Saturday, 17 August 2013

Crocodile Dun-Dimitri

In the original Crocodile Dundee movie, there was a scene I particularly liked where Croc Dundee himself was walking in the New York streets after dark with his soon-to-be lover and a couple of young street kids appear in front of them and demand Dundee's wallet. "Give it to him" says the Linda Koslowski character. "Why?" says Dundee. "He's got a knife," she replies. After the very briefest of pauses, Hogan (Dundee) replies, "That's not a knife...[pulls a dirty great big thing with a blade about a foot long from somewhere in the back of his trousers, makes ribbons of the leading boy's jacket, then continues...] that's a knife!" Whereupon the street kids beat it. Then he turns to the girl and says, "just kids having fun."

Well, earlier today, ..well, I ought to say yesterday as it's now well past midnight, I was at the Butterfly Valley, having just safely seen my guests off to go and explore, when I was intending to put my clipboard back in the coach before going for a frappé. Suddenly I felt a sensation like a miniature red hot poker in the side of my right forearm and, lifting my clipboard I found a wasp there (the nasty British black and yellow type) which I'd evidently trapped between the clipboard and the flesh of my forearm and so he'd resorted to his only line of defense - his sting.

I suppose I ought to understand the little mite really. I mean, we none of us like these guys and yet they sting in self defense really don't they? Anyway, having swotted it away, too late since it had done the deed, I howled and then began studying the area of my arm for evidence of the sting. There were in the near vicinity my two fellow escorts, Karla and Heidi, plus a couple of our coach drivers, all of whom immediately adopted expressions of concern and began enquiring as to what had happened. All I could do was say, "He stung me. The little devil got me, look!"

Within seconds those around me were expressing their concern and someone, can't rightly remember who it was now, told me: "You know the best thing for a sting?" I apparently replied with a puzzled expression, so they continued, "metal" in the kind of voice that indicated that this was their final word on the matter.

"Metal." I replied, "what kind of metal? What do you do with it?" Before they could suggest anything that may shed light on my enquiry, one of the drivers who I don't know all that well said, "Gianni, come with me." Since I had nothing to lose by complying, I complied. He led me to the door of his coach, told me to wait there and climbed inside. Within seconds he was back at the door with a knife the like of which I'd never actually seen in the flesh (or in the steel, eh?) as it were, and in fact had only really seen before in the above-mentioned scene in the movie Crocodile Dundee. It could well have been the actual knife, I wouldn't have known either way.

So, at this juncture there I was with a burly Greek coach driver, who'd taken fast hold of my right forearm and with his other hand was fast bringing this humungous blade across to meet it, saying to myself "Goodbye forearm, you've served me well", fully expecting him to plunge the blade into my flesh at any moment. I admit to actually having mental pictures of all kinds of ways in which he could soon be causing large quantities of my blood to part company with the rest of me. Yet what he did was to lay the blade across the area where the insect had struck and, looking at me, said, "Yes Gianni, the best thing for a sting is cold metal." After he'd lain both sides of the blade across my forearm for a minute or so, he then angled it in such a way as to convince me yet again that the next move would be to cut deep into my flesh, but what he actually did was to run the blade across my skin much after the manner in which a barber would use a cut-throat razor to shave his customer.

"You feel any relief, Gianni? Does it hurt now?" What could I say? Was there a hint of the panacea about this? Nah, not really. But, since he still held my arm and I was still staring nervously at this huge weapon, glinting in the morning sunlight, I decided to reply with something like, "I do believe it's better. It's not hurting now."

"There, told you," he replied, "the best thing [at this point I joined him in a two-part harmony] for a sting - is metal." After which I continued solo, saying "even though we haven't the faintest idea as to how it's meant to work."

A little later, whilst I was applying a soothing rub of Lane's Tea Tree and Witch Hazel cream to the affected area, which had begun its day-long process of swelling up and reddening to the size of an egg, I reflected on what would have happened to that driver had he been working in the UK and someone had spotted a knife like that on board. Talk about lethal weapon, he'd probably go down for it. I never thought to ask him why he was carrying it, but he certainly was. 

Maybe he had plans for later in the evening to go for an urban walk with his girlfriend.


  1. I think that's everyone's favourite scene in Croc Dundee! Never heard of the cold metal cure (no, not a rock band!) but I do know that you put vinegar on a wasp sting, bicarbonate of soda on a bee sting, something as hot as you can bear without burning the flesh, on weever fish stings and we all know what to do to relieve the pain of jelly fish and sea urchin stings! I've tried all these remedies and they DO work.


    1. ...and snake bites, you forgot snake bites.