The universe is sending all the nutcases my way.
Scuba dive shops: if a 35-ish female diver shows up with stuffed pandas in tow and asks to take them on the dive boat TURN DOWN HER BUSINESS or TURN AND RUN.
I don’t make this stuff up. Really.
A late addition joined our 0800 dive boat today. She carried rented scuba gear and a plastic bag containing two stuffed pandas. They sat on the bench next to her on the boat. They were from China, she told us. She’d given them English and Spanish names.
I needed to observe her for only 15 seconds to know today’s dive was going to be CRAZY.
My prediction was that she was inexperienced (true). My fear was that I’d be ‘buddied’ (=partnered) with her on the dive. OMG. We were going to dive a wall in a fairly tricky location. Would she kill us both?
The divemaster, correctly envisioning the nightmare scenario to come, became her buddy instead.
The dive was chaos, even without panda woman’s presence. Two other dive groups were on the wall when we arrived. We became intertwined, frequently bumping into each other. As well, a strong current was moving us along at a fast pace.
Panda lady flapped around, kicked up sand and even swam away from the divemaster at one point. He was forced to hold onto her for the remainder of the dive (see pic below). She was eventually sent to the surface with another diver.
Back on the boat, she talked to her pandas, about her pandas, giggled and took pictures. Completely oblivious to the nuisance she was. Oh, and a danger to herself and others.
Leaving the boat, she informed us she’d be back Saturday. Oh joy.