posted by Nick Hornby February 4, 2009 at 2:12 pm Books , ,

I have just come back from a swim in the small swimming pool at my gym, and I had irritating cause to be reminded of this passage from Lisa Zeidner’s novel Layover. These words are perhaps the truest and wisest to be found in any contemporary fiction – maybe any fiction from any age.

“The guard barked, ‘No diving’. But the guy, crash-landing, didn’t hear her. He had already gone into the butterfly, the stroke of assholes.
Anyone doing butterfly anywhere is an obnoxious idiot, but to do it in a small hotel pool is beyond endurance. Arrogant, preening,beady-eyed little pricks in muscle shirts do butterfly. Marines and state troopers, premature ejaculators. The kind of men who clap between push-ups.”

Print this paragraph off, get it laminated, pin it up on the notice-boards of every public pool in the country.