I suppose everyone already knows this story, but I like it so much I want to put it in a Saint Report. It is a cautionary tale, but, as was the story about the man who was kicked in the head by an ostrich, not a particularly useful cautionary tale. I'll put the link to the actual transcript of an interview with Sharon Stone, who was more or less responsible for the whole thing, at the end. I wanna put my own spin on it first.
Apparently, Sharon Stone wanted to give her then-husband a memorable present for Father's Day. Knowing of his long-time interest in Komodo Dragons, those enormous monitor lizards that live on some islands around Indonesia, she arranged a backstage tour of the Los Angeles Zoo reptile house. Now (I say huffily), neither you nor I could wangle a tour like this without being terminal and going through the Make-a-Wish Foundation or something, but if you are Sharon Stone, All Things are Possible. Hrumph.
So she and then-husband arrive at the zoo and are shown smaller lizards and big tortoises, all from the back side of the reptile display. And then there they are at the Komodo Dragon enclosure. And, oh happy day!, the then-husband is invited to actually enter the enclosure and pet the Komodo Dragon.
Envious little children are pressing their covetous little faces against the glass, watching as then-husband pets the dragon and, in general, gets to be a big shot in front of a bunch of nobodies.
The guy who is giving the famous couple this tour is not the sharpest tool in the shed, so when the Komodo Dragon shows too much interest in then-husband's feet, the attendant suggests he remove his white shoes. They might look too much like white rats, the dragon's second favorite food.
At this point, most people would say, "Oh, that's ok. I've petted him. I can leave now. No reason to take off my shoes." But not then-husband. He just sits down and pulls off his shoes and socks. And within about ten seconds the dragon has ahold of then-husband's big toe and is tossing about trying to remove it from then-husband's body. Apparently the dragon's first favorite food was those little pink rats.
The jury is still out regarding what happened next, but there were a lot of little witnesses to the blood and gore. Either the dull tool managed to extricate the toe or then-husband pried the beast's jaws off himself. Whoever was the hero of the moment, much damage was done to then-husband's foot.
Am I sympathetic? Oh, sure. I am sorry for everyone who has accidents, whether they have them coming or not. Was this funny? You bet. I like the transfixed children glued to the glass, I like the idea that the guy would actually go in the enclosure when he knew that these lizards are poisonous, lightning-fast, and chase down and eat entire goats in the wild. I like it that he would take off his shoes. Wow. And then the whole world had to find out. Poor bastard.
Here are links:
Celebrating birthdays today: Charles Durning (1923, Highland Falls, New York), Bernadette Peters (1944, Queens, NY), Tommy Tune (1939, Wichita Falls, TX), and John Torturro (1957, Brooklyn).
Saints celebrating feast days today include Saint Proterius, Saint Romanus and Lupicinus, Saint Hilarus, and Saint Oswald of Worcester.