Swimming Lesson Four

June 28th 2006 

About half an hour before I was due to set off for my next swimming lesson I had a phone call from the manageress of the leisure centre telling me not to bother, as following her altercation with the fat fuck last week the swimming instructor Miss Hobday had been suspended on full pay until such time as the matter had been fully investigated by an independent body and a decision had been made as to her future. The manageress went on to tell me they were trying to find a replacement for Miss Hobday but that she didn’t hold out much hope because ‘you know how things are’.

I said: “No, I don’t know how things are, how are they?”

“Well, it’s such a long process getting a replacement, what with all the vetting we have to do in case the applicants are paedophiles or sex crimes offenders, what with them coming into contact with children and vulnerable adults, that it would be more than likely Miss Hobday will be back with us by the time we’ve done it that it just won’t be worth our while.”

I thought about this for a moment then played what I thought was a trump card. “You do realise you’re discriminating against Mr Leeson, do you?”

“Is he the dwarf?”


“No we’re not. We’ve managed to get the dwarf, the fat man and the gentleman with the hump back in with another group.”

I went berserk. “The fat man? He’s the cause of all the trouble in the first place!”

“Maybe he is, but that doesn’t give us carte blanche to discriminate against him.”

“And what about the rest of us?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well you’re discriminating against us as well, aren’t you. You’re discriminating against the rest of us for not being dwarves, fat men or hunchbacks.”

She thought about this for a moment before conceding: “Well in a way we are suppose.” But then added, with a note of relief “But you can’t discriminate against people for being normal.” 

It is impossible to argue with logic like that so I tried a different tack. “And what about the man with the glass eye?”

“What man with what glass eye?”

“Mr Pargeter. You don’t you think he’ll sue you for discriminating against people with only one eye when he hears about what you’ve done for the others?

“Thanks for the tip off. We’ll be getting in touch with him. Well goodbye.”

“I’ve got a club foot!”

Quiet for a moment, then: “A club foot?”


“It doesn’t say anything here about you having a club foot?”

“I don’t like to make a fuss about it.”

The line went quiet for a while, then she said: “Can you make Mondays at 10.30?”

“I think I should be able to limp along to that. God willing.”