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Coffeelandia Episode 2: How Deep Can You Dive?

To celebrate the release of Cate Ellink's new release Deep Diving on 22 August, the Coffeelandia manager decided to host a speed dating night for scuba divers. Get your fly-on-the-wall account of the night here...


Coffeelandia Manager Armand Fourneau hit the gong, drawing everyone’s attention. “Zee sexy times are about to begin,” he said in his strange accent. “Tonight, we brrrring to you adventurous sorts who all like to dive. So ladiiiiieeees and gents, pleeze take your seats. The ice breaking question is ‘How Deep Can You Dive?’ You vill surrrely enjoy zat.” He wheezed a laugh. “Let zee sexy times begin.”

SEAT #1

Jilly Ramone guessed the ice-breaking question was valid enough, but that didn’t stop her grumping to herself as she sat in the booth marked Seat 1. Bloody Lizzie should get her hearing checked. 

“Hi. I’m Jilly, and I don’t dive anywhere except into my four-year-old’s toy box occasionally when I’m trying to find a missing jigsaw piece. Sorry. I’ll get up and leave now if you like.” She got all that out before she actually looked up long enough to see how Bloke #1 scrubbed up, like, just in case he was drop-dead gorgeous, and crikey, Jilly contemplated finding the nearest shop that sold fins and a snorkel.

“I’m Dashiel. Dash for short. Nice to meet you, Jilly.”

Lizzie, I owe you six-gazillion apologies.

Dash’s eyes did the quickest recce of her upper half: waist, boobs, throat, and stopped on – unless she was mistaken – her mouth, which Jilly decided now would be a good time to close.

“You don’t dive, Jilly?” He had a sandy, beachy kind of voice, like someone used to shouting above the wind. She liked it. 

“Nope, not at all. I’m actually a bit afraid of the water. My friend told me tonight was for men who liked to jive.” Jilly said this with one of those snort-laughs that Lizzie had made her pinky-swear, not to do. You’ll sound like a hyena on speed.

“What did the water ever do to you?”

“Well… I wear glasses, usually...” Oh please God stop me before I tell him I’m wearing contact lenses in honour of tonight. “I’m wearing contact lenses tonight.”

“Are they coloured? Your eyes are stunning.”

Jilly’s heart did a lava-lamp somersault through her stomach and she batted his compliment away. “Oh, you. I bet you’ll say that to all the girls tonight.”

“Tell me what wearing glasses has to do with you being afraid of the water?” 

He was teasing her. He was… bloody hell, was he flirting? She’d forgotten what that looked like.

“Well… I’m blind as a bat without my glasses but I can’t wear glasses in the ocean because, well, I always get rolled by the waves.”

“Lucky waves.”

Jilly crossed her legs, pressed her knees together. “I’m really not the outdoorsy type at all. I hate fishing. I think spear-fishing is ethically wrong.”

“Me too. You get these beautiful fish – like a grouper – that is more curious than anything… comes out of his hole and bang. And spear fishermen call that sport.” He shook his head. Jilly’s lava-lamp stomach quivered right along with him. 

The organiser dude with the strange accent was about to whack his gong, and somewhere to her left, Jilly could have sworn she heard the man in Seat 5 tell his ‘date’ he had a mega hard-on.

“Hey, Dash,” she said, bumping glasses that weren’t even there up her nose with one finger. So not cool. 

“Yeah, Jilly?”

“If I promised to get wet for you one day, would you jive?”

SEAT #2

Diving? What does the strange greasy little man with the gong mean? I’m having enough trouble breathing in this obviously Legionnaire’s infected air-conditioned environment to focus on diving right now.

I’m allergic to most forms of hard furnishings so I take a little while to decide where to sit. In the end I pick seat two because it’s made of bright green laminate and Naugahyde and I can disinfect that with the Dettol wipes I keep on me at all times for chairs, toilet seats and small germ-ridden children. It takes me about twenty wipes to get the seat sufficiently clean before I notice my date. His brown eyes are clear, pupils dilated to the correct extent for these light levels, although it’s hard to make extra sure because those annoyingly thick eyelashes and his skin appears devoid of any signs of infectious disease, but one never knows with a tan that deep. Besides, he could be a carcinoma waiting to happen. Mister Carcinoma, that would be my luck. 

I take a seat, surreptitiously trying to work out if he has head lice somewhere in that thick curly black hair but he derails my train of thought, speaking in a voice so deep he obviously has some form of larynx irregularity.

‘Well, hello, baby. My name is Jameson Allcock but most of my friends call me “The Stick.” But let’s not talk about me. I want to know allll about you. How deep do you dive? Because, let me tell you, when it comes to ladies, I can go as deep as it gets and I want you to know, I like it wet. Real wet.” He licks his lips with a tongue that doesn’t look furry and gives me a look up and down focusing on mole next to my right nipple that I’m absolutely positive is cancer. I wonder how he can see it through my blouse and bra but I read somewhere in New Scientist that men have that ability. Or was that dogs?

“Did you hear me, baby? I like diving deep where it’s wet.” He says again, still staring at my chest. I can feel panic setting in. It’s obviously my mole. He knows. Everyone knows. I mean, the doctor told me I was a hypochondriac but what would he know? Especially after I have this incontrovertible proof. 

‘I have to go.’ 

I stand up suddenly, looking around me. At the next table there’s a large man who looks like he’s obviously not feeling well, his face is positively purple. A little further over, another man is talking about sharks. Obviously a psychotic. I read once you can catch that. 

‘Hey! Why are you leaving so soon, baby? We were just getting to know each other!’ The man at my table calls out as I hurry towards the door, skirting around some latecomers, feeling my body breaking out in a cold sweat as I push open the door and hail the first taxi for the hospital. 

SEAT #3

I sit in front of Man Three. He’s huge, bordering on obese and I can’t imagine him being able to dive at all. These guys are all meant to be adventurous, this bloke’d be lucky to be able to spell the word. I have to give him the benefit of the doubt so I extend my hand, ‘I’m Samantha Caine. How are you?’

He takes my hand in a limp, wet, half-hearted squeeze. I give him a mental ‘strike one’. He smiles, all teeth, no humour, and gives me a sleazy up and down. He doesn’t even try to hide his appraisal. Strike two.

‘I’m Dougal McDougal.’ His parents must have hated him. Then he asks the compulsory question, ‘How deep can you dive?’ All sleaze there.Strike Three. 

I was nervous before, who knows why because this is appalling. No better than picking up a dickhead in a pub. I answer as politely as I can. ‘I’ve done my deep course, so 35 metres. How about you?’

He chuckles. ‘I don’t dive. I did a ‘try dive’ on the Great Barrier Reef a few years back but I didn’t like all the gear. It’s a bullshit sport.’

‘So, why are you here, taking up space some decent bloke could be in?’

‘What?’ He reels back in his chair, obviously not used to an out-spoken female.

‘Well, this speed dating was advertised as for ‘adventurous divers’. You’re neither a diver nor adventurous, so what are you doing here?’

He splutters. ‘What’s your problem?’ His tone is all passive-aggressive.

‘My problem is that I’m wasting my time by being here speaking to you when there’s no hope we’ll ever interest each other. It’s false advertising and it pisses me off.’ I should censor my mouth, I know, but right now I don’t care. I don’t even think this joker’s even given his real name.

His face is progressively becoming puce and swollen, and fair enough, I’m being completely awful. If I’m lucky I’ll never see this idiot again. 

I’m off to Lord Howe Island tomorrow for two weeks holiday. If I’m really lucky, I might get laid on holidays and that might make me less of Queen Bitch, and more Sane Sam. Let’s hope I can get lucky because God knows, it won’t happen tonight.

SEAT #4

Some women have a uniform fetish, you know, they can’t say no to a man in any kind of uniform, even if he is uglier than a bucket of smashed crabs. Army, police, fireys, even the Energex man for some. But my fetish...divers.  

Yep, they’re hotter than the Sahara Desert during a heatwave. Scorching.

My last five exes were divers. I can’t decide if it’s those skin tight suits that show every nook and cranny, or the fact that they like their fingers smelling like fish. Whatever it is, it does things to me. Naughty things.

I take chair number four and look up to see the hottest, sexiest man I’ve ever laid eyes on. So hot that my lips are doing a soft hum causing my panties to vibrate. His skin is sun baked like a Caribbean god, his dark brown hair bleached by the sun and his shoulders broad enough to hold an oxy tank for two.

‘Well, hello to you,’ I purr in my best temptress voice, followed by a not so subtle licking of my glistening red lips. 

This man hasn’t even spoken, yet I want him to snorkel deep into my lady cave.

The fourth button on my blouse pops open with my lusty breaths, revealing cleavage that any man would kill to dive into. 

He smiles at me in a way that shows my pheromones have welcomed him into Lustville. 

‘I can tell you how deep I dive, but perhaps it’s better if I show you,’ I say, fluttering my fake eyelashes and bringing my finger to my mouth, caressing it with my overly inflated collagen lips.

His sky blue eyes explore my body as though they’re his fingers, causing ripples of pleasure to surge through me. His deliciously kissable, full lips curve into a half smile, willing me to show my diving prowess.

I slide my finger into my mouth, up to the joint, expertly bypassing the gag reflex. He looks impressed and gives a slight nod. ‘Your place or mine,’ he says. But instead of the deep, smooth voice I am expecting to ooze out of him, he sounds like David Beckham on helium. It’s enough to make my teeth hurt.

Oh no! You’re shitting me? How can someone so friggin’ hot sound like Minnie Mouse’s baby sister? It’s almost enough to harpoon my lusty thoughts.

It’s crunch time. Either I walk away from the hottest diver of my life or...

‘Shhhhhh,’ I whisper, ‘let’s not speak. Let’s leave the interaction to our bodies.’

We leave table four and head out the door, for a night of silent, but ferocious deep diving in the bedroom.

SEAT #5

A fellow diver. What luck. Those other shag bags in the room might have come looking for someone to till their lady gardens, but she simply wanted to meet other serious divers. Tingling with excitement, she refolded her napkin several times. “I love the silence, the sense of adventure. What is it you love about scuba diving?”

Focused on her date’s faint snorkel mask tan-line, she almost missed his answer. All she caught at the end was ‘megalodon’.

At least he didn’t sound like he’d been sucking on helium like that other guy. She frowned. “Mega-what?”

He leaned forward, hazel eyes gleaming. “Megalodon. A giant shark, one of the largest and most powerful predators in vertebrate history. Extinct, my ass, Rosie, I know he’s out there, somewhere, waiting to be found. Nothing with seven-inch teeth that hunts large whales puts its hand up for motherfucking extinction. Megalodon makes the Loch Ness monster look like a pussy.”

Rosie glared at him. “I beg your pardon?”

He leaned back in his seat, ears reddening. “Sorry, excuse my French, sometimes I get a little excited about the Megalodon. It’s their robust teeth.”

“What in shit are you talking about?” It was her turn to lean forward as she jabbed her index finger into the wood table to make her point. “I don’t give a fuck about your fucking language, but don’t you be dissing Nessie. I’ve seen Nessie, and she will fuck your shit up, so don’t you be dissing her.” 

She downed her Coffeelandia espresso shot in one mouthful, gargled it, and drilled the speed dating organizer with a look. “Next!”

“Wait.” He gripped her forearm. “What are your thoughts on sea serpents? Do you like those?”

“Like? Like?” The nerve of the man. She got to her feet, hitched her skirt up around her waist and pointed at the red and green scaled sea serpent that curled from her vajazzled mons pubis all the way down to her ankle.

Across the room, the disgusting Jameson Allcock caught her eye and winked. She flipped him the bird. God willing, a megalodon would one day eat him and poop him out like a piece of over-processed sushi. 

“Ooooh.” Her date leaned forward, face avid, to inspect the serpent. She slapped his head away when his nose brushed her belly button.

But instead of making a crude comment, he grinned. “Right, well, whaddya think of this?”

Before she’d rearranged her skirt he’d dropped his pleather trousers and mooned her. She stared, not at the almost luminous quality of his milky buttocks, but the wild, grasping grey tentacles that radiated from his globes to stretch down his legs, up his back and to wrap around his waist. And then there was the dread eye of Cthulhu itself, staring back at her from his lightly-haired taint.

SEAT #6

The bell tinkled again. Before the next offering arrived at her table Mamie squirmed in her seat, trying to dislodge her massive wedgie. The PVC of her pink jumpsuit squealed like a porpoise against the vinyl chair. Anastasia’s plan had been for Mamie to look the part, to look like she was wearing a bangin’ wetsuit – but what she hadn’t told her was that it was more like wearing a sweat-suit, her own portable, skin-tight sauna — and it was trying to give her a prostate exam.  

Since the Coffeelandia newsletter advertising the Deep Diving speed dating night, visions of sleek and sexy navy seals had fed her fantasies. She should have known better. Fantasies were for the Disney channel. She doubted the guys she’d met so far could spell the word ‘diving’. Maybe.  

Anastasia had her believing she’d meet her soul mate here, but she’d bet her boob job that Ana hadn’t faced this endless parade of sleazy smiles, eyes riveted to her cleavage, and inane conversation.

Before she could steal another sneaky tug at her crutch a chorus of angelic voices filled the bar and someone walked towards her in an aura of blinding, heavenly light – or it could have just been the light reflecting off his Tony Manero white suit.

Time turned to slo-mo as he approached the table, giving her time to ogle — observe — the way the fabric moulded his tightly muscled thighs as he strode towards her table. Swivelling a chair around and straddling it, he rested his arms across the back. His eyes stayed on her face as he gave her a knicker-dampening smile.

Marnie squirmed in her seat and the porpoise squealed again. Goddamn Ana. She smiled back but dared not move. But pink PVC was not going to come between her and a real life Prince Charming.  

“Well hello there.” She made her best attempt at a seductive purr and wondered what his diving speciality was.  Deep sea? Olympic? Muff?  She fought a valiant battle against the urge to squirm.

‘Fairytales can come true, it can happen to you,’ she hummed in her head.

He leaned forward, sliding a hand across the table to take hers. “Hiya gorgeous.” And with those two high-pitched words Prince Charming morphed into Mickey Mouse.