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ISSUE 5 ARCHIVE - ROB'S WORLD: 10 THINGS TO DO ON A SAFETY STOP INSTEAD OF SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUSTING

(Powered by StatBastard: the place where all statistics are born and then abducted by journalists who fiddle with them)

OonasDivers
(Made up) statistics show that due to inevitable consequences of boredom (ie. spontaneous human combustion), hanging around at five to six metres underwater for three minutes is the most dangerous place a person can be on planet earth. Even more dangerous than falling from a cruising jumbo jet without a parachute into the centre of an erupting volcano whilst shooting yourself in the head with a rifle and smoking.

Over eight million divers per day spontaneously combust due to boredom on safety stops, but sometimes the consequences of this apathetic three minutes can be even more severe: it is a widely known fact that it was whilst decompressing that Hitler invented the Third Reich and the music industry invented R'n'B. It is now illegal in 112 states of America to even use the term "safety stop", state law instead requiring that it be called a "Static Debubbleisationary Procedure With High Risk of Voluntary Self-Immolation Due to Lack of Perceived Interest" or SDPWHRVSIDLPI for short.

Unfortunately, 94% of statistics show a 72% likelihood of 64% of all safety stops being 81% essential in reducing by 125% the risk of decompression illness in 62% of 83% of dives, so there's very little (-12.7%) chance of escaping them with anything like a 67% success rate, and only football hooligans and paedophiles don't do them. However, the good news is that I am about to give value to your tedious lives with these ten fulfilling and wholesome activities you can do on a safety stop to avoid deliberately suiciding yourself or those around you.

1. Write a work of literature.

It is a well-known fact that Leroy Tolstoy wrote "War and Peace" during a safety stop even extending the stop from three to five minutes in order to finish off the last 482 pages. Take care not to introduce too many Russians with similar sounding names too early on though or hardly anyone will actually read it.

2. Play a musical instrument.

This will keep yourself and those around you thoroughly entertained as your dive computer counts down those few remaining minutes. If you have no musical ability, then this is the ideal time to learn, as no instrument that I can think of would actually work underwater.

3. Convert yourself to pure energy and travel to the opposite side of the known universe.

Imagine the looks of jealousy you will receive from your buddies as you regale tales to them of the wookies, ewoks and other creatures I lack the imagination to think up myself, which YOU met whilst THEY were merely hanging onto a line, sobbing to the core of their very souls over the blackness and emptiness of the whole concept of existence in an unjust and insignificant universe. Bear in mind though that this kind of journey is likely to take in excess of 13.7 billion years.

4. Solve the climate change crisis.

Solutions will need to cater for problems of energy and food shortages in the face of growing demand whilst finding plausible ways to curb emissions of carbon without harnessing dangerous radioactive elements, sacrificing global biodiversity or wiping five sixths of the population of human beings from the face of the planet. After this you can pad out the remaining couple of minutes of your stop by playing noughts and crosses with your buddy.

5. Look at some fish.

Recent evidence suggests that many species of fish live underwater, although whether looking at them might be of interest to anyone remains controversial.

6. Surf the internet.

Scientists predict that if the worldwide web becomes popular, there will be over 300 websites globally by the year 2025, which means that all tastes (of pornography) will be catered for. Whether the internet will work underwater, however, is a contentious issue as many experts claim the technology uses computers which are traditionally landbased animals. If at any point you receive a generic Windows error whilst surfing the web, be sure to contact technical support and then for all the good that will do you, you might as well just spontaneously combust.

7. Worry about your children.

All the stuff you did at their age is nothing compared to what kids are doing now. If you don't own any children, worry about inevitably funny-looking and vaguely sinister offspring in general. How do they manage to simulate the appearance of human beings so realistically? Why is it that all babies are fat and ugly? What are they plotting?
Ocean Leisure

8. Sink your dive boat.

It will be fun and without any adverse implications later on. If you're diving from shore, sink the land.

9. Fight terror.

Terror is everywhere. I'm scared just thinking about it. When you've finished with terror try fighting apathy, aggression, socks and the number 6.

10. Spontaneously combust.

Despite being popular during Victorian times, I doubt this is possible at depth since fire and water signed the Treaty of Versailles and agreed not to mix, but you could give it a try.

That's all you need to know. About anything. And whilst the dangers of spontaneous combustion remain today the greatest threat to humanity in general, I like to think that if these words save just one bored diver from exploding into a ball of flame on a safety stop, it will all have been worth the effort. Particularly if that diver buys me a packet of crisps (Salt & Vinegar).
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