There are some people in this big bad world that make it all seem less death-y and warlike and sad. People who transcend, like a hot air balloon held aloft with love… so, like an un-creepy/wholesome hot love balloon. These people are so rare they’re like the Vancouver Island marmot or the Yangtze River dolphin. You might see one if you travel to China, then sit on a rowboat for a week straight, then get lucky. Or you might see one if he gets a Discovery Channel television show. If you do see one, you’ll be changed on the inside—like a potato that starts out hard and kind of wet but then, once baked with the experience of a lifetime, softens right up and becomes mashable. Steve made my insides become mashable, which I discovered when he died.
It wasn’t just the croc wrangling, the crikeys, the goofy grin on a big face, the teary-eyed love for the crawliest spider, the khaki outfits, the strong legs… it was the ultimate devotion between man and wife, Steve and Terri, that turned my intense entertainment-style fascination into true, life-long admiration. Two peculiar, astonishing, almost agonizingly sincere people, both in love with all nature’s creatures, both enchanted by hiking boots and bangs… that they found each other is amazing enough. A more perfect union there never was. But then, that they found me, beamed from the other side of the world, smiling and dopey for crocs… I’ve never had warmer feelings for a coupla kooks I don’t even know, and I never will.
Steve Irwin was simply a delight to the institution of delight. Sorry Terri, you’re awesome too and surprisingly hot, but Steve had that thing that makes a man a monument. Steve Irwin didn’t sweat sweat, he sweat love potions: potions for wallabies, potions for snakes and potions for children of all ages. I think that’s why he was killed in the sea. His potions got trapped under his cute wetsuit. I joke, but it’s not a joke. Seeing Terri’s first interview after his death was so acutely painful, so completely miserable to watch… I’m still not over it. I don’t know how you bounce back from something like that—losing your perfect love.
On a lighter note: Bindi.
The girl is amazing: precocious, cute, and just like her dad. I have really high hopes that one day she’ll fill his muddy shoes in my heart. But what’s this music business? I keep seeing her on talk shows doing raps with creepazoid adult back-up dancers in matching outfits, and I think, “Bindi, you’re a fine girl! This is undignified!” Then again, when your dad was Steve Irwin, raising his fist and shouting “Whoo Hoo” and “Blimey, she’s a fine shiela!” all over international television, I guess you’re entitled to be a little hard-of-dignity sometimes. And I guess we better love you for it.