I’m not sure why animals seem to be most interested in crossing the road when cars are attempting to occupy the same spot.
Science tells us that two pieces of matter cannot occupy the same space and that any attempt to share said space can lead to disastrous consequences–hence the existence of such things as car insurance. But, sometimes nature and timing allow just such an experiment when a car and an animal collide.
Anybody can hit a deer (and I have), a possum (yes, yes I have), or a rabbit (of course I have), but I’ve taken it to the next level. It’s amazing that so many of God’s creatures have entered the path of my travels over the years, but it makes for good writing, so I’ll stop looking a gift horse in the mouth (no, I’ve never hit a horse).
One morning, at zero-dark-thirty, I was driving to work and I hit an owl. Who hits an owl? It could have been delivering a message to Hogwarts, or heading to its office to see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Instead, it was bouncing off my windshield.
We’ve all seen buzzards making a meal out of whatever tried to cross the road and didn’t quite make it. As a vehicle approaches, one of them yells, “Car!” and they scatter only to return after the car, or truck, or motorcycle, or whatever, has passed.
I was headed down Courthouse Road and spied a couple of nature’s cleanup crew enjoying some carrion. As I got closer, two of the three birds took flight, while one remained stubbornly at his work. I remember thinking, it’s going to move; it’s bound to move. As I was finishing that thought…THUD…it did not, in fact, move. Now the asphalt table was set with both an appetizer and a main course.
One evening, I was headed home from Louisa County Middle School and I had my arm out the window. A few bugs were caught in the glow of my headlights as spring was in full swing and the flying insects were out at night. In a fraction of a second, I saw a bat in my headlights, processed the thought that bats eat bugs, and then felt the THWACK against the knuckles of my hand. Yep, I punched out a bat at 55 miles-per-hour. The last thing to go through that bat’s mind was its tail. No blood was drawn, so I’m not rabid or feuding with a pack of muscle-headed werewolves.
One day, I was headed to visit my parents and a skunk ran out in front of me. I swerved, but he decided to juke the same way, at the same time, and that little rodent was just another roadkill statistic…but, the smell that invaded my Jeep was like nothing I had ever smelled in life. It’s a hundred times worse than driving by a spot where a skunk was killed. It’s like Pepe LePew has taken you in his arms and then handcuffed you to himself with something he got from Christian Grey.
I was just yards from my parents’ driveway and my dad still talks about looking out the window and seeing things flying out of the tailgate as I tried to empty my vehicle while cursing Noah for ever bringing a pair of skunks on his boat. Dad decided he’d power wash the undercarriage to try and get rid of the smell (I’ll save you some time, if you ever hit a skunk and decide to power wash the undercarriage of your car to fight the smell, don’t do it because it doesn’t work). Eventually, (months later) the smell faded, but that was in November…when the weather warmed up, I was again reminded of the skunk, like the little black and white bugger’s ghost was haunting me. Worst…smell…ever.
As I pilot the Chuck Wagon, I’ll try to avoid any road hazards presented by Mother Nature. Obviously, I can’t guarantee I won’t hit anything, but it’ll make for a good story if I do. Thanks for riding shotgun!
Submitted by Chuck Moss