Etiquette & superstition: swimming (successful and otherwise)

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Think or thwim, as the thaying goes.

ETIQUETTE: When swimming laps in a pool lane occupied by more than one person, the manner in which the lane should be shared depends on the number of people in the lane. If there are two people in the lane, the lane is split down the middle line with each swimmer occupying one side of the lane. If there are three or (ugh) more people in the lane, the swimmers stay to the right side of the lane, proceeding in a counterclockwise manner to the observer. If one swimmer wishes to overtake another swimmer in a three-or-more situation, he should tap the foot of the swimmer about to be passed, and then pass on the left, watching of course for oncoming traffic.

SUPERSTITION: If one is not a strong swimmer, it is best to avoid swimming in West Ireland or Scotland. It is believed in those areas that each river or sea in the area requires the taking of one human life per year, and if someone attempts to save a drowning person in one of these bodies of water, he will drown instead. A couple of rivers in Germany have a similar drowning allowance, but their entitlement is limited to one person per day solely on Midsummer Eve, Midsummer Day and the day after.

If you want to find a drowned body that has not yet floated to the surface, put some mercury in the middle of a loaf of bread and float the bread in the water. The bread will stand still over the body.

Photo by Lee Edwin Coursey on Flickr

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