The problem with public swimming baths is that they are available to the public.
Just recently, in a desperate bid to regain some levels of fitness after 6 long, dark months on public transport (don't get me started...) I started going swimming one day a week after work.
The only problem with going after work is that the pool is quite busy and divided into "lanes" with long ropes where you are supposed to follow the arrows as to which side you swim on. However, it is a fact of Physics that no swimming pool can exist without at least one of the following people(s):
Three Girls Nattering - actually anywhere from 2-5 girls, but always sufficient to make it impossible to reach the side. Having paid £4 each for the priveledge they sit in the shallow end against the wall chatting for the whole time you are there, making a perfunctory length at some point to show they have excercised.
Backstroke/Windmill Arms Swimmer - someone who, despite the crowding of the pool, insists on doing the backstroke without looking where they are going. If they can possibly take up the whole of the pool and hit you on the head by splaying their arms and legs in all directions into the bargain then they will do. Usually a bloke
Kids Jumping In - despite the fact that it is lane swimming and there is a leisure pool next door there is always a small group of boys (always boys) jumping repeatedly in, splashing each other vigourously and pulling one-another's shorts down. Kids are chemically unable to talk in anything less than ear-shattering decibels - so they spend the entire time shouting at one another from a distance of mere millimetres.
Bored Lifeguard - you could drown right in front of him/her and they wouldn't raise an eyebrow. Some public pools have a policy of employing nothing but bored lifeguards with specially raging acne ready for that all important kiss of life.
No Sense Of Direction Person - we can all see the signs showing which side to stay to, yet this person just swims where they want to - forcing you to change your stroke to avoid broken wrists/legs.
And - worst of all: Energetic Swimmer - the person who pauses right next to you when you have just reached the point where your arms and legs are about to fall off and say something to the effect of "Come on, you can do it - I've only another 40 to go myself!"
Note to the public - if anyone is interested in purchasing me an "endless pool" please let me know!