Monday, September 04, 2006
I’m going to be blunt. There. That’s my disclaimer. And you might think I’m insensitive, and maybe I am. But let’s just get the air cleared.
The croc hunter is dead. He was stabbed by a stingray, his venomous tail barb penetrating Steve Irwin’s thoractic cavity, through the intercostal muscles and skewering his heart. And although stingrays often jab people (probably when people step on them inadvertently or annoy them enough), people rarely die from their wounds. I imagine, though, that few of these documented punctures are through the heart!
Some may say that the croc hunter had it coming. I know it’s not a nice thing to say about the late great man who simultaneously loved and taunted nature. Some would say he didn’t respect the potential ferocity of wild animals. There is no doubt in my mind that he was passionate about nature and did, in fact, respect all of the world’s creatures. I’d say, quite simply, he was a drama queen. He loved to get the adrenaline pumping through his veins; he loved to speak with his arms and get spectators fired up about crocs and gators and lizards and snakes and spiders and deadly oceanic creatures.
So I am going to make an assumption about the late great croc hunter. I don’t think he would have wanted to leave this world quietly in his arm chair with a book on his lap. I think he would have wanted to go in a blaze of glory, embraced by the wild unpredictability that made him as excited as we’ve all seen he can get. Leaving so early in his life is an untimely tragedy, but I think we can all agree that there was nothing typical about this man.