Saturday, May 26, 2012

Doe, a Deer, a Female Deer

Everybody sing!

Just outside of Union City on the way to Martin, the stench of the Obion River is worse than ever before. I've heard numerous explanations for this, not the least of which is that there is a dog food processing plant that scoops up local road kill for ingredients. 😝

I don't know how true that is, but the smell rivals driving past the Reelfoot meat company on a hot summer day with no air conditioning in your car. Hurl worthy. I suppose the road kill comment is either speculation or urban legend. I hope so. I wouldn't feed my dog that on the worst day.

There was a bit of chauvinism on the way to the lake. My (very capable older) brother stopped to put air in his truck's tires and Dad made us pull over and wait on the side of the highway and wait for him. Then we pulled out a minute before he caught up and Dad refused to drive faster than 55 in a 70 mph zone. On an interstate highway. Hmm.

All in the name of making things easy for my brother so he didn't feel left behind, I presume? It wasn't how my bruh was feeling when I talked to him. We all know how to get to the lake house and we all knew we were stopping at a particular fast food place everybody (but me) loves 30 minutes down the road, anyway.

After my brother caught up and took the lead, they left ME behind. Working steadily past the 70 mph limit outside Union City as soon as it was possible, with them both far ahead of me, I saw the first deer on the side of the road.

A large doe. Waiting to run out in front of a speeding driver and kill them and their family.

I've been told this about deer at the side of the road -- if you see one running across, you'd better stop or drive really slowly because they travel in groups and they are stupid enough to stop in the middle of the road, frozen by the light of an oncoming vehicle. Ever heard the expression "looking like a deer in the headlights"? There ya go.

I hit a deer in my same vehicle in 2005 at 55 mph. Bambi-0, me-1. I was lucky that it only ruined the front end of my car and that I was up high off the road in a small Toyota SUV. (Rav-4, fabulous gas mileage, small vehicle.) I've heard stories about people that died when the deer was knocked up into and through the windshield, and the occupants of the car were killed by the antlers.

My sister was in the passenger seat, sleeping. That's the part that bothers me more than the sneaky deer coming out of nowhere from the brush literally at the edge of the highway. You can't protect yourself from that happening to you. It's pure chance.

We were both unharmed, but the front end of my car was trashed. I discovered that the metal frame in the front end of my car resembles a battering ram. Still, I didn't want to find out the difference in survival variables between 55 mph and 75 mph, so I made no further attempts to keep up with the men in the family.

Thanks a lot, guys. I'll get there by myself and I'll be okay.

About an hour before we arrived there were two dead deer on the side of the road. Uh huh. Somebody else wasn't so lucky.

Ten minutes before our destination the highway was blocked off by a nasty car wreck. I didn't see it happen, but I was stopped right in front of the trailer attempting to load what was left of a white car. It kept falling off. It looked like the entire roof of the car had been caved in. Like a giant had turned it upside down and squashed the top flat into the pavement.

My gut tells me there was no survivor. My brother tells me it was a drunk driver and those people seem to never get hurt when they are in a DUI wreck.

There must have been at least ten highway patrol cars there but I believe the ambulances had gone. I think I saw a large fire truck. At first I had thought it was a sobriety checkpoint and fished my driver's license out of my purse.

Maybe a DUI, maybe a deer? Maybe they hit the rumble strip on the side of the road at too high a speed, lost control, and flipped the car into the median. No way to know other than to check the local newspaper online today.

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