January 02, 2008


Carren Z wrote that she hit a deer yesterday. Luckily no one was hurt, and she didn't mention massive damage to her car, so that is good news too. I started writing in the comments section about my experience with hitting a deer, but the story is just too much for a comments section.

Last night the husband and I were trying to decide what cheesy little story we'd tell Alex Trebek if we were on Jeopardy. My husband wants to use the time they found the dead insurgent's body they were looking for when his cell phone went off. We laughed that he'd freak the bejesus out of the Canadian ponce. But today, after I read Carren's post, I told my husband that my Jeopardy story would have to involve the deer.

It's Halloween 1997, and I call my boyfriend at his college in Iowa to break up with him. He is stunned that I would break up with him over the phone and insists that I drive up to see him and talk it out in person. Nevermind that it's 11 PM; apparently I feel guilty enough about breaking up to think this is a rational idea. And it's Friday, so I suppose I could go.

I set out for the three-hour drive to his school. I am exhausted already when I start driving in the rain, so I stop and buy a soda and a bag of Sun Chips. There is no one on the road so late at night, so I'm cruising along. And this was before I became a fuddy-duddy who never speeds; I was flying.

All of a sudden out of the corner of my left eye, I see a unicorn. No, for real, that's what it looked like. The lights of my car reflecting off the deer made him look white. And the split second I see him, I crush into him. I didn't even have time to react: all of a sudden the car comes to a nasty halt, and Sun Chips go flying everywhere.

I get out and look around, but it's so dark that I can't even see the deer. I start screaming incoherently at the deer, something about how he better be dead because if I find him, I'll kill him. The car looks like hell, but it still works and I pull in to a gas station at the next exit. I asked some rednecks in the store, with hope in my voice, if I can still drive the car. They look at me like I'm insane and say that it will blow up if I keep going. And then they take off to go find the deer carcass.

I have to call the police, who show up and yell at me for leaving the scene of the accident. I explained to them that the deer was already gone and that -- this being the era before cell phones -- how on earth was I supposed to call in the accident if I was still sitting back at the side of the road?

And then I had to call my parents.
Oh lord.

This was also the era before Mr. T pitied the fool who didn't use 1-800-COLLECT. I just made a regular old collect call to wake my parents up and tell them that I was stuck somewhere in podunk Iowa with the totalled car that they'd paid for. Then I called the ex-boyfriend and told him, through my teeth, that now he had to find a way to come get me.

You know how girls love that Alanis Morissette song, how they get righteously angry over break-ups because of "You Oughta Know"? Yeah, well, that song came on the radio as I was riding in the car in silence, in the middle of the night, through Iowa with the boyfriend I had just dumped over the phone. That's his break up song for me.

And then I spent my weekend imitating Huis Clos: I was stuck in a dorm room with no car with the boyfriend I had just dumped.

It was agony.

I also was a moron and didn't know anyone's phone number from my college. I remembered one person's number who lived down the hall from me, and called him. He wasn't home, and in tears I begged his roommate to go find one of my friends to call me back, someone who would come save me from the weekend from hell.

Incidentally, that is why I immediately bought a Casio Databank Watch, so I would always have people's phone numbers handy the next time I am trapped in a dorm room in Iowa with an angry ex.

There are no buses out of this town in Iowa. There are no trains. There was no way to get home except to bribe someone to drive up and get me.

Meanwhile, I'm still breaking up with the boyfriend, who does not at all want to be broken up with and sees this weekend as his chance to talk me out of it.

Yeah, Huis Clos.

Damage to the car: $4500
That five minute collect call to my parents: $80

And the priceless part about the story is that, a week before the deer incident, I got my fishing license violation. My friends all decided that I was a menace to the environment. I would come home every other day to find cartoon drawings of dead deer and articles about the mating season taped to my dorm door. And of course when a Pennsylvania man made the news a month or two later for beating a deer to death with his bare hands...well, I never lived that down.

Having a story to tell Alex Trebek: priceless

Posted by: Sarah at 09:36 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 You win! Your deer story is much better than mine.

Posted by: R1 at January 02, 2008 04:10 PM (y1Xat)

2 Wow, this story is even better than my "spending the night, quite literally, on the streets of London" story! . I especially liked the Mr. T pity the fool reference. I'm still cracking up about that!

Posted by: Kate at January 03, 2008 08:53 AM (FmdP4)

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