‘Tis the season of wildlife depression: drive at your own risk

It started like any other Monday morning.

I was just driving to work on Interstate 71, travelling at about 75 mph. I was on the phone with my mom, talking about plans for the weekend when it happened. From my right, what looked like a small football that was thrown from the side of the road hit the hood of my car with a loud thump.

It scared me – and then I saw the feathers, stuck in my windshield wipers. I told my mom I thought I’d hit a bird. I’ve never hit an animal before, and it caught me really off guard. What was a bird doing that low to the ground on the interstate? It came out of nowhere, and I didn’t even have time to react. So what did I do? Kept driving. I wasn’t about to stop on the side of the road and check it out, what if there were more feathers and stuff…

So I got to work, and thought I’d take a peek to see if there was any damage. I barely looked over the hood and saw a wing. Gag.  The friggin’ bird was lodged in the hood of my car. Seriously. I walked around the other side of the car so I didn’t have to see it and went to my manager’s office to see if he could remove it.

“Kevin,” I said, “do you have an aversion to birds, particularly dead ones?”

Luckily he didn’t, and he went and threw the bird in the dumpster, after he told me it was a bird that mated for life so it’s mate was probably out there somewhere. I told him with my luck, that bird would dive-bomb my car on the way home.

It traumatized me a little bit and I almost threw up, not gonna lie. But it’s not my fault the bird got hit. In my defense, birds don’t fly that low on the interstate, he must have had a death wish. And, I was going 75 mph, I couldn’t have avoided it. Now, though, I’m a member of the club – the club of people who have run over or hit an animal. I learned this after I posted my traumatic story on my facebook status for my friends to see. What followed was  some sort of support group kind of thing almost, people were sharing their own stories of witnessing animal suicides. My friend Lindsey has hit an owl. Patrick hit a squirrel, Nikki’s husband hit a goose, and perhaps in the saddest story of them all, my sister Rachel made eye contact with a bunny seconds before she accidentally ran it over with her car.

I got this message from Daniel on the subject, that made me laugh out loud:

Um HELLO Maam I am contacting you on behalf of the National Sanctuary of Wildlife Birds. You MURDERED our rarest of birds and we need to speak with you as soon as possible. Please contact our organization as soon as you can.
LoL I have to say all I did was LAUGH as I read your status because I could just see and hear what was going on in your car at this time.

I guess I am a bird murderer (birderer? stupid joke, I know..), accidentally. It was possibly the grossest thing I have ever witnessed, and I can’t imagine what happens when people hit deer. Ew. Just almost threw up in my mouth a little thinking about that one. Sick.

So, the bird is in a better place now, because he apparently was too sad to stay here. Birds gross me out – Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” is so creepy, and I’m really just not a fan anyway. I don’t like when they perch outside the window and make noise when you’re trying to sleep, I don’t like when they’re all just sitting on the phone lines, like, hundreds of them at once…ew.

I’m hoping my week gets better, that can’t be a good sign when your week starts out with a woodland creature’s suicide. After a $7 car wash, the evidence of the tragedy is gone and I kept my eyes peeled the whole drive home just in case some of the bird’s friends had heard what happened.

And I am also amazed at how dumb birds are. That bird really couldn’t see my car? I guess I believe it. When I worked at Hallmark in high school we had a bird get inside the store. It proceeded to fly all over the store, trying – unsuccessfully – to find it’s way out. It went from window to window, throwing itself up against the glass because it thought that’s how it could get out. When I called my boss (this weird old lady) she had no idea what to tell me. So her husband got on the phone and told me to turn the lights off and open the door. The bird should see the light and find it’s way out.

Yeah right. So an hour later, while I’m crouched on the floor behind the register (so as to avoid a head injury from a stupid bird) listening to a panicked bird knock itself senseless on our windows, I decided on plan b. I went next door to the Kroger and asked if one of the bag boys could come over and get the bird out. Apparently they didn’t tell the guy they volunteered what he was doing because as he stood in Hallmark’s doorway with a broom and I told him what I needed him to do, he said – I kid you not – “I’m afraid of birds.”

I don’t know how they eventually got it out of the store, but I had hoped that would be my last close encounter with a flying creature. Little did I know, years later…

So what have we learned?

Be careful on the roads, kids. It’s dangerous out there.

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3 thoughts on “‘Tis the season of wildlife depression: drive at your own risk

  1. Anthony says:

    I just laughed for 10 minutes. At the end of this I couldn’t help but think of the part in the Ring 2 movie where the deer ram the side of the car, almost in a suicidal sort of way…or perhaps a homicidal way. I hope your bird wasn’t homicidal. BUT – if it was, you shouldn’t feel bad. He (or she) might have been after you. It really is dangerous out there…between crazy birds and Indiana drivers – its a wonder we make it anywhere safe!

  2. Katie says:

    Okay, so you linked this to your survey on facebook. I read the entire article, dying of laughter…thinking to myself man this girl is hilarious. I am going to start reading her blog, little did I know it was you. The beautiful writer that you are writing a blog…Now I will have to read it all the time. I LOVED this article. You are so funny and I will read anything you put in writing…and that my friend is the serious truth! LOVE YOU!

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