I think that I am a good driver. I am a defensive driver. I always try to be aware of my surroundings. I am a deer dodger. My ex-husband, on the other hand, managed to hit 11 deer…so far. One evening, he and my son, Adam, took a drive in his 1977 MGB. Imagine my expression when I saw the car limp back down the drive-way, total destruction….and deer feces and fur on the right side of the car. A deer had jumped onto the car from a hillside that hugged the narrow, country road. Adam was lucky he wasn’t killed. I was just curious when I asked if the deer was ok. I guess I should have waited to pose that question. My husband’s “I could wring your little neck” look was sufficient. His little piss ant of a car was almost totaled.
I think my then husband wasn’t a very good defensive driver. Haha..Wait. Did I say, “think?” I KNOW my ex wasn’t a good defensive driver. After all, his nickname is Magoo. (See previous blog, Mr. Magoo on Crack.) He doesn’t watch what may be going on on the sides of the road. Or on the road, for that matter. I do. I have avoided countless deer collisions, and I owe it to my uber scanning ability. This past summer, I killed many butterflies. I don’t know what the hell was going on this summer, but the butterflies decided that they needed to fly back and forth across the road. You can’t brake for flying flitters.
That made me wonder where the hell all the bugs went. Bugs used to splat across windshields left and right when I was little. They would be all over the headlights. And then there were the smashed frogs. Remember how frogs would become paper thin from being ran over again and again? We used to pick them up and throw them at each other when they were nice and hard, after being on the road for a few days. When was the last time you saw a smashed frog on the road?
I have been known to pull over to the side of the road to pick up box turtles. They are so slow. They don’t have a chance. Chipmunks and squirrels, on the other hand, are indecisive, and that usually leads them to their demise. They will dart into the middle of the road, pause, and just when you think they will zig, they zag. I think chipmunks and squirrels suffer from ADHD. If they were fed ritalin, I bet they would calmly figure out that an oncoming car equals death.
Groundhogs really shouldn’t be hit. They are so big. You can see them eating leftovers in the middle of the road. Yes, it is true, that they stray a little too close to the road, but I think they are avoidable for the most part. I remember years ago, there was a dead groundhog lying on the side of the road, on his back. Some smart alec made it a point to stop, and put a beer can under its rigor-mortised arms. What’s worse, is that I looked at it.
The other day a teacher told me that she ran over a deer’s foot on the way to work. I knew exactly what she was talking about. There was a dead deer on the side of the road and its poor little hooves were lying on the road. I went over into the other lane to avoid that unhappy sound. All the deer in North America live on the stretch of road I drive each day.
One day, years ago, when my kids were small, and I was driving, a rabbit darted out in front of my car. I braked, and the little fellow continued his dart across the road. His death was averted because of my quick reaction time. I guess it made my back seat
passengers feel a little uneasy. “Great, Mom! Kill the family and save the rabbit!” Adam yelled. I don’t think my sudden braking gave him whiplash or anything? Wasn’t he thankful I didn’t kill poor Hippity Hop? I took a hard look at my perturbed back seat dweller. I wondered if he would ever brake for an animal. I will call him right now and ask him…….brb…………………………………………………………….Ok, good. He apparently just braked for one today and has spared many animals of an untimely death. Good. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. (He could have ended up like Magoo, but his tree has no fruit.)
In the end, I think it is possible to be a good driver and also save little critters’ lives. Maybe we should all plaster “I brake for animals” stickers on the bumpers of our cars.
I’m thinking ritalin-fed chipmunks and squirrels would then know which cars to stay away from.