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ISSUE 15 ARCHIVE - ROB'S WORLD: HOW TO SURVIVE A DIVE SHOW

Rob Hunt

It is a truth universally acknowledged that dive shows arenít as good as they used to be. When you were younger, dive shows were better. When you had more hair and less children, dive shows were better. Before the gout and the obesity, when members of the opposite sex chased you merrily through aisles of quality wetsuits (not this cheap Mares shit that falls to pieces two days into a liveaboard), dive shows were better. Before the methadone and during the heroin, dive shows were better.

Sadly, these days youíre forced to stagger through endless corridors of tat, frothing with cynicism, lashing out at random and waiting in vain for the spirit of Dive Show to magically deliver you from endemic misery. Like at Christmas. Come on now, it doesnít need to be like that. Let me show you how:

Getting in

Itís imperative that you gain entry for free. This is best achieved by having a member of your group fake a heart attack as you approach the entrance, thereby allowing you to slip by the door staff unnoticed. If this doesnít create enough of a diversion, another member of your group will also need to fake cardiac arrest and so on until all security guards and ticket collectors are adequately preoccupied. Repeat until everyone has managed to get inside. Repeat again whenever you return to the main hall having gone out to visit the toilet, smoke some delicious crack, or to buy a foodstuff with an outside chance of being processable by the human digestive system.

Dive gear

Retailers of dive equipment have complained for many years that cheap dive show offers impact negatively on their trade with locals. They prefer instead that you visit their dive shop and have them help you try on eight different sizes of wetsuit before going home to buy the best fit online.

Food

Food and drink products at dive shows are entirely constructed from cardboard, warm wee, and the palpable contempt of the staff member serving you. Rumours persist that Sir Isaac Newton rendered dive show food edible via alchemical means in 1704, but itís probably easier to smuggle your own sandwiches in to a show rather than weapons-grade plutonium, the typical by-product of this process, out.

Winning

Anybody that doesnít see life as a competition and fails to spend every waking moment trying to win that competition is an idiot. Given that there are over six million prize draws at any given dive show, cynics (i.e. losers) are often tempted to claim that winning all of them is beyond the realm of mathematical possibility. However, thereís no law against you spending the entire two days of the dive show at one stand filling in thousands of competition forms. And you should announce this fact loudly at three-minute intervals as you do so. Given that the purpose of these competitions is to harvest email addresses so that you can receive the primary-coloured exploits of an American dive shop in the Bahamas, your inbox will be at risk of capsizing the internet. However, this is easily avoided. Simply create a new email address for every competition entry that you complete.

Running amok

Try to stick to the left when running amok at dive shows and to proceed in a clockwise direction in order to ease congestion and help prevent collisions with other divers running amok in a similar fashion. Avoid having to lug heavy bags around on public transport by using objects from the show as weapons, rather than bringing your own along with you.

The try-dive pool

Itís not known how many non-divers attend dive shows, but clearly itís enough to warrant a try-dive pool. Try to ignore the natural human instinct to empty the accumulated box-jellyfish and bilharzia from your pockets into it as you pass, and take a more positive approach. Itís a swimming pool. Itís like being on holiday and should be treated as such. Make sure you strip down to your underwear whenever you pass by.

Celebrities

The natural impulse upon seeing a famous person in the flesh is to play it cool, but this, like many natural impulses (such as the urge to insert coins into bottom cleavage), is to be avoided. This could be the only chance you get to trail two metres behind Monty Halls for three hours, mouth agog, waiting for him to do something funny.

Kittens

Patrons hoping to spend time in the company of kittens are advised to visit their local pet shop or animal shelter rather than a dive show.

The Sport Diver after show party

This is the highlight of all dive shows and not being invited is equivalent to being informed by Mother Earth that due to lack of interest, your services as a human being are no longer required. Being invited means you get to stand in a large room with six other people. These include an inebriated member of a London dive school bellowing opinions at you and sweating, and a man projectile vomiting in a chair.

If that doesnít free you from the mire of pessimism, go to the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in the hall next door and try to contract Ebola.

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