Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Crocodile Dundee: great human

Crocodile Dundee is not a crocodile: he is an Australian who kills crocodiles. I make this statement for readers unfamiliar with the macabre human practice of taking the name of the animal one specialises in slaying. For the assassins of dangerous predators, such as crocodiles and lions, I am prepared to tolerate this custom without condoning it. But if any hairless hunter has the indecency to name himself after a monkey or ape – heaven forbid! – I shall sadly have to arrange for one of my Mafia contacts to have him whacked.

Mr Dundee’s path to fame and fortune begins when an attractive American journalist accompanies him on a field trip in the Australian wilderness. They clearly fancy each other, although the woman is reluctant to yield to her passion out of loyalty to her absent fiancé, an effete New York lawyer. Nevertheless, it would have been easy for Mr Dundee to press his advantage when comforting her in his arms after saving her from a crocodile. He chooses not to, but before falling asleep that night he asks his companion to forgive the (now deceased) crocodile for trying to eat her alive:

“I wouldn’t hold that against him: the same idea occurred to me a couple of times,” says Mr Dundee laconically.

This is the classic behaviour of a dominant male. He tells the female he wants her body, while demonstrating that he’s in no particular hurry – and if she proves to be unwilling he won’t take it personally. A true alpha male has no fear of rejection: he just shrugs his shoulders and looks for a female who’s more amenable. Mr Dundee does end up mating with the journalist, of course, but not until he has visited her home territory in Manhattan.

When Mr Dundee arrives in the great metropolis, his hosts worry that a rugged bushman such as he might find it difficult to cope in the urban jungle. These fears prove to be unfounded, largely because our hero applies himself to his unfamiliar surroundings with confidence, commonsense and considerable vigour. He tolerates no bad language, apprehends petty criminals with well-aimed soup cans, and develops an easy rapport with the “blackfellas”. When a street hoodlum attempts to threaten him, Mr Dundee looks at his flick-knife in wry amusement:

“That’s not a knife!” he scoffs, while removing a fearsome machete from his belt.

It has to be admitted that such a scene, if enacted in certain parts of England, would be highly vulnerable to satire of the “Ooh what a big knife you’ve got!” variety. In New York City, however, it makes the telling point that Mr Dundee remains the master of his environment.

Dazzled by these exploits, the journalist jilts her fiancé and weds the Australian bushman. As she is the daughter of a wealthy man, Mr Dundee acquires both an attractive spouse and lifelong financial security. But much to his credit, he does not gloat over his good fortune or punch his fist in the vulgar fashion of the celebrating sportsman. To meet the inevitable triumphs and calamities of life with a dignified restraint is the hallmark of a true gentleman. That, and the wearing of a hat.



Comments:
I saw that film when I was at university just after I had recovered from an illness and it really cheered me up. The future Mrs Dundee had a fabulous bum, but you've got to wonder why it didn't get bitten by mosquitos when they were living in the outback.
 
No mystery re the unmolested bum, but it's a delicate topic for the poor dear. Let's just say that the food hadn't been agreeing with her...
 
All true GB, but what is to be made, of Steve 'crocodile hunter/wrestler' Erwin?
 
I've seen his show, FMC. As a father, I say it's irresponsible to give kids the idea that it's OK to cuddle dangerous beasts. I'm sure if animals could talk they'd tell him to piss off and cuddle his wife instead, if she could bear it. I've just found a BBC news report about him getting into trouble for being too close to some whales.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/tv_and_radio/3804365.stm
 
As a parasitologist, I am aware of some of the details regarding the ecology and behaviour of mosquitoes. I know, for example, that they are drawn to people who exude a certain level of sweat. Presumably Miss whats-her-name was not v sweaty. A classic experiment involves placing a piece of Limberger in the corner of your room. Even if your feet are somewhat cheesy, the bacteria-ridden cheese should attract the mossies away. True story.
 
I have started reading your journal from the beginning, Dr Joe, and I am already beginning to detect more than a hint of sympathy for the nasty little bugs you study. Your treatment of the Bulgarian was shameful: I speak as a fellow primate.
 
Do not be alarmed, my furry friend. Ravel came to me with a song in his heart, and has not once complained. In fact, I count him amongst my closest frineds. We have spent many a night drinking Bulgarian wine whilst Mrs Dr McCrumble has been most eager to learn Bulgarian cookery. They spend many an hour together in the kitchen cooking up the most aromatic stews (mainly from rabbits we catch during our surveys).
 
P.S. Have you had yourself checked out recently? Gorillas are equally as prone to worms as the rest of us!
 
I may be a gorilla, Dr Joe, but I am a gorilla of means. My personal physician assures me that my alimentary canal is pristine.
 
GB, I'm sitting here reading your blog and the official 6 year old is behind me, asking, "Who is that Gorilla?"

"Gorilla Bananas" as an answer didn't seem to satisfy him.

(Fortunately, he didn't see the "paddle the bum" picture."

Cheers.
 
May I enquire as to which copro-diagnostic technique he used? Some of the most dangerous worms are barely visible to the naked eye. Hookworms spring to mind. A few of those critters and you could be leaking enough blood to revive a dehyrated leach.

I recommend a dose of albendazole (other benzimidole derivative are available) once a year, just to be sure.
 
benzimidole? I cannot type correctly, as it is way past McCrumble's bed time. I meant to say benzimidazole of course!
 
I thought we'd put Mr & Mrs Croc Dundee to bed ages ago. I come back to find we're still raking over the coals on this one.

The master of the environment bit.

New York (Manhattan) would be a skoosh. They should have put him downtown LA among the Scrips or Bandidos or something. Different story.
 
Paul Hogan was at his best in The Paul Hogan show. Can't find it anywhere.
 
Randall, I'm going to recommnend a picture-and-words book for your 6-year-old in which there is a character called Gorilla Bananas. He is no relation, I should add. I'll link it in your blog comments.

Dr Joe, drugs are always the last resort for my doctor. There may be some new mutant worm that gets high on them.

Dr Maroon: don't underrate that enormous blade of his.
 
Gorilla - you are not wrong there, my closest relative. I've seen worms tottering around in a drunken stupor after bathing in one of my own concoctions. They don't last long, mind, as their sugar reserves run out pretty quick without their usual form of sustenance. However, I can pretty much guarantee that the old albendazole will shift most things.
 
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