Sunday 5 October 2014

Me vs. The Deer (aka Road Lemmings)

The deer in the town where we now live are, to understate the issue, a problem. They are also a topic of incredible debate around town.  If you ask a question or state an opinion about their overbearing, and un-deer-like presence in the Dairy Queen parking lot, prepare to lose some time you can’t get back. 

As far as I’ve seen, there are two main camps that like to weigh in on the deer issue: Cull The Fuckers, and Don’t Harm A Precious Hair On Their Magical Little Heads. I’m firmly in the former. Please allow me to explain why, as I’m not normally a ‘level the population’ kind of girl.

Most people have seen Bambi. Isn’t he cute being all awkward and fuzzy.  Awwww.  Trust me, I get the thrilling oooooh, pretty, it’s a deer! mentality, and I’m the first to admit that when we first moved up here I was stunned at how ballsy they were, and how MANY there were. I’ll even own that it was pretty cool to see them prancing around our driveway, and lounging in the front yard. Yes, they were munching on the trees and shrubbery, but hey, I’m a city girl and having deer in my yard is a novelty.

For about 2 weeks.

At that point, the prancing became hate-bouncing, and cute little Bambi became one more roadway projectile I had to navigate around. Or not. Your call, depending on your feelings about the deer population, and the strength of the bush bars on your vehicle.

I realize this sounds harsh, but I’ve seen a suicidally stupid deer very nearly cause a 4 car pile-up and get himself road salsa’d in the process. This wasn’t fun for the driver of the truck (I stopped to check), and likely wasn’t a great day for the deer either, although I can’t confirm as he couldn’t be reached for comment.  
Personally I’ve had more than my fair share of near deer misses as well, and I can imagine it’s only a matter of time before I end one. Sadly I don’t have bush bars.  Basically, I feel like I’m running a deer version of the gladiator gauntlet every time I head down to pick up milk.

The problem is that the deer, or as I prefer, Road Lemmings, are dumb as shit. They are at best a genuine safety hazard, and at worst maniacal psychopaths bent on taking out the humans through kamikaze missions and the depletion of our personal crops. And by crops I mean vegetable gardens, but still, it’s really annoying.

On more than one occasion I’ve seen them wait at the side of the road for a car to come and then run into it. Not, Oops I didn’t make it across fast enough, but Wait for it, here it comes, NOW! To me this is something of a metaphorical cliff, and they are the lemmings jumping off of it, or into it, as the case may be. I’ve even seen them bring 4 lanes of traffic to a dead stop while they meander across the road, and once the lane they’ve crossed starts moving again, the deer will reverse course and leap back into the cars that, previously unmoving, had started rolling ahead again. It’s insane.  

These deer are also fearless assholes. Again Bambi-huggers would disagree with me, but they are mean, yet chillingly docile-looking monsters.  If I see them on my driveway, I honk in hopes that I will remind them to show some deference to my giant land-beast of a van. Nope. I’m lucky if I get a derisive look shot my way.  If they had fingers, I’m convinced they would flip me off. They don’t, but I can tell they’re thinking it.

There have also been numerous reports around town that people and pets have been attacked by these seemingly harmless herbivores, and I can’t imagine that being deer-punched in the chest is much fun. I was even told at my office not to go outside if you saw the resident deer and her offspring out and about, and if I did make the ill informed decision to venture out, I should leave the door open so I could make a mad dash for safety should she show up. These are DEER. That’s just fucked up!

Out here in my new rural reality, I live in constant (and probably somewhat overblown) fear of cougars, I wouldn’t want to meet a grizzly bear on a hike, and there is always the silent killer – ticks. Basically, there are plenty of things that an anxiety-ridden person can be concerned about. But deer? Are you kidding me? Of all the animals out there that I shouldn’t have to worry about, Bambi ranks pretty high. But he shouldn’t. Because he’s an asshole.

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