Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Finn and the Frog

this morning, for the first time in months, i had to share my lane in the pool (for it is MY lane. Bernie knows it, Grumpy Gary knows it, and so do The Juvie Whisperer, Enthusiastic Splashing Woman and Happy Go Lucky Man who leaps into the water with the joy of a child. everyone knows Lane 7 is Finn's Lane).

so imagine my surprise when i encountered my visitor mid-lap – a terrible breach of swim etiquette which prescribes dangling your feet at the wall while the incumbent approaches. entering an occupied lane without warning is an invitation to a head-on collision, especially if you hop in with me.

so yes, midway into my set of broken 400s, i was looking straight down at the pool bottom when i saw movement. i pulled to a halt and sculled while scanning below. again, there! long kicky legs, short little black body: a frog! -cruising the bottom of the pool right under me. poor froggie, trapped in a big bowl of chlorine while clumsy humans sputter like wasps above him. i look meaningfully at the lifeguard, hoping she'll notice i've stopped mid-lap to splash about in the middle of my lane, but she's oblivious. she is our Singing Lifeguard. whether she sings to entertain herself or to stay awake at 5am i don't know, but she's lost in her singing world right now and i'll get no help from her.

it's up to me to save the frog. i take a deep breath and drop to the bottom, slowly caving my hands around the unfortunate amphibian. with gentle deliberation i gather up the body which lies passive in my hands for about 3 seconds, then explodes into muscular motion, causing me to revert to girl-ness, squeeeee and release him abruptly. liberated, the frog zooms off and takes up residence with Enthusiastic Splashing Woman in lane 8.

i mournfully watch her pummel by, knowing i don't have the chutzpah to invade her lane and attempt to catch the frog again. plus, i'm still slightly skeeved out by the feeling of that froggy body in my hands. i finish my lap and turn at the wall, and when i come back the frog is gone. i figure he's off visiting bernie or grumpy gary and while i finish my set i keep my antenna up for the commotion i anticipate my frog will cause; but the next half hour passes without incident.

i passed the lifeguard as i left.
- um, i think there might be a frog in the pool - i informed her.
- oh yeah, we know about him. he's a regular - the lifeguard said lightly.
- a regular? you mean he's okay in there? in chlorine?
- seems weird, doesn't it. doesn't seem to bother him though; neither does hanging out with you guys swimming over top of him.
- and he can get in and out? - poor dude must have been freaked when i tried to "save" him.
- oh sure. we've found that trying to catch him stirs you people up more than he does. this weekend one of the lifeguards went after him with a skimmer net and a little kid got so upset that he climbed out of the pool, raced across the deck and ran straight into the pace clock. probably had a nice shiner the next day.

hah. there you go. i'm braver than a 6-year-old.


Mayrasmom said...

"you people?"
WTF did she mean by that!
I guess you don't want to go fishing with Mayra this weekend.

Manuel said...

warts? Don't frogs give you warts?

Brown Suga' said...

Oh great, we've both been having animal encounters over the past few days.

(Read my vox ... you'll have to sign in, though.)

finn said...

subh - will do. meb you encountered otterz??

manuel - warts? pah, that's an old wives tale. frogs do bring Prince Charmings though so i am on the lookout.

kath - We People don't mind fishing, but i'll steer clear of the frog-gigging ta v much.

addon said...

we get cane toads here, at least they are on the move from the north where they were introduced by some dumb idiot supposedly to eat some beetle in the cane fields.

they can end up in your backyard pool - guaranteed to empty it in Olympic record time.

best way to approach them is with a golf club. close your stance a little, shorten the grip on the club, use a three-quarter back swing and be sure to follow through fully. a medium iron - say a 3 or 4 - is ideal for the task.

my elder brother and i were once (when quite young) playing golf at troon (famous Scottish course) and he (or was it I?) hit a wayward shot that went through the driver's window of a passing bus. we scampered away over the sandhills.

this, coincidentally, is part of a joke that goes round: someone does the same - goes through the bus's window with a slice (an outward curving ball due to having the club face too open) - is so shocked stands wringing his hands saying what'll i do what'll i do. his partner says, close your stance a little, bring the right hand much more round on the handle and close the face of the club, that should do it.

on some courses in africa, you got a free drop if your ball landed in a hippo's footprint.

we've got a frog nazi lives opposite us, but that is another story. here is my drawing of him:

addon said...

sorry that link does not work ...

addon said...

good title btw "finn and the frog" bit like "the beauty and the beast"

addon said...

frog nazi there that's nailed it.

finn said...

that link doesn't seeem to work either, adam; i get a "addon is no longer active on Flickr" notice, which i'm sure isn't so. and, it seems flickr and yahoo have now merged and i cannot remember my yahoo login info. how fun. yay technology.

i'd heard about your toad infestation in oz. i found this (from that article you ref'd) esp interesting:
Some Queensland bird and rodent species have somehow learned how to eat cane toads without exposing themselves to the toxin. They kill the toad and turn it over onto its back. They pull away the soft belly skin and partake of the internal organs, leaving the skin and the deadly paratoid glands behind. This behaviour has only taken a mere 60 years to learn - very fast on the evolutionary scales. Those native rats which do feed on animal material (such as the White-tailed and the False Water) have learned to only eat the legs of the toad and not the body.

that IS quick adaptation. maybe all's not lost in the war between invasive exotics and native species.

you make playing golf actually sound fun.

addon said...

finn - yes i dumped flickr yesterday, got bored with it but did not make the connection of that link, sorry about that.

re: toads - crafty little buggers here in Oz. do you know that we are world leaders - well maybe I exaggerate - but at the forefront of many endeavours - medical technology is one - but are the worst at capitalising on what we develop? so we do the hard yards, come up with the bright ideas and then let them drift away o'seas. we probably invented the bicycle for all i know. esp. one with a computer on board. got sat. nav.?

re: golf - the greatest fun but only when you learn to laugh at yourself.

Brown Suga' said...

Wow - that info about the Oz cane-toad-eating boids and rodents is so interesting. Yay for 'em! (And BOO to 'em ugly toadies.)

finn said...

when're you gonna tear the union jack out of your flag, adam?