It’s the holiday season. So, while everyone else is being grateful and growing mustaches all the days of November, I am willing my ladystache away, and appreciating the simple joys. Like, the one where I did not kill this giant deer the other night with my car.
I was working my delivery dinner shift, cruising up Bellagio Road in Bel Air (picture the house in The Fresh Prince of Bel Air intro. That’s actually there. Along with many bigger mansions. That’s the neighborhood. Home to my beloved Bob Newhart and other extremely wealthy people).
Not totally sure about the address and the curvy, switchback-style roads, I was glued to my iPhone GPS. A little Thrift Shop playing on the radio, some kind of Italian food getting cold in my car. Someone had rear ended me earlier on Sunset Blvd (just a little tap, for which we exchanged glances and a wave in the mirror), but things were going great. One of the bartenders at a restaurant had given me a free chocolate chip cookie. That’s the closest I’ll get to eating in one of these places…
“Shit.” Some kind of sportscar zoomed up behind me. Its blueish headlights shining like Lasik eye surgery into my retinas. I always break out into a sweat when I’m looking for an address and someone’s up my car’s butt about driving fast on unlit woodsy roads.
I came to an intersection and glanced down at my phone. “OK… left…” I made the turn. “OK, what’s next….?” I located the following street on the map, then looked up and saw [OMG BROWN!!] immediately in front of my car, my headlights illuminating nothing but [GIANT FUR BODY ANTLERS!!]. I slammed on the breaks and screamed as a huge buck hopped across the street and into the hill along the side of the road.
“OhmygodIalmosthitadeer.” My car would have been flattened and the deer probably would have walked away all “What was that?”, but still. I try not to make a habit of hitting animals. Just ask the squirrel I half killed the other week during the day. I gave it my best shot. Hit the breaks, thought about reversing over him because I could see his little body twitching and his hand reaching into the air for help. What is the humane-est thing to do?? Crying, I drove to the house I was delivering to, then back to find that squirrel. He was gone. Good thing I didn’t run over him twice in order to kill him. Now, he can enjoy his life, slightly maimed. He will have the best stories to tell over peanuts.
Earlier in the day, I was talking to my Mom who has her own history of accidental animal hittings. She is heartbroken and destroyed any time it happens. Like, for days. There is an infamous story about her running over a mama duck and all her baby ducklings, as they were crossing the street on a blind curve. At least my Mom wiped out the entire family. Hopefully they all went to Baby Duck Heaven. Which just sounds soooo adorable, right?
My Mom got off the phone by saying “Well, we’re taking the car in to the shop. Something’s wrong with it because I hit a skunk, so…” She wasn’t sad.
“You hit a skunk? Why are you acting so casual.”
“Well, it was already dead.”
“Oh, so you re-hit it.”
“I hit a squirrel recently. It like half died. Maybe it survived, I don’t know.”
“Oh, that’s ok.”
“It’s ok to hit squirrels?”
“They are so unpredictable. My friend Kaye had one she raised from a baby and one day it just up and bit her!”
“So you have a list of animals it’s ok to run over?”
“Well it’s not like the skunk had a collar with a name-tag on it.”
I immediately texted my Mom after the deer thing, asking her if it was on the list of acceptable roadkill.
Glad I didn’t make contact. I don’t wanna be that girl with a bloody buck strapped to the roof of her Honda Fit, driving around Beverly Hills, delivering dinner to people. “Oh, the deer? I’m taking him to the hospital right after this. Just — don’t worry about it. And here’s your sushi.”