doing my flip turn at the end of the pool, and noticed the woman next to me also doing hers. I saw out of the corner of my eye that she had good form, so I thought I would race her (in my head). I pulled ahead fairly easily, and was giving myself an d underwater pat on my back when I noticed something.

She was, like, 86.

As in, years old.

And wearing flippers.

So it was a hallow victory.

And Then:
Remember my sister’s neighbor – the dogfighter?

Yeah, so I ran into him today. His name, I believe, is Dante.

I see him almost everyday, because given his other line of work, he often hangs out outside waiting for his, ahem, customers.

The typical exchange is usually a couple of “Hi’s” a wave, and a “have a good day.”

The way I see it, it is always good to be personable to the criminal element, especially if you frequent the neighborhood. See, that way, if I ever got jumped, or my car got damaged, I know I would have at least one person who might step up for me.

I imagine the exchange to go something like this:

Cop: Did you see anything?
Dante: With who?
Cop: Young woman, 31 years old….
Dante: Oh, that nice girl whose always walking around in gym shoes and carrying a laundry basket? Drives that tore-up little car? Looks like she doesn’t really brush her hair?
Cop: That would be her.
Dante: Oh yeah, she a nice lady. Always says hi, nice smile. Got mugged, you say?
Cop: That’s what I said. What do you know about it.?
Dante: Well, she seems like a nice lady, so I guess I can tell you that it was my brother. Yeah, my brother did it. He lives right here, in this building behind me. He did it, yup.
Cop: You just gave up your own brother?
Dante: Well, like I say, she a nice lady – always says “Hi.” I dig that.

See- Mugger caught, I win.

So today, I saw Dante, we had our friendly words, and I SOOOO wanted to ask him about his recent legal “struggles.” But how do you do that? What is the etiquette for addressing one’s criminal activity? Like, do you ask about it and validate their street cred, or do you ignore it, make nice, and go about your day?

I picked the middle ground.

Me: Hey, where’s your dog? She’s usually always with you.
Dante: (Smiles politely) Have a nice day, Miss.


I’m so getting mugged.


Prin said...

:-O You're nutty. I'd have said something like, "I saw you on the news, eh? Tough break. They're always going after the little guy."


lol @ your imaginary mugging scenario. :D

And don't be so hard on yourself. I would have drowned after the first 20.

jessica said...

Oooh, so glad his dog(s) were removed.

Sort of off-topic, but if you need a pick-me-up in regards to dogfighting, check out http://www.badrap.org -- one of my favorite non-profits.

And, I'm working on my own swimming return, so thanks for reminding me that I need to suck it up and admit "at least I didn't just donate a kidney!"

Erin said...

I'm laughing out loud right now at my desk over the 85 year old you tried to race. Been there, done that. Ugh. But hilarious all the same!

The Clyde said...

I think I beat that same lady at my pool today.

Did you end it with a "Boy I really smoked your ass those last few laps" comment to her like I did?

Rachel said...

Take it easy. You just had surgery! Jeez! Every time a 70+ athlete passes me on the race course I silently cheer him/her on. They are my role model. I want to be doing that in my 70s!

The Young Family said...

you are too funny! My first triathlon I was huffing up a "hill" it really wasn't a hill it was the ramp incline of a bridge... seriously not a hill! But anyway first tri and I wasn't prepared at all, I hear a voice saying, "you are almost there, you can do it!" cool I think, as I turn to see a 70+ litle old lady passing me! Crap %$#@ I was just passed by an old lady! Now it is my *laughing* goal to not get passed by an old lady! Ofcourse almost every race I get passed by one! I too cheer them on!

Mommymeepa said...

Oh my gosh, you so had me cracking up on this post. The 86 year old swimmer you smoked. The mugging incident and your real conversation with Dante. Too funny!! Thanks.

Molly said...

I try to beat the water walker...not THAT is sad!
I am going to try and stop laughing now and get back to work!
Take Care

Benson said...

I am so right there with you on the swim thing.
I just got spanked by a guy 50 pounds heavier than me. He's built like a linebacker and swims like a killer whale. Man, he's strong.

About the pending mugging...go for the kick in the nuts and run like hell.

Anonymous said...

The approach to take regarding his legal problems should be "So how is your application for College going?" In Bridgeport if you want to know how someone's kid is adjusting to prison life, you just ask "how's College going?