Thursday, September 14, 2006

Brian's Driving Adventures #1 - Deer God.

What's Playing in my Head: "Dangerous", by Roxette

Quote of the Day: "I feel like George Bush can bring about the Biblical Apocalype. I don't mean the 'Road Warrior, there's no gas apocalype,' or the 'Jerry Bruckheimer, the weather's going crazy apocalypse.' I mean the 'Revelation of St. John, demons coming out of the ocean, seven headed beast, all that stuff.' Because, here's the thing, I don't think Bush wants to be President, I think he wants to be The Last President!" - Patton Oswalt

Driving in Northern Virginia is an adventure, in the same sense that swallowing shards of broken glass can be considered adventurous, or maybe walking around Anacostia at midnight with white skin on. Fun! Wacky!

I discovered this once again, of course, last week when I almost got hit four - count 'em - FOUR times in a single day. The first two times, I'm sitting there on my way to get my car serviced at 9 in the morning, and I get cut off. Twice in a row. On the same road. Then, just as I get my car out of the service station, I pull out and blam, this car rockets through the stop sign and right past me.

The fourth time was the absolute worst, and you knew it had to be. So I'm driving down this windy road near my old elementary school, going downhill between two small ridges on either side of the road. When what appears but a flash before my eyes, coming from two o'clock high and five feet up on the right, darting across the road and narrowly missing a explosive and bloody collision. Anyone who has lived in the Northern Virginia region for longer than five minutes knows what it was. Say it with me...

Fucking goddamned deer.

That's right. Thank you.

I've been lucky enough over the years to have avoided plowing into one of these furbags on the way home at night. Which is quite remarkable, given that I currently live in the middle of deer alley (where all the deer of Washington hang out, drink bourbon and listen to deer jazz, ostensibly) and spend a lot of time driving on back roads in Central Virginia.

My parents, on the other hand, have both had run-ins with deer over the years - three, in fact - causing a bunch of damage to their cars. My mom even has had to jam on the brakes and come to a complete stop while a dumb-as-a-bag-of-rocks buck stood motionless on the yellow line. Even nudging the thing with her bumper didn't help move it, or so the story goes.

Now deer in the Cowtown region are plentiful, as they are in NoVA. I do not contest this fact in the least. Hell, there are even bears that occasionally decide to take afternoon strolls through downtown CT. But you do not have the type of psychotic, lunatic deer that we do up here. Simply no way possible.

Deer in Central Virginia are like characters from out of Bambi, frolicking in meadows, gently chewing on grass in your backyard, occasionally finding themselves on the wrong end of a semi headed to Waynesboro. "Aww, look at the cute little deer family...So precious..." Aww.

Deer in Northern Virginia are like the squirrels from that GEICO commercial where they jump into the road, make the car swerve and crash, and then do the jive hand-slapping thing in celebration of another sweet, sadistic victory. They are dumb as rocks, but what makes them even worse is the fact that in the dark recesses of their pea-sized brains, NoVA deer are fully aware that they are out to get you. They will hang out by the sides of roads in the dead of night, inches away from getting crushed. They will dart in front of cars heading 60 miles an hour just for the sheer thrill of playing in traffic. They will ensure that every leaf of your $500 gardening project is turned into fine, fine deer chow. Guaranteed.

Whistles do not faze these creatures of evil. Nor do deer scents, bars of soap, honking horns, or just screaming at them. They're like Dracula with a stopped-up nose and sunscreen: they're invincible.

If there's one thing that gives me comfort, it's Ron White's approach to deer. Which can be quoted thusly:


My cousin Ray on the other hand thinks that killin' a deer with a deer rifle is like magic in the forest. And now, I would like to do for you now my impression of my cousin Ray after the big kill.

CR: "Hell, it was four in the mornin', 22 degrees outside. 'Course, you weren't there. Pussy. I'm in a camouflaged deer blind. I've got grease paint on my face and deer urine on my boots. I'm not sure why." - I made that part up - "I've got a 30-06 with a laser scope. This baby will fire a bullet 2200 feet per second. When that deer looked up to lick the salt sucker I hunged from the danged ol' tree...caught him right above the eye."

RW: "Yeah, well, I hit one with a van goin' fifty-five miles an hour with the headlights on and the horn a-blowin'!"


There have been controversies in the DC area (mostly Montgomery County) over the years about allowing bow hunting to thin the psychotic, demon deer population in the region, which is getting just about as bad as it can without every house in suburbia turning to venison for breakfast. Me, I think they should just make it easy on us all and give us all Hummer H2s.

One Hummer per house, one weekend a year. The thought of whipping around Breakneck Mill Road in Reston at 2 am popping deer left and right with the titanium grill of my sweet H2 is enough to bring a small tear to my eye. It'd just be me doing my part to control the wild animal population, the only responsible thing to do, really.



At September 14, 2006 11:56 AM, Anonymous Mediocre Fred said...

I see that you feel about deer essentially the same way I feel about Canada geese. (I keep meaning to write a post about my hostile relations with said geese, but I can't find the time, it seems.)

Also, in the unlikely event that I am ever asked to name a road, I promise to name it "Breakneck Mill Road." It's my favorite place name ever since I discovered there is a park in Western Maryland named "Devil's Backbone." Really.

At September 14, 2006 12:08 PM, Blogger B.C. said...

When (not if) you are elected Mayor of Reston, I hope that you'll keep BNMR in mind.

Canada geese have, to this point, left me alone by and large. Although a car in front of me did nearly run into one crossing the road in Charlottesville the other day.

Haven't run into any bears. Yet.


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