June 13th 2006
Having taken the precaution of equipping myself with a pair of goggles should the fat fuck Mr Liddiard take it upon himself to jump in the pool again I decided to risk continuing with my swimming lessons, and Iâ€™m glad I did because the second lesson went a lot more swimmingly than the first. The same canâ€™t be said for one of my fellow learner swimmers, the dwarf, Mr Leeson. Â
One of the teaching techniques employed by the swimming instructor Miss Hobday is to have the learner swimmers stand in the shallow end of the pool, squat down a little so that their shoulders are level with the top of the water, then practice the arm movements of the breast stroke. This, she assured us, would give us the feel of actually swimming and build up our confidence.
This exercise is fine for people of normal height, but as I mentioned last week the shallow end of the pool is four feet deep and Mr Leeson is only three feet tall, a discrepancy of one foot on the part of Mr Leeson. Last week when Mr Leeson got in the pool and promptly disappeared underwater he quickly got out again before he drowned. He obviously didnâ€™t want the same thing to happen again so when Miss Hobday – who had more than likely instructed dozens of other would-be swimmers since our session last week and had probably forgotten all about Mr Leesonâ€™s problem â€“ asked us all to get in the pool, Mr Leeson refused point blank, and told Miss Hobday his reason for refusing, i.e. that if he did he may never see dry land again.
Miss Hobday had a think about it but from her bemused expression clearly a solution to the problem was beyond her. She told us to practise the arm movements of the breast stroke on dry land and disappeared for about ten minutes. When she returned, obviously having taken counsel from a higher authority, she told Mr Leeson that to overcome the problem he would be transferred to the ten-year-olds swimming classes, where the pupils would be the same size as him. She added that unfortunately, unlike the Oldie lessons, the lessons wouldnâ€™t be free and would have to be paid for by Mr Leeson, but it was the best they could do under the circumstances.
Mr Leeson hit the roof. Or as near to the roof as itâ€™s possible for a dwarf to hit.
â€œAre you trying to belittle me?â€ he protested, ignoring the fact that nature itself had belittled him, in a manner of speaking. â€œIf you think youâ€™re putting me in with a load of ten-year-old kids and expect me to pay for the privilege youâ€™ve got another think coming. People will accuse me of being a bloody paedophile!â€
â€œYes, Iâ€™ve already had to stop being a Santa Claus because of that,â€ said one of the normal men, Mr Littlewood.
â€œAnd anyway,â€ said Mr Pargeter, the man with the glass eye, â€œHow do you manage to teach children if theyâ€™re the same height as Mr Leeson, how come they donâ€™t disappear under the water?â€
A good point, and one I hadnâ€™t thought of myself.
â€œYes, if the water goes over Mr Leesonâ€™s head itâ€™ll go over a childâ€™s head as well,â€ said the man with the hump back, Mr Gearing, adding his threepennorth.
Miss Hobday had the answer to that: â€œWe use a different teaching system for children.â€
â€œWell then use your usual system for us and the childrenâ€™s system for Mr Leeson,â€ said Mr Pargeter â€œIf Mr Leeson doesnâ€™t mind.â€
â€œNo I donâ€™t mind,â€ said Mr Leeson. â€œAnything that means I wonâ€™t have to drown before Iâ€™ve learned how to swim and I donâ€™t have to pay for it.â€
The plan was adopted. The lesson continued.