September 3, 2008

Out in the Land of the Big Sky

Warning:  If you are not from central New Jersey, or some other place where huge tribes of deer live in your backyard and eat all of your flowers and birth lots of little fawn babies on your lawn, you may become disgusted by the following...

Here in my little NJ area, we are plagued by deer.  A lot of deer.  Not an "Oh oh!  Look how cute!  A deer in your yard!" amount of deer.  More like a "Maybe we should buy a BB gun and take care of this" amount of deer.

(Animal activists, pipe down - we don't actually shoot them.  Though we want to.  And we have launched ice cubes on occasion.)

This morning, 8 a.m., a little family of four hanging out in the shade right off of our deck

One of the unfortunate results of our deer utopia, is that summer brings a roadkill bonanza that you cannot even imagine.  Truly, its so bad that I don't even look twice when I see carcasses lining the side of the road.  Perhaps that's disturbing to you.  Is it bad that the only thing that crosses my mind is "Another one down, so many more to go"?  

J, who lives in a North Jersey town that is actually populated with more people than wildlife, is continually traumatized when he comes out here and is forced to witness the result of a hopeless battle between technology and Mother Nature - i.e. Car vs. Deer.  

One of the things that I will one hundred billion percent NOT miss about summer, is the stench.  Deer smell bad - really bad - when they're lying on the side of the road.  

On my route to work I got so good at anticipating the stench zones that I attempted to hold my breath hundreds of feet before reaching the offending carcass.  It was never very successful.  It's a lingering pervasive smell.  

(Sorry, is this getting too graphic?  See, I told you - I'm not even phased by it... it's not grossing me out at all... )

The worst part of it is, these visually disturbing (for outsiders at least), foul-smelling reminders remain in their roadside positions for WEEKS.  And WEEKS.  And MONTHS.  And someone with a really unfortunate job has clearly made the time to spray-paint these poor deer with a giant orange "X," but  not to actually remove them from the road.  

Please transportation guy, policeman, state worker, whoever is in charge of roadkill - save my nostrils.  Save J's poor innocent corneas, which are being scalded by horrific images of rural New Jersey.  Take them away.  Please, for goodness sakes, take them away.  

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