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Teen who braved the crocs for his crush almost made me choke up my spider

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I've never jumped into a crocodile-infested river to impress a girl called Sophie, but I did once drunkenly fall on and eat a huntsman spider to impress a girl whose name I've long since forgotten. I think she's a doctor now.

But unlike the rest of you judgmental wallopers, I do not judge half-eaten north Queensland idiot, Lee De Paauw.

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I am that chewed-over fool for love.

And I put it to you that if you're not willing to get a skinful and jump into the jaws of a hungry saltie just to impress a young backpacker called Sophie Something-Or-Other and to shame your soberer, less mortally stupid mates at the pub, then you do not deserve to find love.

Much fun was had at the expense of Romeo De Paauw  but who amongst us can claim never to have made complete arse-muffins of ourselves in the hopeless pursuit of Sophie Whatshername or Dr Whatsis or whoever?

Examine your memories and your consciences and you will admit to being just as stupid at least once and probably many times more.


De Paauw was drinking with mates at a hostel in Innisfail when, on a dare, at 2.30 or so in the AM, he jumped off the local esplanade wharf.

The spot is known as a fave for saltwater crocs but this was not the first time Lee had taken the waters there. It was just the first time the waters had decided to take him.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating life-threatening stupidity.

Like everyone, when I first heard this story I thought him a massive idiot. But most of the coverage failed to mention that he jumped in not simply as a dare but, most crucially, to impress a girl.

As soon as I learnt of that important detail, my opinion changed.

Memories of necking 18 tallies of VB and eating that spider to impress that med student whose name I've forgotten came rushing back. Son, I thought, good luck to you. Your local MP may think you a dickhead but I disagree. 

Yes. Lee jumped into a river full of crocodiles and one tried to eat him, but he punched that cheeky bastard a couple of times and made it back to shore and thence to the emergency room to have his horrific wounds tended to by professionals.

I call that a win for love.

Sophie the backpacker girl, you owe this young man a rum and coke.