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Tom Toles
Posted at 07:20 AM ET, 11/13/2013

Time for a swim

After work I go for a swim. It is exercise, which is moving the muscles of the body around to keep them healthy because all the things people used to do that required muscles have now been replaced by conveniences that we paid for to eliminate the need for using muscles but we still have muscles so we have to think of things to do to move them around and pay for that too.

So daily I come out a different Metro exit and walk to the pool. The pool is like a pond, except it is made inside a large building. The pond has no fish in it, only people. The people in there have figured out a way to not drown, drowning being the natural outcome of being in the water because since we evolved from fish we breathe air, not water. So to be in water requires a specialized movement of the limbs to keep the breathing hole out of the water and we call that swimming.

But before we go in the water, we have to go into the locker room. The locker room is where you store your clothes. You put on these clothes in the morning because civilization says that nobody wants to look at your body so you spend money to buy clothes and put them on to cover your shameful nakedness, until you get to the locker room. There you stand about with a bunch of complete strangers and take off all your clothes. Then you put on a little bit of different clothes. Your main clothes go in the locker where they are locked so no one can steal your clothes and go out dressed like you came in.

Then you enter the water. The purpose of being in the water is to use those specialized drowning-avoidance moves to travel to the other end of the pool without touching the bottom, which is considered cheating. But you don’t really want to be at the other end. When you get to there, you turn around and go back to where you started, but you don’t want to be there either. So then, you turn around again and so forth. There is very little to look at as you travel to and fro like this, except the many many many tiles and the submerged hair band resting on them. And yet with so little to think about, it is still all you can do to keep count of the number of times you go back and forth. But you have to keep track, because if you don’t achieve a number that you earlier agreed upon with yourself, you have failed and the time and effort you just expended was completely wasted. Close doesn’t count; this isn’t horseshoes!

By  |  07:20 AM ET, 11/13/2013

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