I had my first flasher today – oops, poor word choice, let me rephrase that – I witnessed my first flasher today at the pool. I’d been swimming for an hour when I picked up a kickboard to work just my legs; this means my face was above water instead of buried in it, and I was looking around trying to hang on to an idea I had for a piece I was currently writing about my father. I looked toward one of the two clocks and saw a man sauntering toward the Jacuzzi in a leisurely way. I paid no attention at first, but it struck me as having an uncovered kind of look. That’s when I noticed it was the back of his rear end in all its glory.
No. That couldn’t be. I didn’t see what I thought I saw. A trick of the light. Water in my eyes. Blurred goggles. Surely that wasn’t bare skin. Yet there he was, or rather, it was, and he was simply too old for playing games like that. It wasn’t a bad looking tush but nothing to write home about either.
Surely he was wearing something; maybe it was just a nude color and my cursory glimpse wasn’t fairly assessing his, uh, attributes. I took a quick look a second time to be sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.
Second Viewing Results: There was no mistake. His towel was neatly folded in one hand that swung back and forth with each step he took. Maybe he thought he was taking a walk in the park and had forgotten to get dressed. The clothes were all laid out on his bed but he’d gone from the bathroom directly to the car instead and wound up here by mistake. Maybe it was karma. Perhaps he envisioned he was in his own pool, the one surrounded by the privacy fence in his backyard.
Maybe he was absentminded. Senile even. Or your average pervert who gets his jollies flashing both men and women in a pool at the gym.
The last person I’d seen in the Jacuzzi, which is where I’d initially intended to go after my swim, had left a little while ago and it was empty the last time I looked. I noticed the dial had been set back to zero to stop the jets.
But when I got out of the water, there was a man with his back against the Jacuzzi’s wall, the jets running. I could only assume it was Flasher, sitting in the hot water nice as you please – as naked as the day he was born. His towel was lying, still neatly folded, about six feet away near the steps where he’d entered.
I opted for the therapy pool instead. dismissing the steam room entirely at that point – its densely foggy atmosphere isn’t always conducive to seeing, clearly, who else might be in there or in what state of dress, or undress, that person might be at the time. Too risky. And you’re supposed to sit on a towel when you’re in there – I couldn’t even count on this guy doing that much.
When I left the warmth of the therapy pool, the man was still sitting in the hot, bubbling water. Alone. No surprise there, but I couldn’t really identify him as Flasher because I’d never seen his face.
Prosecutor to Defendant: “Stand up and turn around sir. Now drop your drawers please.
Prosecutor turns to witness under oath: “Can you identify this rear-end as the one you saw Ma’am?
Witness to Prosecutor, Judge, and Jury: “Yes it is. I’d recognize that backside anywhere.”
Might it come to this? What if too much time passed, and in my memory other backsides got mixed up with this one I was faced with now? Suppose I fingered the wrong perp’s tush?
Would the wrongfully accused sue me for defamation of character or something akin to that? Would I have to pay for plastic surgery so his bottom could not be recognized as criminal booty in the future?
Going into the locker room, I ran into a friend I see all the time standing at the mirror. “Tell me something,” I said. “Do they have some kind of policy regarding nudity being allowed in the pool? I don’t recall anything about it, but some guy is walking around the pool area wearing nothing but thinning hairs and a few moles on his backside. No swimsuit. No towel, even. She scrunched her face as if to say “eeuuww.”
“I thought not,” I said, heading for the front desk, though I was dripping wet myself – and yes, I was still wearing my bathing suit, flip flops, and had a towel wrapped around me, too.
The woman I spoke to made her way to the pool and when she came back, said she couldn’t find him. I felt like my imagination was playing tricks on me. Where could he have gone? He wouldn’t have been hard to miss unless he’d slipped into something more appropriate while sitting in the Jacuzzi – just in case word had gotten out. Pun intended. No one would have taken notice at all if he’d had something on. Perhaps he’d expected a more enthusiastic response when he strolled by the pool slowly enough for a comprehensive viewing but, not getting it, was weighing his options as he sat in the hot water.
I wonder: Did he wear his towel on the way back to the locker room or try once more, sans towel, to attract the attention from the swimmers that he didn’t get on his first pass?
The woman came back through a little while later saying she was going to check once more, and this time when she returned, she said I wasn’t the only one who’d seen him in his entirety. There were at least five of us present at the time.
He shouldn’t be hard to isolate, given we all have barcoded IDs we run across a scanner that brings up our photos, names, and the date and time we enter the facility. At the very least, I expect an email sent to all our members saying something like “This is a reminder that appropriate attire is required in the pool area at all times.” Or, maybe they’ll put out an APB (All Points Bulletin) to “Be On The Lookout For…”