A sting in the tail ends a good story

The first time I heard about Steve Irwin, I was in the back of a taxi in San Francisco in 2000 with a couple of other Aussies.  We were engaging in humorous banter with the heavyset black taxi driver. As you do when you’re OS and you’re looking to sample the local mood, and get a little reaction to our charming accent.    The driver, on cue, inquired as to where we’d obtained our charming accents, and was delighted to discover we were Aussies.

He laughed. A belly heaving, jowl undulating, spittle shooting kind of laugh, which in anything other than a softly sprung yank tank, would have done the suspension in, and he proceeded to tell us all about this crazy Aussie fella who did these crazy things with crocodiles.   The Crocodile Hunter was his name.  

There was come confusion when we told the driver he was called Crocodile Dundee, and that none of those fancy tricks were real.  It was just a film.   “Y’know. Make believe.   Haven’t you ever heard of Hollywood?”

As it turned out our Sherman Klump look alike was right on the money.  There was a crazy Aussie guy called the Crocodile Hunter, and he did do mad things with animals.   I looked for his show when I got back, and I even went to his wildlife park in Queensland, as pale city dwellers do, and saw him niggling the crocs.    Perhaps he should have just stuck with the crocs, but  we probably would have got bored with that.   Steve knew we wanted more, and Steve delivered.

Anyway he’s gone now, and that’s a bugger ’cause he was a classic, and he’s left a wife and kids behind as well.

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Nicholas Gruen
Admin
15 years ago

Very very sorry to hear this. Didn’t realise what a fan I was till my wife rang me and told me this had happened. I feel very upset about it. He was a cornball. And he was a very benign kind of fellow. First Charles Darwin’s tortise, now its owner.

trackback
15 years ago

Farewell Steve Irwin

I was never a fan of Steve Irwin. He seemed to be more a caricature rather than a real person. Not really flesh and blood but an invention of the media that verged on self-parody at times (and ripe for parody). But he was a real person and as mortal as…

skepticlawyer
15 years ago
sublime cowgirl
15 years ago

You’re the first i’ve heard to use the phrase’sting in the tail’ in this context, but got a feeling you wont be the last.

Really sad. :(

Graham Bell
Graham Bell
15 years ago

He had passion, he had enthusiasm, he had an obvious love and deep understanding of his subject. He was an inspiration and a role model for young blokes he had never met …. and now he is gone.

But his legacy will live on …. despite whatever money-hungry opportunists do to his image; no matter what stories are beat up by the news media..

Sadly – and genuinely – missed.

whyisitso
whyisitso
15 years ago

A shocking week for legends! Peter Brock’s been killed in a car accident!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200609/s1736485.htm

Nicholas Gruen
Admin
15 years ago

Dear oh dear – he seemed like quite a good sort too. I think he did quite a bit for charity.