Monday, November 15, 2010

Cemetery Deer

What is it with deer? They're stalking me. Everywhere I go nowadays, I encounter deer, even in the city. I never used to see them so often, not even when I lived in the wilderness of Waco, KY - with the sole exception of the now-infamous "Devil Deer" incident.

But now I see them everywhere (to quote Hank Thompson) and they're popping up in urban settings with greater frequency as mankind continues to encroach on what dwindling wild space is left to them. One even barged into the Middletown Fresh Market a few months ago.

And last fall (holy moley - I just checked and it was exactly a year ago today and I didn't even realize it when I started writing this. Now that's weird!) I was driving Westbound on I-64 at night through Franklin County, and ran over an enormous deer. I didn't run into it, I ran over it. Now, the impact was great, to be sure, but aside from a really skull-joggling staccato double-WHAM!! as each set of tires bounced over the unfortunate buck, it was relatively untraumatic. I have pretty darn good reflexes, or so I like to flatter myself, and managed to keep the car straight and continue driving with relative calm.

It wasn't until I got home that it really started sinking on me how incredible the whole thing was. It's like in Pulp Fiction where John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson look at the bulletholes in the wall behind them and can't figure out why they aren't dead. I kept picturing - and still picture to this day - the frozen-in-time snapshot my mind took of the moment just before impact. The deer's considerable rack should have been run over by my driver-side tires, and it's a minor miracle that my tires weren't punctured by them.

But then it's a major miracle that I'm even alive at all. When I tell the story to people, many have been incredulous - "you ran over a deer in a Volvo station wagon and didn't wreck? Is that even possible?" I admit it doesn't sound possible at all, and yet it happened. And all I lost was a muffler.

I recently saw a news story where a Brownsville man driving one of those monster-sized heavy-duty pickup trucks collided with a deer in Grayson County. If any vehicle could squash a deer, you would expect it would be one of those, right? Nope. The impact sent him flipping over repeatedly, totalling his vehicle.

And just this past weekend, someone died in a deer collision in Harold, KY (Floyd County).

The statistics for deer/vehicle impact fatalities are so grim that a number of organizations exist to monitor the problem, such as Deer Crash.

Anyway, I said all that to say all this: I was in Louisville's Calvary Cemetery the other day, and came face to face with Bambi. We stared each other down for a couple minutes before the little doe decided she didn't want her picture taken.


Clark Embree said...

I saw a whole family of deer once at the top of the Frankfort Cemetery

Anonymous said...

When I lived in Louisville, I once saw a deer trying to leap across the fence from the St Matthews mall parking lot onto the Watterson, as well as one in the park across Shelbyville Rd, with the structure you have posted on before. Also, I once hit a deer between Danville and Harrodsburg at about 55 miles per hour in a produce delivery van, which left a very large dent in the radiator, but remained other wise functional. Not even a crack in the glass.