Of course, ‘Cabin Fever’ shouldn’t be confused with ‘Jungle Fever’, especially when the cabin in question is in Shetland. Not known for it’s jungles, is Shetland. In fact, it’s positively renowned for being a jungle-free zone. When I think of Shetland one of the first things that comes to mind is the complete absence of anything even vaguely resembling a jungle.
The other big difference between Cabin and Jungle fever is the complete lack of monkeys, elephants, lions, and Tarzan. Though he may have been suffering from Cabin Fever in the Jungle, given his habit of running around in his pants, yodelling all over the place. Which is just not sanitary.
When I was a kid, I could never figure out why Tarzan yodelled the whole time. I mean, he wasn’t even Swiss, was he? No, he was Lord Greystoke, a member of the British aristocracy, which is important from a societal perspective — a commoner running about the jungle in their pants, yodelling at things, would be a sign of mental illness and depravity. A member of the upper classes doing it is eccentric and delightfully whimsical.
It still doesn’t explain the yodelling though. I mean, OK, so Tarzan was raised by apes, devoid of human contact in his formative years, so we can expect his communication skills to need a bit of work, but yodelling? Who taught him to do that? As far as I can remember, there’s never been a David Attenborough documentary about the Great Yodelling Apes of the African Congo. And even if there were, where did they learn it from? I suppose there must have been Swedish missionaries in the region a couple of decades before, who took pity on the godless apes and decided to teach them how to communicate over large distances in mountainous territory. A vital skill, should the aforementioned apes ever find themselves stranded in the Alps, because the plane they’ve chartered to take them to Madrid has gone seriously off course after the pilot passed out from trying to snort dry-roasted peanuts.
And yes, that’s not very likely, but clearly Swedish missionaries don’t like to leave anything to chance. That’s why they’ve got those groovy knives the size of mobile phones from the 1980s.
But I digress…
So, Cabin Fever. CABIN FEVER. I think I may be coming down with a bout of it, having spent nearly four weeks in a one room studio overhanging the harbour in a small town on the west coast of Shetland — the last week and a bit under a blanket of snow even thicker than people who think you can communicate with monkeys by yodelling at them. Seriously, next time you’re at the zoo, or your plane crashes halfway up the Amazon, have a bash at yodelling at the wildlife: see how far it gets you.