Barrie and I watched a show last night about wild hogs (not the movie) and how they sometimes terrorize people when they come on and around their home and property. These hogs can weigh over 300 pounds, have sharp teeth and tusks and can be very dangerous, particularly if they feel threatened.
The show was filmed in various parts of the country, from Florida to Georgia to Texas and even in Hawaii. The troublesome hogs were all captured alive and most of them were processed as meat and donated to organizations who would use them to feed homeless people. It was a noble cause all the way around. The people hunting the hogs were unarmed except for a knife or two and some of them used dogs to assist in the hunt. Pretty dangerous work but they seemed to enjoy it.
In one segment of the show, in Hawaii, two men had captured a hog by the front leg in a snare they had set up. The hog, a 300 pound monster, was not at all happy about being caught. He was pulling every direction trying to free himself from the rope and would have charged the men with death in his eyes if he could have.
As the two men were approaching, the leader got a large branch with which he said he was going to “distract the hog while Steve goes up and grabs the back legs of the hog.” (Remember, this is a 300 pound, very angry hog.) I was instantly reminded of Jim Fowler, the working half of the two man team on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
Some of my younger readers may not remember Wild Kingdom. It was a show on Sunday evenings, one of the first shows about animals in the wild. Marlon Perkins was the host and the star of the show. He did all the talking and supervising and if something dangerous needed to be done it was deferred to Jim Fowler, who was the risk taker. (Marlon was rather old, even when the show started.)
Anyway, it would be Jim who would have been the one to “grab the hog by the back legs” in this particular show. Jim wrestled alligators, wildebeests, bears, you name it, while Marlon narrated, explaining what it was Jim was trying to do and just how dangerous it was. Marlon was never really in any danger. He stayed by the truck mostly, while Jim risked his life to make the show interesting.
There were many of us who watched the show every week and wished that Jim, when told by Marlon to go over and catch that lion by the back legs, just once would stop and say “I don’t think so Marlon. This time it’s your turn you old fart” and push Mr. Perkins into the danger zone.
I realize this is a bit warped on my part but Jim was always doing what his boss told him and Marlon rarely did anything. We simply wanted to see Marlon take a risk once in a while instead of risking Jim’s life and pitching Mutual of Omaha’s insurance policies. Is that asking too much?