Monday, June 8, 2015

Venezuelan Chavistas Tried to Commandeer My Pool on Saturday. (and why do communists have to be so cute?)

You may or may not know that I happen to run the local Masters Swim Team, the Nadadores. Which is celebrating 21 years in existence this year.  Each Saturday our team reserves 8 lanes so we can do our workouts. Hadley pool is a fantastic facility run by the City of Miami Parks and Rec Department and they have been fantastic for the last 10 years we have been swimming there. 
So, last Saturday I arrive at my local pool for practice and noticed there were far more swimmers at the pool than usual. My coach whispered to me that they were the Venezuelan National Team practicing in Miami for the Pan American Games in Canada this week. All excited I whipped out my iPhone and snapped a few pics of some very cute swimmers. Suddenly, a very officious, albeit handsome young man approached me and ordered me to stop taking pictures of his swim team. He was arrogant, rude and very cute, I knew that it was going to be a tense day at the pool. 

 No pictures without communist approval...
I quickly realized he was the team apparatchik and the only person authorized to speak to anyone outside the team. The coaches, the swimmers and entourage were keeping a far distance from the lifeguards and this young man was the only one doing the talking.  He was demanding that he should get the entire pool because they paid for it, they were practicing for the Pan American Games and they were the Venezuelan National Swim Team. What he wasn't aware of is that he paid only for half the pool, because our team pays for the other half.   I was not about to send my 25 swimmers home for a bunch of communists. Also, a significant number of my teammates are Venezuelan emigres, and I doubt seriously that any of them would appreciate being displaced a bunch of communist Chavistas.

So Mr. Chavista Apparatchik argued incessantly with the lifeguard to push us out of our lanes to the kiddie pool.  Thankfully his arrogance fell on deaf ears of our own city bureaucrat who was on the phones with his superiors, on a Saturday, trying to accommodate two swim teams that had reserved the pool. We began practice as the poor lifeguard and the communist debated. Hitting a bureaucratic stalemate the communist had no choice but to come to me to negotiate for the extra lane he needed for his team.  Now instead of arrogant, Mr. communist was all smiles and niceties. "Por favor Señor, let us have one of your lanes....."  I remembered how arrogant he had been just 30 minutes earlier....his poor treatment of the lifeguards, the suffering of my wealthy Venezuelan emigre friends....but he was so cute, and young......."yeah, fuck it, you have the lane for 30 minutes".
" Oh, thank you señor." he said in Spanish.

Who am I to deny a cute young communist his dreams of medals?

I was left with these questions:
1. If they are so anti-American, why the fuck practice in the most anti-communist, anti-Chavista city in the U.S.?
2. Was it communist arrogance, youth arrogance or swim team arrogance on display?
3. Why didn't you just try to be nice in the first place and ask nicely instead of causing all kinds of drama?
4. I doubt I would have given him my lane if he wasn't so damn cute.....