Eating Crow



In keeping with our family’s long-standing belief that “everything’s a competition,” I like to tout the title of best driver. I’m the fastest (though I prefer the term efficient). And I log many more miles than Martin and still, maintain an untarnished record.

Sure, I’ve amassed some speed camera tickets. And yes, I’ve been pulled over 7 times in 5 years, compared to Martin’s twice.  But he’s the one with the tickets and points. My record? Squeaky clean.

In the words of Charlie Sheen… Winning!!



But it’s hard to claim you’re winning when your car looks like this:



Behold, Pigpen.

Last Wednesday morning, whilst driving at the posted speed limit, one of our many up-county deer leapt from the thicket and attacked Pigpen. I spied the fleet beast a millisecond before — WHAM — we’d been broadsided.

The whole episode was bizarre, in part due to the road raging, knife-wielding driver also involved in the scene.

Here’s what happened: the buck jumped out and mangled Pigpen, then bounced into the opposing lane and hit another car. Then he lit off into the brush. It took about two seconds.

As I climbed out my window — the door too dented to open — the other driver emerged from her car, leaving her door agape. When a third driver in an unscathed vehicle muttered something as he squeezed by, the woman unleashed a volley of F-bombs at the passing car. F-you!! You F-ing F-er!! she screamed repeatedly. Finally, she grabbed a fistful of gravel and hurled it at the departing car. “I’m getting my knife,” she said, rooting through her backseat.

I just stood there, dazed. A knife? I wondered. Wasn’t the gravel enough?

But the knife wasn’t for the passing guy.

“Will you help me track down the deer?” she asked. “I want to slit its throat. I hate to see deer suffer.”

I sized up Pigpen’s injuries: well, the wheels are still attached….

“I gotta go,” I said, climbing awkwardly through the driver side window. (The Dukes of Hazzard made it look so easy.)

I called Martin on the way home. He expressed concern and sympathy, and met me at the auto shop. And afterward, he didn’t say anything, I just knew.

My “best driver” title was in jeopardy. That buck was the third deer I’ve hit in recent years.

And Postscript: while driving the kids’ friends home a few evenings later — as Hadley regaled them with my recent deer accident — at that very moment, I hit ANOTHER deer! That’s two deer in three days. (Flash was unscathed. The doe couldn’t say the same.)

So I can rail about the burgeoning deer population and the fact that I drive night and day, while Martin rarely averages a few miles. But there’s no denying: I’ve mangled more cars and it’s time to eat crow. Serve it up.

But perhaps it’s also time to consider deer prevention options. Apparently, those car-mounted, deer-repelling whistles are useless. So maybe an Aussie roo bar is the way to go…