Sunday, July 27, 2008

And I also don't like when kids raise their hands and make a fin in the pool and sing the Jaws theme song

It's always great to discover a new phobia. Apparently I'm kind of afraid of sharks! See, it all started when I was reading Bill Schulz's shark cage-diving story and then I was wondering if you wear scuba gear or how exactly this works—I remember he mentioned shoving something in his "pie-hole" but couldn't remember if it was a scuba mouthpiece or a snorkel because I was more distracted by his choice of "pie-hole" and then I started wondering if that term comes from "pie" and of all things, why isn't it your something-besides-pie hole since it's not like everyone in the world eats pie, you know? So I thought the easiest way to find this out would be to just search "shark cage-diving" and that led me to this site. Go there, or go there after you read this, and tell me if you also start to get the heebie jeebies if you stay on the page too long. It reminded me of a game I used to play with myself in hotel swimming pools when I was a kid where I'd be in the deep end and then I'd start to wonder what it would be like if there was a shark in the deep end and then before long I'd freak myself out and have to return to the shallow end. Actually, that doesn't sound like a game at all now that I think about it. But that's the kind of feeling I get when I look at this site. I'm surprised by my own physical reaction to it. If a shark suddenly popped up on screen I think I would actually jump.

Anyway, I'm baffled by this shark cage-diving thing but then I'm someone who couldn't handle snorkeling because I didn't like all the little fishies swimming around me.

By the way, this whole thought process has been an exercise in procrastination. I'm 119 words into a thousand word piece I have to write. It's going... slowly.


Ted from Accounting said...

I always hated those college professors who required like 1500 words in an essay...then you have to do a word count and then add a bunch of junk into your paragraphs!

Why do we have to be boxed into "word counts?" I say let AMR's creative side give as many words as she deems necessary!

Ted from Accounting said...

P.S. - I love swimming!

Favorite beach is Mission Bay...great swimming...didn't see any sharks last time...thankfully!

Toddrod said...

I used to love swimming in the ocean, but somewhere along the line I convinced myself that I would be yummy fish food should a fish decide to come nibble at my leg. I still love going to the ocean, but I only like going as far knee depth. The rest of the time, I like to lie on the sand and listen to the waves. Then brush the sand off my KFC.


ShamrockRepublic said...

I have a phobia of large bodies of water. I resist bathes at all costs, don't even like to close my eyes in the shower. This explains why my corneas have such a high PH level. By extension I also have a phobia of sharks, truly a disturbing image on that site.

Also disturbing is the fact I am posting more often on this blog lately. Perhaps it's the self satisfaction I get when a post of mine shows up. As if Alison herself is saying "Yes I approve of that statement." Easy enough to project us two sitting in an open air cafe with me jabbering and her nodding her head in approval, when behind her eyes she's saying "get me the hell out of here." At least I haven't promised to tackle her.

Brett Jones said...

The "about me" at the Activity Pit is based in truth. I did work at a Scuba operation for a number of years in the early/mid '90.

I've made hundreds and hundreds of dives in the Puget Sound and up into British Columbia. I went through the PADI Dive Master program, helped out with classes and all that stuff. Seen lots of big marine life diving and fishing in Alaska, etc, etc. Add to that the fact that Great Whites were very uncommon that far north.

I was very secure in my badassness and had no fear of being food for a large marine predator.

One day I was doing some research and ran across a shark that did live in the waters I spent time in. It was a massive filter feeder called a Basking shark.

Once I knew about this monster, the fear of getting scooped up as it swam along really, really freaked me out (like Alison's deep end of the pool game). Doing surface swims in certain parts of the Puget Sound or long swims at night were really bad. It was a huge relief to be back on the beach or in the boat.

Absolute irrational fear that I couldn't overcome.

Anonymous said...

Quote of the fishes and procrastinators:

"Speaking of Sharks and pushing things to the last minute, remember that episode I did back then when I had to write a report of what not to do in a traffic stop. Perhaps it gave you inspiration..."


Joe said...

Diving is a great sport. A friend of mine has done a couple of shark dives in Florida and had a great time. I've never been interested in trying that, but I did see a couple of reef sharks during a dive off Tavernier in the Fla Keys. It was at a comfortable distance, and I don't think reef sharks are very dangerous.

My best diving story is about when I was getting certified. Brett will appreciate this since he dives in cold water. I did the certification course here in VT during the fall, and because the lake was so cold we did all the training in the pool at the YMCA. It was great because the water was warm and the water was clear.

But to be certified, the class had to do 5 dives in open water, not a pool. They were scheduled over a weekend in November. Well, we had a cold snap and when I got up on Saturday morning it was 9 degrees out. I thought there was no way we were going in the lake when it's that cold. But I got all my gear together and drove to the dive shop anyway.

Well to my surprise the dives were on! I thought it was crazy. By the time we got to the lake it had warmed up to 16 degrees. The scariest part was walking down to the water carrying all the gear over rocks covered with frost and ice. One slip and you could easily break an arm or leg.

But the dives went fine. The wet suit really keeps you warm, as long as you're moving and generating heat. It's a bit of a shock first going in - it's like someone pouring ice water down your back (and in your pants).

I also went on a dive up here on January 1 once to celebrate New Years. The coldest dive I ever did was in a quarry in the summer. The water was absolutely freezing and it was really dark. You don't have to worry about fish in quarries though - there aren't any.

Brett Jones said...

Joe, sadly the only diving I've done in the last 10 years has been in muddy ponds servicing hydrant intakes for the Vol. Fire Dept. I'm a member of.

Working open water classes was always loads of fun. Cold water, poor visibility and at least one or two really freaked out people in every class.

It's a great way to meet girls (or fellas if you're so inclined). Sort of like month long version of speed dating. You had 3 hour classroom/pool sessions twice a week for a few weeks, then the open water dives. There were usually two classes going at a time, so there was a steady stream of people going through the store.

I did in fact meet my wife there.