|How do you match up?
The following requirements are listed as the "Requirements for Divers"
in the US Navy's Manual for Divers, published in 1905 by the Naval Torpedo
Before men are detailed
for diving, they should be examined as to their fitness by a medical officer.
As this is sometime impracticable the following list of requirements and
of physical defects which should cause the rejection of men having them
is given for the benefit of those who may be called upon to select candidates
for this employment.
1. To be cool-headed,
calm, and of phlegmatic temperament.
2. To be in good health,
have a strong constitution, and the action of the lungs to be normal.
3. Not to be short-necked,
full-blooded, or with a strong tendency to nosebleed.
4. Not to have bloodshot
eyes, or a high color in the cheeks, caused by the interlacment of numerous
small but distinct blood vessels.
5. Not to be very pale,
nor have lips more blue than red, nor be subject to cold hands or feet.
6. Not to perspire freely.
7. Not to be affected
with cough, asthma, or catarrh.
8. Not to be subject
to headaches or dizziness, or affected with deafness.
9. Not to be hard drinkers,
nor have suffered frequently or severly from venereal disease, or have
had sunstroke orr rheumatism.
10. Not to have been
subject to palpitation of the heart or fainting spells.
11. Not at any time to
have spat or coughed up blood.
Men who have long trunks
with well developed chests and loins generally make good divers.
Well, thats it. I don't make the grade. Anyone want to buy some second-hand
dive gear? For probably half of you, you don't make the grade from square
one - as you are a woman.
For the rest of us males, we seem to have some problems. Who of you
are phlegmatic? Okay, I had to look it up in the dictionery - I thought
it was someone with a constantly runny nose, but no, it means "not easily
agitated; sluggish". I don't know about the sluggish bit being a positive
attribute, but thats me. Just ask my wife. And you can scrub all rugby
players, for they have to have a short neck in the first place. (I follow
Aussie Rules, so I am normal!). The interlacement of my small blood vessels
has resulted occasionally in a flushed cheek, but only when I see Meg Ryan
in a movie or its my birthday. Same goes with the perspiration bit. And
as catarrh is the "inflamation of a mucous membrane", I had better not
say too much on that subject. I pass point 9 with flying colours - but
can't see the point of it. As for palpitations of the heart and fainting
spells, lets go back to Meg Ryan. Note that minor syphillis is okay, and
the occasional booze-up. And as for my loins, well, that puts me out.
So, how did you fare?
There are other rather humorous comments that the cynic would recognise
quite easily. For example, for a drowning victim, "do not stand the diver
on his head". And of course, make sure you relieve yourself before donning
a suit otherwise there would be "disagreeable consequences if this precaution
be neglected". Good grief, one of the rare pleasures of life is a pee in
a wetsuit. Okay, a dry suit may be different. And by the way, how did standard
dress divers have a pee? They could wear a special attachment not unlike
a condom, attached to a bag. Simple.But I digress.