We guess it’s time to admit that YouTube has its uses. We had long sought a replacement for a now-vanished .mp3 of the classic safety film song “Shake Hands With Danger” and lo and behold, here’s the whole movie, a Caterpillar safety film from the early ’70s with so much to enjoy.
•SQUEAL at the menace of runaway backhoes and bulldozers.
• THRILL to the sight of hapless hippy types–who would never in a zillion years be seen around heavy machinery to begin with–fucking up gearshafts,
• MARVEL at the haunting chorus: “I used to laugh at safety and now they call me (ba da da ba da bum) Three Finger Joe.”
• CLENCH IN TERROR as you await the curiously bloodless payoffs of the unbearable tension as foolish workers climb ladders while encumbered and forget to pull both axles before unlocking the differential.
• WONDER at the tight jeans of the era, with hankies safely stowed in the RIGHT SIDE.
There’s also much to be learned here about SAFETY, amazingly enough. Sure any ninny knows “the risk of striking hard against badly chipped metal.” But who could have foreseen this mishap?
“At this point the service manual calls for a the insertion of a threaded tool to hold the spring force. Sam hasn’t read the manual.”
Best of all is the almost lyrical narration, a solemn meditation on human frailty and the inevitable weaknesses that bring us ever closer to mortality. “The people who shake hands with danger are those who don’t learn beforehand what they’re gettin’ into.” Sho’ nuff.
Parts two and three can also be seen — and learned from. Use a swab when greasing up an axle, we’re just sayin’.
“Mother, may I shake hands with danger?”