Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Hitting a Deer at 70 MPH

There’s nothing like hitting a poor deer, standing in the middle of the freeway, at 70 MPH… believe me!
by Charlie Leck

Anne was driving. We were chatting away about the most insignificant things. The cruise control was set on my big Lincoln LS V8 at 70 MPH. We were about 90 minutes from home and anxious to crawl into our lovely TemperPedic bed. Anne had been at a continuing education program and I had tagged along just to be a good husband and to spend time with my lovely, lovely sweetheart. We’d had a good time, but we were ready to be home again.

Fargo wasn’t the most exciting town to visit. I tried my best to find all that was good, beautiful and meaningful in the community, but, as friendly as the place was, I was ready to be home.

We were approaching Alexandria, Minnesota. The speed limit on the Interstate is 70 MPH, so Anne set the cruise control right on that number. Other cars and trucks passed us like we were standing still.

Suddenly, in a moment of extraordinary surprise, a big deer was standing right in front of us, dead-still, looking in through the windshield, and staring us in the eyes. What a beautiful creature! Her eyes were wide and she was as surprised as we. It was, momentarily, one of the most beautiful pictures I’d ever seen.

Wham! Crash! Pow!

Anne didn’t even get to the brakes. At 70 MPH we slammed into the big doe and she flew up on to the hood of our car and then, somehow, thankfully, flew over the top of our car and off toward the shoulder.

We were still at full speed. Anne still hadn’t reached the brake. It happened all that suddenly. gauges on the dashboard went boing-boing, the lights were gone and the engine was sucking wind. When we got the big car stopped and out of danger we could hear it really protesting.

"Shut ‘er down, Newt, cause it’s all over. "

My wonderful car was ruined. I had babied it since the day I bought it. It was one of my favorite automobiles. This sweet thing had 139,000 miles on it and had needed very little special care. It had been a wonderful car and I loved driving it.

Now she was done-for!

One of the subjects about which we were chatting as we drove along was the need to think about a new car. What should we do? It was tough for me to decide. I had enjoyed this car so much. I knew it was time, but it was difficult to let go. I had a crush on this car. It had been wonderful to me and had taken care of me so sweetly.

There’s nothing quite like a deer in headlights. What beauty! What splendid, peaceful acceptance!

This morning, as I was typing this, Anne announced that she’d caught a mouse in her new ZAPRAT electrocution devise.

“Good going,” I called down, “you should’ve been a hunter – mice, deer!”

She didn’t laugh!

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