Jun 15, 2006

Watch for Deer

I really am a city girl at heart and it becomes apparent in my own mind every Wednesday night while driving home from my Mother’s house. You see she lives over the hills and through the woods in the next town over. It’s a 30 minute drive through the country from my small town to her large suburb and consequently a long and very dark ride home past a lot of weeds and cornfields with an occasional farm or silo. I am ever so more comfortable driving through the worst part of the city than these late night journeys through the country side. For starters in the city if your car breaks down and your cell is dead then you can go knock on the door of the house with the most manicured lawn and ask to use their phone, in the country you have to walk on the side of the road, past whatever dead thing is flattened out and festering in the gravel on the shoulder to the nearest homestead were you may have to track down some crabby farmer working in his barn. Worse yet, you can stay with your car were someone will pull over and offer you a ride home claiming they know your neighbors aunt’s second husband and therefore proving they are trustworthy enough to not kill you or molest you or talk to you about Jesus or Gays ruining America the whole way home. Let’s just say I keep my cell phone charged.

Then there’s the deer. Anyone who’s left our house has heard the phrase “Watch for deer” upon their departure, we say it so frequently, it’s a phrase mastered and used often by our two year old. Jamie & her daughter were leaving our house not that long ago and while we stood on the front porch Ella shouted “Thanks for coming and WATCH for DEER!” while they walked the whole one block to their house. Seriously, if you hit one just right it can total your car and then it may have the audacity to lie on the side of the road bleating in pain while you wish you had a gun rack in the back of your minivan for just such occasions. When you see their glowing eyes you just have to slow down as the whole herd is hanging about double-dog-daring each other to run out into the road. I think it’s like an extreme sport for Bambi, I imagine after a particularly close call, the daredevil deer is standing in the next field over laughing and saying to his deer buddies “Damn what a rush! Who’s next? I see more headlights! Wahoo!” This constant scanning in the weeds next to the road makes me a little jumpy. It’s just field and field and field going by and you start to see shadows and sometimes a mailbox has a little reflective tape on it and you’re nerves amp up to high alert waiting to see if the reflection moves. It’s just not as relaxing as driving under pleasant predictable neon glow of street lamp every 100feet.

Then there are all the Stephen King books, camp fire horror stories and urban legends to keep one’s mind busy when driving through a veritable Midwestern desert known as prairie. The legend of the Corn Monster and all those UFO sightings and of course the totally true one about that woman who was raped and murdered and left in a ditch and now her naked ghost hitchhikes on Trask Bridge Rd. wearing only a red scarf around her neck, are all enough to scare the beejesus out of a city girl but if you add a little fog to that and then drive slow and scan, scan, scan for deer you can just poke me in the rib and watch the grey hairs appear before you. Give me a monster I can see over the one’s I can imagine any day. At least I can hand my keys over to a carjacker and report my credit cards stolen later, I don’t even know what the Corn Monster wants other than to claw me to shreds, and drag me screaming into the fields to suck on my eyeballs.

Dan wonders why I have to stay up on Wednesday nights to wind down before I can get to sleep.















Photo from www.billemory.com


9 comments:

TaterTot said...

When driving home late at night and alone, I sometimes picture a ginormous, hockey-masked, machete wielding, madman who desires to impale me with a garden rake and chop me to pieces standing in the middle of the road, blocking my path. Then I do this whole little scenario in my head of how I will try to run him down with my car, but he somehow moves out of the way in time, even though he walks slower than molasses in winter, and I crash into the old oak tree. I begin to run through the corn fields, running faster than I knew I could, when I arrive at an old, abandoned shed next to a well. Suddenly I turn around, and there he is. How did he catch up, walking so zombie-like slow? I begin to throw rocks at his head, but they all bounce off as if he is made of titanium or something. He’s still slowly coming towards me when I see a hatchet, perched neatly in a stump right next to me, as if it was placed there purposely. To save me. The madman is now suddenly standing over me, raising his machete high above his head in order to decapitate me with one swing when I seize the hatchet and using all of the force I can muster I plant it directly into his cold, unfeeling heart. His gaze slowly turns from me, to the hatchet, then back to me when he (slowly of course) grasps the worn wooden handle of my weapon and rocks it back and forth, removing it from his chest without a sound. He now raises both hands, straight up in the air with a swiftness unseen by me until this very moment…one wielding his machete, the other my useless hatchet. There I am, on the ground beneath him hysterically screaming and pleading as his arsenal comes down with fury and…and…oooh look….I’m home now.

Anonymous said...

Oh you girls and your crazy imaginations! And thanks to Ella, we haven't encountered any deer on our one block walk:)

Anonymous said...

Oh you girls and your crazy imaginations! And thanks to Ella, we haven't encountered any deer on our one block walk:)

Jenny said...

Oh - yeah thanks for the imagination fodder - I hadn't even remembered Jason. For Pete's sake Tater Tot!

I am glad to know I'm not the only one who runs insane emergency scenarios through my head on the drive home. phew!

TaterTot said...

Who is Pete anyway, and why are we always doing things for his sake?

No, you're not the only one. I do it all the time. And, I've never even seen a Friday the 13th movie.

punkymom said...

Ok who the heck is the murdered woman Nick and I have no clue about this ghost story. Anonymous do you know about this story, when where and who so forth?

Java Junkie said...

Fog over fields reminds me of the scene in the movie The Children where the school bus drives through a cloud of radioactive fog and the kids become zombies. Just the trailer for that movie scared the bejeezuhs out of me when I was little.

On my last trip home, on the one stretch of road leading to the side road that my mom lives on, we saw a total of 14 deer over the weekend. I know the phraze "watch for deer" all too well.

Anonymous said...

to punkymom--i have know ideas about a murdered woman sorry

Jenny said...

It's a story I was told when I was a kid. I think it was an occurance in the 60s and I don't even know if I have the Roadt right. Let me ask my Dad, maybe he'll remember.