A friend got me the job – $90 an hour, starting the day after he left on holiday. Seemed a lot of cash to work for the local tourism office.
The boss looked at me silently for an hour. “Can you swim?” he asked.
“Can you run?”
“How long can you hold your breath?”
I said, “So, you want me to get attacked by a crocodile?”
“For. . . tourism?”
He said, “Works every time.”
I said, “Okay.”
It was a pretty spot, with a handful of limp eucalyptus and the babble of the stream keeping me company. Crocs watched me without blinking.
I hooked up a high-tension cable primed to spring the instant I released my grip. Then I put on my wetsuit and jumped in. Nothing happened.
Forgot to put the video recorder on! I backed up slowly and realised the sun had cooked its battery. So I SMSed for more. Stupid crocs.
Take two. Camera on this time. I kept a firm hold on the cable release button and went deeper. The crocs didn’t move. Why won’t they eat me?
It occurred to me that I actually didn’t want to lose a leg, and then – WHAM! Huge jaws clamped on my foot and SPROING! I flew into the air.
The crocodile swung in wild cartwheels with me, like a dog with a toy. We both flew over the campsite and landed sprawling in two trees.
Pretty sure being stuck in a tree next to a croc (also stuck) was tourism gold. Too bad my leg was broken and I couldn’t get to the cameras.
A pigtailed girl examined me. She said, “Whatcha doin?”
“I’m stuck, and I need help.”
She shrugged, and went to the water.
“No!” I yelled.
The girl’s parents hustled her away, but promised to come back real soon. I saw the dust as they drove away. My crocodile yawped at me.
Thirsty. Leg hurt. Croc looked angrier. The little girl’s parents took a video of me and it before fleeing. At least I know I’m on Youtube.
An aboriginal man yelled, “Watcha doin?” until I woke up.
“Help me,” I said.
Then a croc spotted him and ran across the mud to kill him.
My new friend is Will: “So, you didn’t think to mention the crocs around here?”
Will shrugged it off, shaking our whole tree.
Will’s crocodile guard finally left, so Will went to fetch – something. It turned out to be another camera. Hilarious.
The RSPCA arrived before the medical team. They cut down the tree and my croc vanished underwater without sparing me a farewell glance.
Morphine! Yes! Besht medicine ever. My leg’s not even broken anymore – I’m sure of it. Can I have a crocodile for a pet? Pleeeeasse?
The boss gave me a cheque, minus expenses. “Well done,” he said.
He lifted one eyebrow. “Have you ever fought an emu?”