I root through my bag. It's not there. I check again, but there's nothing.
How can this be?
How could I have not brought my towel?
I've definitely brought my swimming shorts. I know I have, because I'm already wearing them. They're pink with white stripes, and are prone to raising the eyebrows of the 'menlier' men of the gym.
I've been looking forward to the swim all day. A few easy lengths, followed by a relaxing dip in the jacuzzi, and finishing up with a steam room sit-down.
There must be some other method of drying one's self without a towel?
Before I can come up with anything, I'm already in the pool.
'I'll deal with it when I have to,' I say out loud, as I breaststroke past a man in speedos.
I could just stay here - hide out in the steam room. In the morning I'll emerge from the room floating on a waft of steam like a newborn Benjamin Button - Small, wet, and wrinkly.
I decide against it. No man can withstand that much exposure to warm moisture, at least no mortal man anyway.
As I float around I notice Mr Speedo getting out. He grabs his towel from the rack. I think of asking him if I could borrow it, but then I see him thread the towel through his legs and start to ... floss his lower parts.
All swum out, and with no good ideas, I decide to head back to the changing room. It's full of half-naked men showing off their towels and their dry skin.
The hairdryers are out of order.
And there's only enough toilet paper for a single wipe.
It's not looking good.
But then I see it, salvation. I reach into my gym bag and pull out my sweaty gym clothes. They're not the most absorbent of materials, but they do the job.
I pat myself down until I'm reasonably less drippy, albeit a tad stinkier. I leave the gym that night with a newfound appreciation for towels.
God bless the person who thought them into existence.