04 September 2006

[zeitgeist] The Ironic Demise of The Crocodile Hunter

I've held this down for as long as I can. If you have a low tolerance for irreverence, then please, dear God, disregard this post, but if I don't put it up on the 'web, where everyone will see it, and in, to paraphrase a certain Dr. Lizardo, "in the miserable annals of the Earth it shall be duly enshrined."

Ever since I heard of the tragic, strange end to the life of Steve Irwin (and my sincere condolences to his wife and two children, he did entertain even a hard heart as myself) I learned two very interesting things:
  1. His lovely wife, Terri, was born in Oregon and reared in Eugene.
  2. The incident that took Steve's life, involving a bull ray, was as close to a random accident as Steve Irwin was likely to get.
Point 2 needs elaboration.

The incidents of death from the sting of a ray are exceedingly rare. How so? Reading the Wikipedia entry (yes, I know, caveat lector), I find that the incidents of death from ray-sting in 1996 totalled up to a mere 17.

Not 17 per month or 17 per whatever. 17 period.

Not only that, the venom of the ray sting, while capable of making one sick, doesn't necessarily kill. Quick action by first-aiders can resolve the emergency.

Moreover, way this particular attack did the poor fellow seemed to be as "lucky" as can be: piercing the chest and going through to the heart, in a shot that could have only been one-in-a-million.

So. To summarize: Steve Irwin, during his remarkable life, looked into the jaws of things that would help themselves to some Steve Irwin face; played with reptiles that could poison him to death in an instant; diced with carnivores that consider him a mere snack. But for all his rolling of the dice with the animal kingdom, all his chance-taking, what should get him but what would amount, to you or I, to a careless slip on the kitchen floor that just happened to go wrong.

Here's the irreverent part; the inner part of me, that twisted part that enjoys dark humor, thinks this is incredibly funny. And this chronicler begs his reader's forgiveness, but ever since I computed the above calculus, I just can't quit grinning inwardly about the sheer absurdity of it all.

There. I've said it. I feel much, much, better.

Back to our regularly scheduled show...whatever that is.

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4 comments:

Judy said...

Crikey!

Ok... seriously... I am saddened to learn of his demise and my heart goes out to his family.

But there is something so absurd about the whole thing....

I'm afraid to blog about it. Both of my readers would probably flee in horror.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Judy:

Ok... seriously... I am saddened to learn of his demise and my heart goes out to his family.

But there is something so absurd about the whole thing....


Exactly. It was either blog about it or explode.

I'm afraid to blog about it. Both of my readers would probably flee in horror.

I think mine did!

Ed said...

Well, yes, it was tragic, and the irony was that this guy was always pushing the envelope, taking risks which seemed to be unnecessary except to thrill his audience. Any photo of a lethal or extremely dangerous animal in closeup was incomplete without Irwin's face RIGHT NEXT to the snake, lemur, croc, or whatever. For him to have been killed by a manta ray, an animal considered fairly innocuous and "safe," must have been extremely frustrating both to Irwin and to the crocidile population of our small planet as well.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Altho', according to accounts, he didn't have much time to feel frustrated at it before he keeled over. Probably not enough time to get half a "Crikey" out.