I am totally depressed about this Crocodile Hunter thing.
not his death that gets me. The only time I saw Steve Irwin on
television, he was dangling his toddler in front of a crocodile or
something. I was no fan. No, it's what Irwin's death represents to me
that has me so down.
Don't get me wrong; it's terrible that a
young man with young children should meet an untimely fate. But the guy
wrestled crocodiles. His death wasn't an accident. It was inevitable.
And – if you stop to think about it – it was also kind of cool. Which is why I'm so depressed.
died doing what he loves – getting way too close to deadly animals. I'm
guessing that a stingray barb to the chest is a painful way to go, but
you can imagine that just before the barb went in him, Irwin was
grinning like a child. He loved that stuff.
Which got me
thinking: I don't have a cool way that I want to die. There's nothing I
could be doing that – should I give up the ghost halfway through –
would make my friends say, "Well, at least she died doing what she
I don't do anything that I love, dangerous or otherwise.
It's dismal. I'm sure I'm not alone in living a passionless life devoid
of crocodiles and life-threatening humanitarian work. And I'm perfectly
content to waste the days allotted me contributing absolutely nothing
to this world; I'm American. But I'd really like my death to be more
spectacular than all that.
The day before Irwin died, Jeff
e-mailed me from Africa to say he'd been accosted by a baboon. The
baboon demanded Jeff's apple. Jeff complied, and all went well. But if
it hadn't … well, I love Jeff dearly, but getting killed by a baboon is
pretty awesome. For the rest of his friends' lives, he wouldn't be
"Jeff," he'd be "Jeff, my friend who was killed by a baboon."
I don't see baboons. I don't swim with stingrays. Today I went crazy, hitting the mall and the supermarket.
Irwin's death made me realize that the headline to my obituary will likely read: "Mayrav Saar did nothing, continues same."
figured my angst was universal. There is only one Steve Irwin, after
all. Other people, normal people, probably aren't so self-actualized as
to know how they'd prefer to die, right? Wrong.
"I imagine I'll
die drinking, hopefully halfway through telling a story," Steve says.
He doesn't even have to pause before answering. This is something he'd
thought of before. Maybe years ago. That truly is what he loves doing,
and what he'd love to be doing when he kicks it.
Kevin says he's
actually seen someone die the way he wants to go. A few years back, he
saw a man collapse after Northwestern University's football team beat
Ohio State. The victory was totally unexpected, and the fans went nuts.
Kevin, a die-hard Wildcat, felt terrible for the man's family, but
realized that shedding your mortal coil in the midst of wild jubilation
is a fantastic way to die.
I don't have anything like that. I
don't drink much. I don't follow sports. I have no hobbies or skills.
This is terrible. Am I too boring to die?
No, Steve assures me.
Death isn't going to pass me over because I've never been to Africa.
I'll die just like everyone else. Not to worry.
Kevin adds that
most of us – no matter what romantic notions we have about death –
usually meet our end in a sterile hospital room, anyway. No interesting
life stories required for admission.
That does make me feel a
little better: I guess I can stop pitying myself for not being a dead
crocodile hunter and just to go bed. And if I should die before I wake
… well, those are the breaks.