Ben Oostdam story # 524


Come and think of it, lap swimming is awfully dull ....
I used to count not only the number of laps
but even the number of strokes in each lap
That made me think of numbers, and to fight boredom,
I would play around with them, :
27 is 3 to the power 3, and no-one can expect to become
older than n to the power n - where n equals three...
Next lane: 28 is the sum of its divisors,
29 must be a prime, let's swim on...
36 is the nicest number, because my Mom loved using it
and cried when she turned 36 ("now I am old!").
39 is holy trinity times unlucky number....

I would even pose riddles to the pretty lifeguards and
interrogate them when collecting the answers on my next lap.
Next, I entertained (bored?) them asking questions about
languages, geography, or the peculiar properties of water.

To-day, Wednesday, it is the day for senior ladies to do
aquatic exercises starting at 1 pm (13:00), but they are
so eager they show up as early as 12:30 or lap swimming time.
One of them actually went in and swam some laps, upon which
one on the shore (I mean, side) quarreled that she had been
splashed wet by the aquatic heroine.haha
So I told my friend Ying - who also was at ECNU in Shanghai
but now instructs here
- about the onomatopeic Ovidian metamorphosis
when Zeus got annoyed by a group of quarreling folks and
changed them into frogs. The end of the story went like:
"Quamvis sunt sub aqua,
sub aqua maledicere temptant."

Or - in plain Chinese :
"although they were now under water,
they kept on quarreling/gossiping....."
I put in bold face the word "aqua"
or water, which (in Latin)
mimics the sound of quacking (=croaking) of frogs...
"Nice story", admitted Ying,
(which means "Eagle" -
which I used to be in the Boyscouts of Holland in the patrol of...)

And stories or jokes can also pivot (climax?)
not on a sound but also on a gesture,
signal or motion, like:
"The old man received a parcel and asked
his wife to get him a knife to open it.
"You need scissors," she said. "No, a knife!" he shouted -
"Scissors!" she screamed
- "Knife!!!" etc etc
till he got so mad he picked her up
and threw her in the po (ol)/(nd).
The last he saw of her were the index and ring fingers
of her right hand sticking out above the water
imitating the opening and closing of
a pair of scissors [my wife refuses to
pluralize it, so she uses such sentences as :
"where is the "scissors?" - cq "pants?" cq "glasses?" ...
(Maybe?) she's right, after all, it's (they're?) only ONE object,
although not single, but double (married?)]

Once into stories, around lap # 22, I decided to make
a mental 3x5 card list of stories I should attempt
to write whenever I would be on dry land again or in my office.
Once there and past my wife who was preparing lunch,
I quickly committed the remembered notes to this computer,
as below or on next page - as the case may be...
but that's another joke

  <13:23 10/28/2009>
     Back from swimming, to my regret only 37 laps:
     many ideas re stories:
           topics :
- swimming: old ladies quarreling, Ovid,
  Zeus quamvis sunt subaqua... to Chin 
  who also went to ECNU: good story;
  knife vs scissors
- teens and teenagers, swimming dull,
  count numbers, like 27 n to n
  and 39 3xa3, then foreign languages, say 10-20.
- supplement Rwanda Gone Fishin in today's E mail
- Bastogne, suffer dog, steak, hills mountains, bike,
- add to WWI stories Clark + $ 37.06 drama....
  of last night and this a.m.
- USACE Phila Engnr to Hawaii nuts hollow sand grains
- Amish guy and tales re chindin incl.
  cameras, picts etc calcining,
  Mr... hard water, etc. Ken and gold Incas Luis
- My contributions to MU - shared faculty student
  toilets,  not shared sex bathrooms (yet)
  lockerspace - trailer wc center of  renovated
  ES complex  - see cardboard model etc
- stolen camera, cyalis and see Alice

Note that I just now invented the above
upward pointing mega-arrow
Allow me to finish this story now and
try a separate one about
"Teens and Teenagers", so CIAO! for now.
(Thrice "now" in as many sentences, bah!)

BLO fecit 20091028 - Stories