He had a French, Bond Villain accent.
"Is this Mr. Stingray I am talking too?"
I fondled the phone with my stinger and said it was.
"The Crocodile Hunter." A pause, a spit. "The Crocodile Hunter, he will be upon you soon. He is doing his last documentary. Others have failed, Mr. Stingray. The Crocodile with his teeth. The Snake with her venom. The Turkey with its gobble. We have tried so much, Mr. Stingray, but failed so many times."
I told him I knew. I had seen the TV show, after all.
"He must not be allowed to leave the ocean, Mr. Stingray."
And so the Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, died.
It is a a bit black humour, and I did laugh, and still do, but really, I (not the Stingray anymore, but me, the owner of this blog)--I have to admit, it is tragic. Irwin leaves behind two young children, eight and three, and he died in what appears to be a freak accident, one of those things when you let your guard down and you pay dearly for it. It's tragic, also, because really, all Irwin did was go out there and do what he loved, and make it entertaining. I remember watching a thing on him once, and his wife said how only a small percentage of people read the articles and reports that Irwin wrote on his animals, but that millions watched him wrestle crocodiles and crawl down holes after snakes, and that the end result of the two was the same: to bring awareness of the animal world to people. And sure, the show was over the top, wild, funny and, at times, stupid; but Irwin never took his image that seriously, and he was willing to make fun of it, which makes him okay in my book. A bit of self awareness goes a long way.
There are calls to have a State Funeral for the man, and I have to say, as much as I find the idea of giving millionaires State Funerals ridiculous, I'm all for it with Irwin. The last State Funeral I remember went to Kerry Packer, who, frankly, deserved to use his money to pay for his own grand funeral. So I figure if you're going to give a business man like Packer that State Funeral business, then you can give the same to Irwin who, in my mind, was a much more likable figure than Packer--and whose death is quite before his time.
And afterward, everyone should be made to eat Stingray.