Oh, Deer

Well, that's festive. They should be able to see you coming, now.

Don’t get me wrong: I think deer are very cute. Beautiful and majestic, even, as far as the older, graceful ones are concerned. But if they don’t stop running in front of cars willy nilly, they’re going to find themselves extinct. There’s nothing cute about hunks of deer meat stuck in your broken headlight.

My husband and I have a bad history of hitting deer with our cars. Once, when we lived in New Jersey, my husband hit two deer in a 10-day period. Both times, the deer scampered/limped off into the woods, leaving behind a smashed grill, bent front bumper, dented hood and the second time a smashed windshield. (People hear ‘New Jersey’ and think Good Fellas, Hoboken, fat sandwiches, The Sopranos and the Meadowlands. However, we lived in the mountains of New Jersey and up there we weren’t being overrun with immigrants or wise guys or even good, unhealthy Italian food; we were being overrun by heroin and deer. Our town was on the heroin run from New York into Pennsylvania and west, so in order for all those Midwesterners to get their junk/dope/smack/shot/shit/H, the driver had to get by the ever-attentive cops on Route 10. Also they had to avoid the deer, which was even tougher. I have to say, I would hate to have the job as the driver on the heroin run. So much stress.)

When my son had a job lifeguarding and worked until dusk, I had to pick him up from work by going down a long, lonely road up the mountain. It was so full of deer, that I found myself going about 13 mph, with the radio blasting and the windows down. They heard me coming about as well as they heard the six Deer Whistle Animal Alerts hooked to the front of the car; which is to say not at all.

I can’t for the life of me figure out why deer aren’t endangered. We are forever hitting them with our cars, shooting them on hunting trips, and starving them by covering our bushes with netting. But they just keep living and breeding and multiplying.

I also can’t figure out why they haven’t evolved into a more attentive and instinctive creatures. With survival of the fittest and all that, we’re killing the stupid ones as fast as we can, but we still haven’t weeded out the ones who will go charging through the woods without even a feeling that there might be a road up ahead with cars. They are just too freaking happy-go-lucky. It’s not right.

I thought animals were supposed to have a super-keen sense of smell and other powers. Even domestic dogs know to stop at a road and look both ways. Why haven’t deer developed a sense of ROAD + SOUND OF GASOLINE ENGINE + I’M STANDING ON A YELLOW DOTTED LINE = MY ASS IS TOAST?

My mother-in-law’s friend Shirley once got hit by a deer. “You mean you hit a deer?” she was asked.  “No, I got hit by a deer, she said. She was in her front yard gardening and there were some deer nearby, probably waiting for her to leave so they could eat her plants. A car came down the road, they got startled and ran. Right into Shirley. Now that’s revenge, right there. You can’t tell me that wasn’t planned.

I suppose she had it coming. I suppose we all have it coming (especially the hunters). But if they’re trying to even the score, they should work harder at staying out of our way. Dear Deer, You’re only cute when you’re not stuck to  my car.

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