Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Requiem for a Hunterweight

Whatever else you can say about the death of world renowned wildlife promoter/protector/pesterer Steve "Crocodile Hunter" Irwin, it was spectacularly weird.

A stingray barb? In the heart? From a 'ray he (suppposedly) WASN'T EVEN BOTHERING?!!

If ever there was a man I expected to meet his maker courtesy of a (an)

Annoyed Anaconda
Bothered Boa
Curmudgeonly Croc
Disturbed Devilfish
Exasperated Electric Eel
Flummoxed Funnel-Web Spider

Well, you get the picture, And I can't think of anything good for the letter "G."

Anyway, he was the guy who deserved to meet his end via a miscalculation or unexpected slip WHILE HE WAS DOING THE CRAZY FATE-TEMPTING CRAP WE ALL EXPECTED TO KILL HIM.

Not a random alarmed stingray deciding to pop its barb up like a damn cigarette lighter held aloft as Bon Jovi starts to play their heart-tugging "on the road" anthem, "Dead or Alive" at their recent Missouri state fair engagement.

And how does that work, anyway? Assuming Irwin wasn't, like, trying to stuff the stingray inside his wetsuit, is it even possible that the sudden barb-activation of a free-swimming stingray involves enough kinetic energy that it would be able to penetrate a man's chest as the ray swims past? Seems like the barb oughta just bounce off. Hmm, makes you wonder if there was a shadowy cabal of mafiosa, Cuban exiles and pissed-off, deadly Australian animals that plotted and planned to take out Irwin via an "angry, lone dasyatid."

And what kind of response do you suppose that ray is getting around the reef right about now? High-fives with slimy appendages of every description, free fish guts for life, and probably lots and lots of what passes for hot booty among the stingray community. Damn. "You go, boy! Or girl!" (Sorry, can't tell stingray gender).

We here at the AE household are keeping news of this tragedy from our four-year-old son, Dude Junior. He liked the Crocodile Hunter. And that's reason enough for me to mourn the passing of Steve Irwin.

I bet he's up there in Heaven right now, hogtying Lassie or something. Because only celebrity animals go to Heaven. The rest of 'em go to a sort of metaphysical state park, where they just go about their business as usual. Except they all have wings. And really bad dead people, like Josef Stalin and Roy Cohn and the guy who invented parking meters, get bussed there from Hell once a week to be mercilessly preyed up by all the animals. Even the bunnies. Especially the bunnies.

Because if you spent your entire existence as, like, a komodo dragon, getting to eat another hapless human isn't a big thrill. But if you were a bunny -- fluffy, helpless and delicious -- all you want from the afterlife is payback. The big payback. Just like James Brown described. HAAAAHNH! GOOD GAWD!!!
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