Thank God for Tarzan

    There are many reasons to love Tarzan movies – especially for a spec-fic writer because they show that anything is possible :-).

The main reason I would like to thank Tarzan’s Three Challenges is that it meant there was no cricket disturbing my Sunday morning sloth in front of the teev. I know it’s unAustralian, but I cannot bear the sport. My memories of cricket torture as a child are too strong: Boxing Day matches with relentless tv coverage and the droning commentary of Bill Laurie and Richie Benaud (although nowadays, I admit that I get quite nostalgic for the old guys – especially when the moronic likes of Warnie are burbling on … but I digress). Lying around the day after Christmas, full as a goog from leftovers, trying desperately to stop your hand moving towards the lolly dish, but not quite able to do it … flat-out on the lounge room carpet, which was hot and sticky and highly artificial, always with the chance that it might just spontaneously combust on a Brisneyland summer’s day. The drone of the commentators was often drowned out by the drone of the flies, some of them large enough to throw a saddle on … All you could hope for was a glimpse of Imran Khan taking Australia’s bowlers to task.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m immensely proud of the years when a combined Lillee-Thommo attack decimated the ranks of the English batting line-up. I just don’t understand why I had to watch it. There is a reason why The Goodies were able to parody cricket and have it win the Cannes Le Boring Festival. And with that image fresh in the brain, back to why Tarzan shows that anything is possible:

  1. Kookaburras (native Australian birds) are frequently heard in the soundtrack to movies set in Africa. As we never issue them with passports – they behave badly when allowed out – they do not get to travel, so the chances of them having a holiday house in the African jungle are not good. I love Hollywood.
  2. Two of the characters in Tarzan’s Three Challenges were African-Americans, both with plumy accents, who were playing characters that may or may not have actually been Tibetan or Mongolian. Other extras in the cast appeared to actually be Mexicans and there may have been a few Chinese actors in the cast, but don’t quote me on that.
  3. The landscape through which Tarzan and The Chosen One (oh, don’t ya love The Chosen One?) travelled looked in places suspiciously and variously like: someone’s backyard in a canyon outside of Los Angeles; a plain where the Mongol Hordes might once have roamed; an Indonesian jungle, with biologically inappropriate monkeys; part of Bhutan; and waterway markets in downtown Bangkok.
  4. There’s a baby African elephant, which happily followed The Chosen One to Faux Tibet – henceforth to be know as Fauxbet.
  5. What’s not to love about a man in a loincloth? It was great in the old days – clapped out swimmers always had a possible career choice as Tarzan.
  6. I must also ask about the logic of setting tests for someone who is already designated as The Chosen One. What if s/he stuffs up? What do you do then? How many do-overs does The Chosen One get? Is there a back-up Chosen One? Like an understudy?

I wonder if I had a point when I started this post? Very likely … but what with the end of year malaise and everything, things just seem to peter out … I’ll just post this under ‘Random’ … I’ll be in the corner playing with a ball of string if anyone is looking for me ….

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10 Responses to Thank God for Tarzan

  1. Aimée says:

    I really love Sunday sport. The other channels know they can’t compete so put on ‘the classics’. I’m a non-cricket fan and I had the best cinematic education every Sunday. And it was only ever movies like Robin Hood, Tarzan, and Dodge City, quality 30s and 40s flicks, that tried to compete. Such a great movie education.

    It never occurred to me how weird it was to hear kookaburras in Africa til just now 🙂

    Side note: Up until I was 13 I was convinced it was actually called ‘Bloody Cricket’ (along with ‘Bloody Tennis’)
    Everytime it came on my mum would say “Not the Bloody Cricket”. Sad, but true.

  2. Angela Slatter says:

    One of my fave kookaburra moments is during a film about the French Revolution, starring a very young Tony Curtis, who is riding through the French countryside and what do you hear? Yes, an escaped kookaburra, who has chosen to set up home in a bois on the outskirts of 18th century Paris. Of course! Everyone loves Paris!

  3. leemcgowan says:

    That’s awesome. it might be pointless Ange but it’s very entertaining. Perfect Sunday afternoon material.

  4. Flinthart says:


    Methinks you have been watching cricket the wrong way. The RIGHT way is to turn it on the tube with the sound down, and the ABC radio commentary audible. Then you wander about the house doing all the other things you want to do, and only drop back in every time something interesting happens. And in between, you refresh your drink.

    Done in that manner, cricket is a hell of a game to watch.

  5. Angela Slatter says:

    That could be my motto: pointless but entertaining.

  6. Angela Slatter says:

    El Diablo, that’s how I watch ‘VanHelsing’.

  7. Lynne Green says:

    As a science geek, I always put the kookaburras down to a malfunctioning Tardis.

    Have fun creating that Gordian knot in the wool.

  8. Alan says:

    I hate cricket too. SO dull.

  9. Aimée says:

    I was just watching the very, very old TV show, Roar (young Heath Ledger – huzzah!). Roar is set in 400AD tribal Ireland and filled with the dulcet tones of traditional Celtic instruments like the pipes, the tin-whistle, the bodhrán, and the didgeridoo?! Hang on a second…

  10. Aimée says:

    btw…worst Irish accents ever in the history of TV