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Dan Murphy

The Total Man Package: Tarzan, The Ultimate Underachiever
by Dan Murphy

July 2002

It's a real circus around here. I know because I was standing in front of my apartment building in my loincloth underwear doing the Tarzan yell as the Ringley & Barnum and Bailey Circus passed by on the railroad tracks. Johnny Weissmuller would have been proud. The yell works. The animals went nutso. I had to say Um Gawwa (like Tarzan) several times just to bring them under control. Dr. Doolittle's got nothing on me. This catharsis caused me to dwell on some Tarzan things that just don't make sense.

Here is Tarzan running around Africa playing with animals all day. Sure this is fine if you don't have any job skills or you are a native, but Tarzan has a degree. It's not an associate's from a junior college either (I've got one). Tarzan's degree was from some place like Harvard or Oxford.

Remember Jane takes him back to England and it also turns out he's a multimillionaire. And people give me grief for not working a real job with my bachelor's degree. Yet, it's cool for Tarzan to run around in his underwear all day and when I try it in Downtown Austin in my Fruit of The Looms, I'm arrested for indecent exposure.

Oh, yeah it's damn double standard!!! It's not like I've got skid marks in my underwear either. I only wear colored underwear to prevent this.

I guess it's just easier for Tarzan to avoid all the negative criticism when his parents and best friends are all FRIGGIN' APES! The expectations are just so much lower.

Tarzan's education did come in handy when he would try to sway some Bad Guy's diabolical plan to start a war between the Zulus and Pygmies with his knowledge of geopolitics in the region. Tarzan's know-it-all attitude often backfired. It usually just motivated the Bad Guy to make Tarzan's death more slow and painful.

Now, a lot of these comments I've made may not make much sense depending upon which Tarzan you are thinking about. There have been 20 Tarzan's according to this link I found:

The Tarzan I'm talking about is the Ron Elementary (Doc Savage) version circa 1965-70. He's the one that ran around with that Jai kid. Jai took the place of Johnny Weissmuller's (1932-48) sidekick, Boy. At least Boy had some brains. Jai was always getting himself and Tarzan into trouble. He was dumber than a bag of Cheetah's old hair.

Speaking of hair, all the Tarzans seemed to have immaculately groomed hair (except Christopher Lambert in Greystoke, 1984). It was amazing that Tarzan's hair looked so good with all the African heat, unsanitary conditions and total lack of barbershops. He must have been carrying a comb in his loincloth.

Although there have been lots of Tarzans, I noticed there weren't many in the 1980s. So, I'm going to fill the '80s Tarzan gap and make the Tarzan Timeline complete. I'm going to throw a few twists into the story this time. For example, when Jane brings me back to England I'm not wasting any time with school. I'm just going to party with my multimillion inheritance. It will take me a lot of time to go through the money too because my relatives won't be hitting me up for cash (since they're all Apes remember). Then, when I'm done blowing all the money I'll go to Africa to hide from creditors.

I'm also going to have lots of '80s guest stars like Hulk Hogan, Boy George, Flock of Seagulls, etc.

It's going to be the Greatest Tarzan ever!

Hey, I got to go. I've got a date with The Bearded Lady. I told you the circus was in town.

Talk to you later!!! Take care!!!


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