It’s rutting season; that time of year when male white tail deer go absolutely nuts with desire and the need to propagate. In order to impress the coy females, they’ll display all sorts of bizarre behavior like locking horns with other bucks, rolling around in the dirt or throwing caution to the wind by playing a game of sex-crazed chicken with motor vehicles on the roadways. I’ve driven a lot of miles over the years and have been extremely lucky to have never collided with one of these animals. Oh, wait..there was that one incident along I-90 on our way to Mitchell in 1985.
Linda and I hadn’t been married for very long and there were still some things about me she hadn’t quite figured out yet..like my sense of humor. The evening didn’t start out to be funny as somewhere around Alexandria, I caught a glimpse of a deer running across the median right at us. The next thing we heard was a clunk toward the rear of our 1983 Lincoln. (Yup, our Lincoln legacy goes way back.) After I pulled over to see the results of this confrontation, I told Linda not to look until we got to Mitchell but the deer’s severed head was hanging from the bumper. She reacted just as I’d imagined; with a shriek..then concern about the poor animal..then about damage to the car. When we got to town and stopped I held her hand as we nervously stepped around back to survey the disaster. What she saw was…nothing.. no damage…no carcass..just me trying to hold back a giggle. So it was with a combination of relief and anger that she turned and gave me one of those sharp knuckle slugs to my upper arm that doesn’t seem like much more than a love tap at the time but hurts like hell and pops up as a purple circle on the skin next morning. I guess I had it coming. I don’t know what really happened. It sounded like the deer hit the car’s side pretty hard but there wasn’t any evidence other than a smudge by the back door where he’d rubbed a little dirt off with his furry pelt.
Our friends, Denny and Joanie weren’t so lucky over the weekend. They were headed home from the golf course in Brandon just after dark when they came upon a big horny (in more ways than one) stag standing in the middle of the road. The next thing they heard was a crash and the noise of an erupting air bag. They hit so hard that the animal went flying across their lane and into the windshield of an oncoming pick-up truck… finally coming to rest in the passenger’s laps.
Luckily, our friends weren’t hurt other than the pain of losing their car and causing the demise of that love-starved buck whose attempts to impress a finicky doe caused him to make a foolish and fatal decision.
I guess, though, when you think about it, men aren’t all that different from rutting animals. We may not stand in traffic to get a woman’s attention but we’re not above doing other stupid things in the hopes of being invited into their boudoir..like playing practical jokes.
I’m feeling a little pain in my bicep just thinking about it.