You’re alright mate, you’re alright

September 6th, 2006

I had to doubletake BBC news on Monday morning. Steve Irwin dead? No way. I emailed Lara. She’d already texted me.

Irwin was a cult figure in the Robotperson household. So much so that when we visited the Sunshine Coast in 2001, I insisted that we see the Australia Zoo. We arrived late and missed the croc show, so we didn’t see the man himself. Although at one point I spied a khaki shirt off in the distance, hefting a reptile. I like to believe that was him. I bought his book in the shop.

Later that day we went to the Glass House Mountains lookout point, where, I later read, Steve had proposed to his wife, Terri. It was lovely.

I wonder if he would’ve wanted to go this way – doing something he loved. Probably not. He doesn’t seem the sort to have entertained the possibility of death. I wonder whether, in those last seconds, he knew he was done for. I hope not. The panic of knowing he’d never see his kids or wife again would have been hideous.

It seems that he was extraodinarily unlucky – to get hit exactly where, and only where, it would have been fatal. But that’s life, there’s no accounting for chance. What happens is nothing to do with what you’ve done before; how risky you may or may not have behaved; what you might or might not deserve. Ask my brother. There’s nothing to understand.

Rest in peace, mate. You’re alright.

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