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Vlog the Inhaler, or The Occasional Video Blog Musings of Jim Thornton

Bobinator, Wet and Dry: an Introduction

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
1. Preamble to Introduction

A couple years back, I used to write a column for National Geographic Adventure magazine that I called "Oddventures." The idea was for me to go out and experience various eccentric activities--from powered paragliding to jet-skiing to Siberia, swimming through a feeding frenzy of sharks to blowgun monkey hunting in the jungles of Equador.

Your standard kind of participatory journalistic fare.

One time they sent me to set my own personal land-speed record on the Bonneville Salt Flats during the annual summer "Speed Week."

When I was checking into my hotel in Elko, Nevada, home of Floyd "Poolrat" Fisk (who is rumored to be very fond of his tomahawk, but that is an entirely different story), there was this somewhat seedy road person sitting on one of the lobby couches, looking weary and in need of a shower.

After I checked in, the fellow asked me if there was any spare room in my room. He was pushing 60, had weather-beaten skin, wore glasses and was smaller than me but appeared wiry in a way that signaled sans doute he could beat me up. He spoke with a very pronounced New Zealand accent, something that had not yet been popularized domestically by the arrival of The Flight of the Conchords. If anything, he seemed the sort who might shoot Mauris for fun.

Anyhow, I let him stay.

The next morning, when we woke up on our respective twin beds, I said, "Thank god I'm still alive. Don't take this the wrong way, but I was a little worried you might be a serial killer."

He chortled New Zealandly and replied, "I was a little worried you might be a serial rapist."

Tony Jones turned out to be an extremely nice guy and lifelong race car aficionado who helped me in innumerable ways with the story itself and later when I had to put the fear of bodily harm into a fraudulent stock broker in Salt Lake City who had stolen a bunch of money from my recently dead aunt.

Over the years, Tony has managed to track me down several times in various parts of the US and freeload in an utterly charming way, what the New Zealanders might themselves call "brilliant."

I have patterned myself after him.

2. Introduction to Today's Film

In the world of masters swimming, a generally (but not always) affluent sport, the very first freeloadee that I had to convince I was not a serial rapist is everybody's favorite FAF sister, Leslie the Fortress Livingston.

As some of you may know, Leslie has let me stay at her guest house--I use the "her" here in jest, for I have stayed so often that laws applying to squator's tenancy are by now so much in play that calling the guest house "ours" is even risible. Virtually every legal scholar I've hired conclude that I now own the guest house outright. Of course, given the generosity that Leslie expressed to me in the past when I was propertyless myself, now that I am landed, I would not think of turning her away unless I really, really have need for some solitude!

Enough tortious technicality.

This arrangement has actually worked very well, at least for me. There are virtually no USMS meets in the Sewickley area, so if I want to try to make the Top 10, the closest opportunities are in the D.C. area, many held in the George Mason University pool. That's why owning a guest house within a few miles of this facility has been such a boon.

Leslie gets a lot out of this arrangement, too. I don't mean to be putting words into her mouth, but one example I know she will agree with is that she is much less tempted into overeating during my frequent homecomings. The reason: I take way more than my fair share of the community food. Ah, let's not mince words here. I eat like a rutting swine.

A win-win.

Which, alas, brings us to the problem of last summer's Long Course Nationals in Indianapolis. This is a drivable distance for me, but the prospect of having to actually pay for a room when I got there made any chance of attending pretty much impossible. I desperately needed to find a Leslie the Fortress Livingston Midwest.

The thought that there might be, in all of Christendom, another woman a fraction as saintly in her generosity as Leslie seemed, at first glance, so ludicrous as to make me ignore even trying to find one.

Most women in USMS, being toned babes with very high gorgeosity , or G Factor, already have husbands or boyfriends who are able to provide them with the one other extraordinary athletic talent that I am gifted with beyond swimming with an almost preternatural slow grace: yes, you guessed my other talent, that.

I suppose it is possible that some lingerie model, miserably lonely because she isignored by men who consider themselves way below her league, might need the likes of me to remedy her loneliness. But in Indianapolis?

As luck would have it, I found the best of all possible worlds in the person of today's film subject: Robin "The Bobinator" Walker, a former 2:47 marathoner, mother of a professional skateboarder, kindergarten teacher with more G Factor than you can shake at thick stick at, and a very likable boyfriend who appears to suffer fools gladly.

Many of you know Bobinator from her posts and blog. In today's film, I attempt to alternate between the swimming and the general living Bobinator in her domestic element.

3. Dramatis Personae
in order of appearance:

Bobinator.......Robin Walker
Disembodied Voice......Jim Thornton
Emma, Mayor of the Bobinator's Household.....Emma
Silver Medalist....Bill White assortment of USMS swimmers and functionaries

4. Final Note

This is the first of a planned series of short films from LCM Nats. Please check back for more soon, including the highly titillating Stephanie, Megan, and Jim Sandwich (snippets of which appeared in Ocean City Selkie.)

Note: I just noticed that I spelled Bobinator wrong on YouTube. Sorry, Bob. Think of Bobintor as a shortened endearative, and thanks once again for a spectacular degree of generosity that has you in the running for this year's Jimmy Award.

Leslie, if you are reading/watching this vlog, you best be on your toes come Sprint Classic Time if you hope to hoist another Jimmy atop "our" mantelpiecein 2009!

[ame=""]YouTube - Bobintor: Wet and Dry[/ame]

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  1. The Fortress's Avatar
    Yay Bobinator!

    I wanted to see the girl cave though ...
  2. jim thornton's Avatar
    Leslie, what exactly is the girl cave? I thought every girl had her own individual cave wherein dwell blind fish that skitter hither and yon among the frightening stalactite thickets, avoiding bat guano?

    That's not what you meant, though, is it?
  3. The Fortress's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by jim thornton
    Leslie, what exactly is the girl cave? I thought every girl had her own individual cave wherein dwell blind fish that skitter hither and yon among the frightening stalactite thickets, avoiding bat guano?

    That's not what you meant, though, is it?
    No, I think you summed it up well, Jim. It's a room in Bob's house that she transformed into her private "girl cave." I need such a cave. Alas, our "playroom" is in the process of being renovated into a teenage cave.
  4. poolraat's Avatar
    Jimby, if you ever visit Elko again, I'll give you a tour of the rez. Of course, if you accept this invite, be forewarned of how risky it may be as light skinned as you are.
  5. jim thornton's Avatar
    Floyd, I think I have already been scalped--first by male pattern baldness, and second by the Elko casino. But you are welcome to whatever sparse locks remain! Perhaps you could find a few sprouts on my back?

    Leslie, thanks for telling me about the teen girl cave. I look forward to spending lots of time therein on my next visit.
  6. Bobinator's Avatar
    I will take jimby in the "girl cave" the next time he comes to Indy!
    Thanks Jimby for the wonderful Birthday surprise! I just returned from bd dinner with Rob and Mart (the girls were both studying). I flipped on my mac, and there I was live and on-deck!
    Just know I am on a personal mission to make the 200 free my new best event. lol
  7. jim thornton's Avatar
    I am so glad you enjoyed it, Bobinator! You were the best hostess that the Midwestern Region has ever produced! You and Leslie are now the prototypes for the Jim Thornton Wondergirl Freeloader Movement. Could you two help me find Fortress-Bobinators to put me up in the Mountain States and West Coast, followed by Europe, South and Central America, Asia, Africa, and Little America (where I can imagine waking each morning to the cheerful barks of Emma, the Siberian Huskie, and then receive a fine breakfast sandwich of whale blubber and penguin eggs.)

    Thanks again for you being you, which is so much more than the likes of me could ever, ever ask for!

    Happy birthday.
  8. billwhite's Avatar
    And I second Bobinator as the best hostess of the Midwest....Thanks again!
  9. jim thornton's Avatar
    Bill, right now she and Leslie are both in the running for best intergalactic hostess. I suppose if I had used that room key, there might have been a third candidate. But, well, best not to dwell on what some consider the saddest words of all: what might have been. Of course, there are plenty on the other who argue that the true saddest words of all are: what is, but shouldn't ought to have been.