November 25, 2007

Oh, Deer!

First of all, I failed NaBloPoMo. I had my computer right there in front of me every day, and I just didn't want to do it. A big fat "F" for me. But to put things in perspective, 1,250,000 children starved to death this month, which thing I had nothing to do with. Go get mad at somebody else.

Moving right along.

We spent the holidays in Utah. It's always entertaining to drive up a couple of times a year and experience dry skin, flat hair and an irrationally bloody nose. Hoping to beat traffic, we left for home this morning at 5 am. I've been tense on the road lately because of an article my husband sent me. Earlier this month, a 600 pound cow fell off a cliff and landed on the hood of a moving minivan. The story terrified me. How do you guard against something like that?

Although the Utah basin is flat as a pancake, I scanned for hidden cliffs as I drove through the pre-dawn. My vigilance was rewarded - I spotted a deer far ahead. I slowed to 65 mph and watched to make sure the doe cleared the road. BAM! My car shook as something exploded across my hood. I had been watching the first deer and hadn't seen the second step in front of my car.

I looked into my rear view mirror but all I saw were headlights from a car close behind me. I could hear pieces of my car falling off onto the freeway and my hood bent unnaturally. The impact woke my two year old in the back seat. "Mommy, what was that?" she asked.
"I hit a deer with the car."
"Oh. Well next time we come to Utah, don't hit the deer with your car. I want to snuggle them instead."
"Okay, honey." Her plan was surprisingly sound. She closed her eyes to sleep again.

I pulled off at the first exit and got out to survey the damage. I was relieved to see brown deer hair wedged in my shattered bumper. I hadn't seen what I'd hit and was happy to dispel the possibility it had been human. The sun was just coming up and illuminated my car in all its glory. My Toyota reminded me of a gerbil we had as kids. One of us sisters (was it me?) carelessly stepped on him and its tiny eyes popped out of its head. I've never forgotten how silly it looked in death. That's exactly what my car looked like. All the lights had popped from their sockets and swayed limply on their cords. The grill was missing. The bumper shattered. There was a hissing noise under the hood. An unexpected smirk crept onto my face.

I had a wild, instinctual urge to go back and see my prey. I pictured holding up its head and having a friend snap a picture of me grinning over my first kill. I've never hunted before and have always held up my nose to those who "kill for sport." But I'd bagged myself a deer! Man had conquered beast. Right triumphed over wrong. I was giddy with adrenaline. My husband arrived at the exit in his car a few minutes later. He was probably surprised to see me grinning outside my car and pointing excitedly at the deer hair stuck on my hood.

One roll of duct tape later, my car was ready to limp home to L.A. As I began down the road again, a tardy wave of remorse washed over me. With embarrassment, I made a quick prayer to Heavenly Father that the deer died a quick death or even (yeah right) was unharmed. But I think God knew I wasn't sincere. In Hollywood versus the deer, Hollywood WINS!

____
All similarities in this post to actual events are purely coincidental. No actual deer were harmed in the making of this post. Hollywood would never hit a deer. Hollywood would rather kill herself and all her family members than hit a wild animal on a dark road. In fact, Hollywood runs a shelter for depressed deer where they can eat cotton candy and Big League Chew all day. She doesn't drive a Toyota, get nosebleeds in Utah or even know how to use duct tape. Now would all you PETA people get off her back?!

39 comments:

Teah said...

First of all, you're sick. Either you hit a deer and were happy about it and then remorseful (which doesn't sound too far off from the truth...for someone) or ELSE you told a story that was a really, really good lie and totally had me going. Because I'm that gullible.

Second, if you want to avoid being smashed by falling cows, don't vacation in ritzy, out of the way, country-apple farm country -turned-ritzy-resort areas! (The cow incident was in Manson, near Lake Chelan, WA. The ritzy areas are full of funny city folks. The ritzy areas are surrounded by farms and orchards and livestock...and things that can kill unsuspecting city folk. (I'm sure one of them city folk snuck a grape off someone's vine and choked on it. Not that I've ever done that. In Manson. But I didn't choke!)

Sue said...

I'm so confused. Did you hit a deer? So mysterious :>

Clyde said...

Welcome back. Glad your family and Toyota are OK.

As always we (the non-PETA people) want to see your killing, in a picture... Cclor pic, please! :)

By the way, how was your Thanksgiving festivities? Throw us a bone here.

Caroline said...

Mostly I love your disclaimer. And I SO would have taken a picture...

Suzie Petunia said...

My dad hit a deer with our station wagon when I was a kid. It was night and we ended up needing to stay in a dirty, creepy motel until help could come get us. As we rode home in our friend's car I remember hiding under a blanket so I wouldn't be scared by another deer surprising me in the window. I've been a little scared of deer ever since. I'm glad you "won".

Rynell said...

At least you didn't have to pull entrails out of your transmission.
True Story.

I would have taken a picture, or at least made my husband take a picture as I skulked at a safe distance.

Colleen said...

Someone once told me a story about her crazy relative hitting a deer which embedded itself in the grill of his truck. He then drove home (deer still attached) and then pried it off only to leave it rotting in his front yard for weeks.

Coulda been worse.

(The gerbil's eyes popping out was pretty graphic. Kudos for the blood and gore in today's post. Love it, PETA be darned!)

citymama1 said...

Once, I pulled into a parking lot and saw a bird smashed into the grill of the truck in front of me. I thought it utterly hilarious, and took a picture. Is that wrong?

Janell said...

That'd be a useful math problem for once! At 12:15:000pm a minivan is traveling at 65 mph at point A at t=0 with 0mph acceleration. At exactly 12:15:159 a 600lb cow at point B falls off a 200m cliff perpendicular to the road upon which the minivan is traveling. How must the minivan alter its acceleration to avoid being hit by the cow? Assume point A and point B are 10m apart. Extra Credit: How many hamburgers might be salvaged from the cow?

Ah, you just learned the first two rules of Utah driving: a deer is never alone and slow waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down. Add a bambi bumper sticker to your car - you've earned it.

Hollywood said...

Eww! I'm very relieved I didn't have to de-entrail my car. I think I'll leave the hair in for the guys at the auto shop to deal with. Or maybe make myself some nice holiday mittens with them.

I really hope Rudolf doesn't go missing from Santa's lineup this year - I'd feel utterly responsible.

So yes, I'm the sicko who runs down deer and brags about it. I also love my steak purple in the middle. What can I say, my parents were cavemen.

Melinda said...

So how long after you hit it did you say to yourself "this is going to be a great post?" Snipe or Pixie or whatever her name is was clever with her sound advice.

Amy said...

Glad you guys are ok. How's the car?

Heather O. said...

Yup, you're kinda sick. I hit a deer with my car in high school, and I was fairly traumatized. A kind soul saw me hit it, and stopped and dragged it to the side of the road while I sat in my car and took deep breaths so I could calm down enough to drive again. My deer died quickly, though. I watched it breathe its last as I ran across the road to check on it. I called the police, they came to pick it up, and told me that since my deer was pretty intact (no entrails on the hood--oh thank goodness) they sometimes donate such animals to humane shelters for meat.

All in all, it was guite traumatizing.I don't know how I would have handled it if I'd had my kids in the car.

Catherine M. said...

I would have cried for the deer and not been able to drive. That means we'd pull over. (Yes, I'd be driving because matt goes 10 under the limit at all times)

Matt would have tried to skin and preserve the deer

Grace would have pet the deer and tried to draw it then try to offer it a funeral

Lille would have stood 25 feet away and asked if it could move

Maxwell would have stood speechless and still

Sabina would have barked.

I think if you'd seen the poor thing you'd not have felt giddy... or I hope.

Mary Elizabeth Liberty said...

SArah, that was me that stepped on that gerbil. But you can claim it if you want and I'll keep quiet. (delete this comment if so)

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. Did you or did you not hit a deer?

Hollywood said...

That depends. If you are going to hate me forever because I hit a deer and didn't shed a tear then no, I didn't hit a deer. If, however, you can understand the subtle joys of surviving a deer encounter intact while driving 65 mph on a dark highway, then yes, I hit a deer. And I hit it guuud.

mumo3 said...

Crazy! We've come close, in fact one very early morning driving kids to ski race we were bombarded by half a dozen small dear, two bouncing off our honda odyssey. Surreal. After bouncing off my van, they all bounded off into bush.
They are crazy beasts, man!

The Wiz said...

Scary. Glad everyone is OK. That'll teach you to drive at 5 a.m. So not an hour to be awake!!

I can't believe you drove all the way to LA with your car duct taped.

And please, do not tell me about gerbil's eyes popping out. I',m going to have nightmares tonight.

Anonymous said...

I remember my first year at girls camp, on the way up there a deer jumped right in front of our car. It was awesome.

AOBrien said...

I thought flat hair was against the rules in Utah. I mean isn't there some secret rule that your hair must be at least teased up one foot to enter the state borders?

Shiloh said...

Once driving home through a back desert in Utah I hit a rabbit. I felt SO terrible. My siblings in the car however thought it was great. They thought it was especially great because it was Easter. While I tried not to feel bad they reminded me over and over again that I'd just killed the Easter bunny.
p.s. aobrien- you obviously haven't been to Utah since 1989!

Jill said...

Congratulations for surviving the deer hit. Glad you are O.K. I have heard of people being seriously injured when colliding into large animals.
Perhaps the deer was depressed, and had a death wish. Maybe it was drunk. I can think of many possibilities that you did not explore.
My brother was actually hit BY a deer once. He was just driving along in the mountains, minding his own business and this deer jumps out of nowhere and slams into the side of his truck, then runs away. There was a huge dent right behind the driver's side door. His insurance company didn't want to pay for the damages because they said he was at fault. He sais "Yea, I drove my truck SIDEWAYS into the deer."
I also once heard of a lady whose husband was away deer hunting for the weekend. She was driving somewhere, and hit and killed a deer. She immediately went and got a deer hunting license and went back, got the deer and brought it home. (MMMMMMM roadkill) Funny part was that her husband did not get a deer.
You should have taken photos.
Jill

The Wife said...

I can so relate. I've never hit a deer, but the Utah climate terrifies me on a daily basis. I don't usually think about animals while driving; I'm too busy scanning the traffic for ladders. I'm convinced that if I end up behind a truck carrying a ladder, it will find its way through my windshield and into my face. I can now add falling cows and double-crossing deer to my list of concerns.

bill said...

sarah, i too thought it was mary who stepped on the gerbil.

mary and i are a team. she and i tagged a dear in canyonlands national park once -- IN UTAH. we had that brown fur in the hinge of the breakaway mirror of, you guessed it, our TOYOTA.

Spike said...

geez, babe, i would've taken you hunting if you had asked. no need to do $5,000 worth of damage to the car to fulfill your primal instincts.

Anonymous said...

I once assisted a river raft guide as we rescued a baby deer from it's perch on a rock in the middle of the rushing water. My rescue cancels out your killing. Hope the dead deer wasn't a baby trying to catch up to its mom.

Anonymous said...

no, the killing doesn't cancel out the rescue. if it was a few years ago, that deer you rescued probably has spawned hundreds of deer by now. so no need to feel guilty, hollywood.

Marie said...

I moved to New Mexico and am still getting the nosebleeds, but I'm loving the flat hair.

Anonymous said...

"no, the killing doesn't cancel out the rescue. if it was a few years ago, that deer you rescued probably has spawned hundreds of deer by now. so no need to feel guilty, hollywood."

That's what I meant. Kinda like Joey going vegetarian while Phoebe was craving meat while pregnant. Balances it out. I was just kidding about the baby deer looking for its mom. It wouldn't have caused so much damage to the Toyota!

Kelly said...

Well at least your car wasn't so brand new that it didn't even have it's license plates yet! My deer was killed instantly. Broke it's fuzzy neck. And man, I scared the crap outta it! Deer poop all across the driver's door.

Anyway, deer are vermin. They are stupid. Where I live they are destructive and cause more accidents then people do.

Angela said...

bummer about the deer and the car damage. but at least you started driving early and weren't stuck in the car for over SEVEN hours trying to make it home from vegas. and your kids were sleeping too? AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

and your about to fail again.

s'mee said...

Oh Dear!

I am famous in our family for seeing dead cows. Twice in the fields off the I-15 in Utah, just legs to the sky bloated carcases with friends of said cow wondering how long it would take before Farmer John noticed. Another time on the 46W to Paso Robles in CA, we saw a cow fall down a cliff and get stuck in a fence. She's still there, although she has lost weight and is more difficult to spot nowadays.

Don't get me started on my encounters with birds vs vehicles.

Glad to hear all are well. Well, all humans are well.

amanda said...

Just be glad that it wasn't an elk. Seriously, those things are twice as deadly as deer. Never a fun experience though.

As for NaBloPoMo, why don't they put it in a month that doesn't have a holiday in it? Geesh. Who wants to post on vacation? That's just cruel.

Anonymous said...

You failed again:( you better not do it again! Or ELSE!

Hollywood said...

Don't you worry. I've been working on a post all morning. It'll be up soon! I don't want to know what kind of terrible tortures you'll submit me to if I don't post today.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. First the iron maiden. then for christmas, i will take all your presents(just yours, no one elses) and leave you a banana peel! MUah hahahah!!!

Special K said...

Ok. This totally explains why I saw a deer blowing bubbles out it's butt.
Thanks.