Tuesday, June 02, 2009

California Girl Encounters Tennessee Wildlife

DD has moved to Nashville. She is encountering as new and strange the sorts of things I took for granted growing up in the Midwest.

Her latest email to me was so LOL funny, I just have to share it. With her permission, I present it here in its entirety:

"I didn't get to tell you about the wildlife out here. This is like the roadkill capital of the world!

"The first time I ever experienced a traffic jam near our house, when we finally got to the scene of the "accident" and saw that the slow was caused by a very large buck that was right in the middle of the road. I don't know how some idiot managed to hit something so big. It's like running into a parked car.

"Since then I've noted a carcass every 50 feet or so on every major highway.

"Now, in Nashville, the drivers here are rather obnoxious with regard to speed. The rule of thumb is generally 5-10 miles BELOW the speed limit. There's a cop pulling someone over for speeding, every few miles or so, and that's for people who go 1-2 miles over the limit. So I was ├╝ber stumped as to how these slow pokes manage to hit so many animals.

"Then I had a few experiences of my own and I've found that the animals here tend to be a little red-neck themselves. For example...

"One morning I had a chipmunk run in front of the car, then a squirrel then a cat, all that I barely missed. Shortly after that, a large turtle was sitting in the middle of the road and it took two people to move it. It turned out to be a snapping turtle and it looks like someone had already hit it with the car because its shoulder was smashed and bleeding. We got it to the side of the road but, while moving it, it peed on us. It was some really bad stank in the car after that.

"One night I saw a cat in my lane so I moved to the next lane to avoid it. It looked up at me and then jumped right in front of the car as I drove past. I didn't hear any bump. I stopped and was freaking out. So someone got out and looked and told me nothing was hit. I guess it went right under the car.

"The next day there was a dog running along side of the car. I got this premonition/vision of it jumping in front of the car so I slowed down to about 15 mph. It then walked in front of the car and sat there. I stopped and it looked at me with this silly-ass grin and its tongue hanging out and then it ran off.

"A few nights ago there was an opossum in the road. I stopped for it and it stared at me for a few seconds. Then it turned around and went running down the road in front of the car - not getting out of the way but just running along like I'm supposed to follow it. It was friggin' hilarious and we were all laughing so hard watching it waddle that I could barely drive. It finally jumped in a bush from embarrassment.

"Yesterday morning a chicken crossed the road in front of the car which then inspired about a million-and-one chicken-crossing-the-road jokes.

"Then last night there was an opossum crossing the road and we passed it while it was in the lane next to us, heading toward our lane. I breathed a sigh of relief that it hadn't gotten to my lane as I don't think I would have seen it in time. But then a second later I passed a car going in the opposite direction - oh no! This morning I checked and there was no new road kill so I think it made it.

"This morning I almost hit two vultures that were picking at a carcass. I also avoided hitting a turkey and a pea hen.

"These animals are seriously stupid and just oblivious of human life around here. You'd think they'd evolve into some sort of sentience regarding pavement but... they don't.

"Anyway. Fun times.

"Love ya’."

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