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Deer, Deer, Deer-A Cautionary Tale
Deer, Deer, Deer-A Cautionary Tale
In January of 2004, I was headed home from Phoenix one night, and just outside of St. David, standing in the middle of the road, was a beautiful 5 point buck. I slowed, and at the last possible moment, he leapt out of harm’s way.
Whew! It could have been very ugly, because right behind me was a rather large semi truck, and I don’t think it could have stopped in time if I had hit the deer, and I have learned that you NEVER swerve to miss an animal.
Then, on February 22, 2004, I had to go to Phoenix to take care of some business. I headed home at about midnight, and by 2am, I was at the same place outside of St. David, and I got a fleeting prescient mental image of me hitting something!
I looked up quickly, realized that I was in deer alley, and faster than you can say "Thumper blows Bambi", there was a deer emerging from the ditch at the left side of the road!
I slowed down to 25mph, whilst the deer ran alongside the Jeep for about 50 feet! The deer then looked at me though my window, said, "OMIGORSH you're THERE!" (Yes, it was a talking deer) and promptly RAN INTO THE SIDE OF THE JEEP! Whereupon his little rear legs were crushed by my oversized tires. Klump Thump!
I was horrified! I pulled over, just freaking out that I had damaged my Jeep, and also freaking out because I know that my license was kinda suspended because I forgot to pay a ticket. Oops.
So I couldn't call the Highway Patrol, and there I am trying frantically to get my daughter on my cell phone. It's pitch dark out, I can't see to assess the damage, my daughter's not answering the phone, and then I become aware of a horrible clopping sound.
The deer is lying in the middle of the road, with its back half obliterated, and it's trying to get to its feet! I have no weapon with me, no knife, no gun to put the poor thing out of its misery, and I've heard waaayyyy too many stories about not-so-dead-deer kicking the shit out of people. So I got in the Jeep and went to the nearest Mini-mart, about 3 miles away.
They called it in, only to be informed that it had already been reported, and by the time I got back, someone else had claimed the venison.
Thankfully, there was only a small dent to the door of the Jeep, that and some blood spots and fur stuck in the tires were the only evidence of my ordeal.
I had to conclude that the deer was suicidal, and that there was nothing I could have done to stop it.
Fast forward to September 29th, 2004.
I'm on my way home from LA, where I had to go to get more pages for my passport. It's 3am, and I stopped at Gila Bend to rest for an hour. By 4am, I was booking it down the road.
No traffic, I was doing my usual "Something over 80 mph" and fantasizing about being in Germany on the Autobahn. My Avalon could easily do 140, and I was almost pushing triple digits while I started to consider testing my car's upper limits.
With no warning, a 4 point buck leapt out of the center median, and straight into my front end. BLAM! I’m not quite sure whose eyes were bigger at the moment of impact, his or mine.
The car died, and I managed to steer it to the side of the road. I got out and surveyed the damage. Oh...My. Y'all, I HAD a 1997 Toyota Avalon. It's not a small car. My front left side had been indented at least a foot and a half, crumpling up the hood, obliterating the headlight assembly and blowing up my battery.
And I know that any lady can attest to the fact that there is nothing worse than a woman who discovers her only battery is dead!
I did the only thing I could. I stood on the side of the road, well away from the car and the freeway, and laughed hysterically for over 20 minutes. Then I realized that without a doubt, my beautiful car was totalled. The very first car that I had ever bought new. The first car I ever paid cash for the day I bought it. My Avalon. Dead. So I did the next logical thing, and I cried hysterically for about a half of an hour.
Meanwhile, there had been a considerable passage of time, during which at least 20 trucks had passed me without stopping. Bastards. See if I let your asses in next time you want over on the freeway.
I stopped crying, and reverted to laughing. At least I was sure that the damned deer wasn't lying up the road only half dead. Nope. I knew that this time I had creamed the little bugger.
Finally, about an hour after impact, the EMT's showed up, followed shortly by the Highway Patrol. One of them walked up the road to view the remains, and to see if they could salvage the rack. Well, it HAD been a 4 point buck...but I blew all but one horn off of its little head.
So there I am, the tow truck comes and picks me up, and I find myself at the Space Age Lodge in Gila Bend at 6am, looking like death warmed over, still in shock, and getting no sympathy at all from the waitrons who view me with no little distaste for being outside the norm of their little lives.
I would have been upset by their attitudes, but I've been there before, and they acted that way on a supposed good day. I guess you take what you can get in a place like Gila Bend.
I called my daughter FaeryRose, she had been awake for hours and waiting for my call because she knew I was going to be in an accident.
Just psychic I guess.
After I called her and arranged to be rescued, I had four hours to kill, so I sat down and wrote my
Ode to a Suicidal Deer
Bravely you stood,
Quickly you fell.
When you hit my car
You made my life hell.
What made you do it?
Did the females all sneer,
"Go away Bambikins,
No nookie this year!"
Or was it your buddies,
Did they taunt you to play,
In my car's path today?
No matter the reason,
The result's still the same.
My car is now totalled,
And you're road-killed game.
Now, I’m trying to figure out just why all of these deer are gunning for me. Was there an article in Bambi Times this year after I hit the first deer, that said, “Be on the lookout for this woman, and take her out if you can?”
I can see all of the little deer spies here in Tombstone, wandering past my house late at night, waiting to see if I head out in my car. I think the javalinas are in on it too, because I’ve almost hit a few of them.
But seriously, If you see an animal in the road, slow down if it’s safe to do so, but don’t swerve at high speed, because you may go off of the road, and the police and your insurance company are just going to think that you were seeing pink elephants on parade.
And it’s a sure bet that the deer isn’t going to hang around to verify your story. “Yes officer, I’m terribly sorry, but I was just crossing the road, and I failed to look both ways. Really, it isn’t the human’s fault at all!”
It reminds me of when I worked for a major insurance company that I will call Gecko. I worked the 24-hour service line, and I sold auto and homeowner's insurance, but I did not do claims service. The calls would come in blind, and if it was a claim, I would have to transfer the call. Very frequently, I would get a call that went something like this:
Me: "Thank you for calling Gecko 24-hour service, Mrs. H. speaking, how may I help you?"
Insured: "Oh, thank heavens! Someone is there! Listen, I just hit a deer!"
Me: (With great concern in my voice!)"Sir, I'm sorry to hear that, are you OK?"
Insured: "I'm fine, but my car isn't! And neither is the deer! I've called Fish and Game, and now I'm calling you guys."
Me: "I'm glad to hear that you are OK. Let me get a claims representative on line for you, if you would be so kind as to hold for one moment."
Insured: "Sure, no problem."
I would then place the insured on hold, and announce in a rather obnoxious "Ernestine" type of voice, "Bambi killer on line one, Bambi killer on line one!"
I think I've gotten my comeuppance.