On my way to school last Tuesday for a group of meetings that I couldn't miss, I hit my 8th animal since starting this particular commute.
That's right. Eight. In two and a half years. A senior colleague told me that in 20 years of driving the same drive, he hasn't hit anything. About a decade ago I commuted to a different location, but yet from here, and for two years I never hit a damned thing. Clearly, I've been cursed in the intervening years. I'm starting to rack up such large numbers that I think I have to make a Roadkill Life-List just so I don't forget them all. This would be bad because when I get to the Pearly Gates and have to have to account for all of my evil deeds, if I can't even remember that 589th chipmunk that I will inevitably hit on my way home from my last day of commuting when I retire in 25 years, I'll be fucked for the next karmic cycle. (How's that for mixin' up the religious myths?)
So, here's the list (roughly in order...)
1. Exploding Robin, August 2005
2. Suicidal Chipmunk, September 2005.
3. Mysterious Ratlike Critter, February 2006 (It was either a large rat or a small possum, but it was cold and snowy and nightime, so I didn't stop to investigate.)
4. Another Suicidal Chipmunk, March 2006.
5. The Deer,November 2006
6. Ziggy the Squirrell, April 2007 (It dodged back and forth and back and forth while I tried to brake, but then ultimately made the wrong decision -- he Zigged when he should have Zagged.)
7. Yet Another Suicidal Chipmunk, May 2007
8. Speedy the Squirrel, November 2007 (This sucker was so fast, I just saw a flash in my peripheral vision and then felt the thump.)
For the first 7, I was completely upset when it happened. I cried. I said a little prayer/mantra/blessing to the Big Wow asking he/she/it to look out for the soul of the little thing that I had just so totally obliterated. (Well, except for the Deer -- for that one I was just so freaked out I think I forgot to thank the universe for the sacrifice of that animal to Petroleum, God of the Commute and to Tenure, Goddess of the Academic Career.) But, by #7 I confess I was becoming a little cynical and perhaps instead of making up my own little prayer I just repeated a great line from Buffy that Willow said when she made an animal sacrifice in order to bring Buffy back from the dead. (What? It could happen.) "May You Find Wings to the Kingdom." It sounded vaguely religious and thankful but yet nonspecfically churchy. But for this last one, though, I swear, I laughed out loud. The damned thing just ran right under my wheels so quickly I didn't even have time to stop. I was driving along, minding my own business, keeping my eyes on the road, and then flash, whump, no more critter. Maybe I'm like Dr. Kevorkian for small furry things. They go all terminal and decide it's their time, and so wait for me to come along and put them out of their misery. Anyway, on Tuesday this squirrell dove under my tires before I even knew what happened. OF COURSE in the only 2 days this whole semester that I drove up to campus, I hit a critter. Statistically, I can see how you might hit a few animals in say, 45 days of commuting per semester. But, shit, I went TWICE and hit something. What the fuck is up?
I've decided now that maybe I'm attracting the roadkill in some way, so I'm going to shift my thinking about it. I've adopted a whole new attitude about this whole thing. From now on, I'm going to be seeking out animals to hit. That's right, little rodents, you better watch out, because here I come -- Stewgad and her Flaming Subaru of Death want YOU. And, just to sweeten the deal, I've made up a bingo card. Perhaps the emu, platypus, pterodactyl and moose are a bit of a stretch, but I'm really holding out hope that I'll bag that flying monkey. So, little mammals, consider yourselves warned. I'm comin' for ya.
- At 9:13 PM Overread said...
You are, quite simply, hilarious. And if you hit that pterodactyl and survive, I think you win everything.
The catchpa actually looks like the sound of you hitting a squirrel: "jfwhmmp"
- At 7:24 AM landsnark said...
Stewgad, you clearly put some effort into making this bingo card a challenge. I want to point out your attention to detail in case other readers do not notice: if the emu, moose, flamingo, platypus and pterodactyl are considered rare for purposes of the game, their distribution on the card makes every row, column and diagonal contain at least one but not more than two rare animals.
I don't count the flying monkey as rare. Around here you see them dead on the road all the time. I think they try to eat the roadkilled possums and it totally makes them a target.
I do note with some chagrin, though, that you have listed only charismatic megafauna in your list. Where are the efts, the dung beetles, the slime molds? You only have three non-mammals in the whole board. Classist.
- At 3:10 PM Mimi said...
Yowza. That IS a lot of roadkill. I've only hit two squirrels in my life. The second one with Munchkin in the car, and me commencing to sing so she wouldn't be wondering what that big thump was.
- At 3:45 PM J. said...
Your post reminded me of one of my all-time favorite Onion headlines:
Squirrel Remembered as Frantic, Indecisive
- At 6:06 PM Unbalanced Reaction said...
I used to drive 12 hours across some southern states to get home on college holidays, and I would play the Roadkill Word Game (you didn't have to actually hit the roadkill, just ID it from its splayed out remains). You have a lot of vowels to work with, what with all the armadillos and o/possums that you see.
Gross, yes, but this was before iPods!
- At 9:34 PM Scrivener said...
I laughed all the way through this post. You are one of the best comedic writers in the whole of the blogosphere so far as I am concerned.
- At 7:28 AM Anonymous said...
There are rumours that bingo is being banned in the US, is that true?
In the UK, bingo has suffered in recent months due to the ban on smoking in public places, causing smoking customers to either go outside for a cig and face the harsh cold (not a good move for the aged) or stay at home and not play, thus reducing the Bingo Cash prizes and the money for charity. But banning bingo completely is ridiculous! It is a very mind form of gambling at the most! If you’re going to ban bingo then the lottery has to go too surely? Isn’t that gambling?
Bingo is a number game, based on pure luck, so really it’s not even similar to other gambling games such as poker and sports betting. It’s just like buying a lottery ticket just you have to get more numbers! So then why is it such a problem? Its just takes away the older generations entertainment while the younger generations indulge in perfectly “legal” things like DRUGS! Can they not see which the bigger problem is?
- At 5:22 PM Dissmania said...
You are freakin' hilarious! Your blog is definitely a bright spot for me :) I hit a squirrel--my first roadkill every--a couple of years ago and nearly had to pull over b/c I was so upset. You must attract the suicidal critters, for sure. I love your bingo game!
- At 10:20 AM Nicole said...
New around here, glad to have found your blog. I say that others with whom you work hit as much roadkill, but they are heartless bastards who do not mourn as you do. I bet they just don't notice.
Now you can spend all day feeling sanctimonious about your roadkill guilt. Isn't that a relief?
Ha! the verification word is "fhufawn" The baby dear is coming after you for killing its mother.
- At 3:28 PM mom said...
Mork calling Stewgad, come in stewgad.
You okay out there?
Did the roadkill relatives lashout and eat you?
- At 4:57 AM JJ said...
I play bingo a lot and I have found I have to ask for numbers to be repeated often, I thought I just had a bad memory but its apparently because I’m dyslexic and my mind struggles to take in what I have heard! But apparently this in not a rare problem as this is a mild symptom of dyslexia and a lot of people have it! I find it easier using a Bingo Game Online. Anybody else have this problem?
- At 7:02 AM bingo said...
lol. eight animals in eight years! thats unbelievable. I have been driving 10 yrs and never hit anything. are you sure you dont subconciously swerve for them
- At 11:37 AM Anonymous said...
I generally tend to get my bingo news from another blog, but I found your's very interesting indeed.
- At 5:55 AM Anonymous said...
Lol. Roadkill bingo! cant see a badger on any of those pictures, my girlfriends dad hit one a few months ago and it cost him a few hundred pounds and a month without a car. I read that as soon as they see the cars lights they stand there ground.