Having failed to post my phone entry correctly, LJ now forces me to tell you what happened via text.

In short: a deer hit me. Hereafter, said deer shall be known as “Clyde.”

You notice I do not say “I hit Clyde with my automobile.” This is not what happened.

I was streaming along at about 87 mph on I-76 at 1 am or so, something
like 90 minutes from Cleveland, or 60, as the Cat drives. Listening to
NPR, which was kind enough to give me a break from the Amish Country
Greatest Hits of Journey and The Bee-Gees Marathon (My CD player is
angry and will not take CDs anymore.) by playing medieval minstrels and
Wagner. There was only one other car on the road, a large and old
pick-up truck, the kind built to the specs of the USS Monitor.

The Monitor hit Clyde.

Clyde jacknifed around the grille of the Monitor and came hurtling backwards, completely airborne,
towards my small, bulbous, sweet-natured and not at all ironclad VW Bug
at something like three million mph. (VW is named Heloise. Have we got
it? Clyde, Monitor, Heloise?)

So, this missile made of meat and fur and antlers is barreling down the
freeway at me and I see it just in time to avoid it–by putting myself
into the concrete divider wall.

So I didn’t do that. I swerved, enough so that Clyde struck the front
right bumper of the flummoxed Heloise and threw the dogs all over the
car, knocked my stomach into my throat, and, well, exeunt Clyde.

Sage’s prone body struck the gearshift and lurched Heloise into
neutral, so for a minute I thought we were really in trouble. But, you
know, German engineering is pretty much the shit. While Clyde
thoroughly pwnd the body of the car, it continued to run perfectly,
without so much as a hiccup, as soon as I got it back into drive. For a
few minutes there, I even fancied that there was only a dent or two in
the car, maybe it wasn’t so bad, hell, Heloise is purring right
along–maybe there isn’t any damage at all! Maybe a hubcap missing.

I really wanted to believe that, because my husband fucked up Heloise’s
back-end a couple of weeks ago by backing out of the driveway into,
well, the Merrimack.

So when I pulled into the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line tollbooth, I
asked the operator if the front end of my car was a “little banged up.”

“Um…yeah. I should probably call a state trooper for you, you’re gonna need to call your insurance company.”

So I pull off the road and wait in 15 degrees and a snowstorm, after
looking at Heloise and noting that the bumper did its job: it bumped.
And is now gone. Along with a good portion of the bottom front of the
car and the hubcap. Since the new Bugs are essentially made of
plastic, it just cracked and fell off like old Tupperware. The turn signal is dangling by a single wire. It could have been a lot worse, and I’m very proud of the girl
for managing to kiss deer and keep rolling like she just backed over a
hose left lying on the driveway, but her face is a little whacked out
now. On the other hand, the impact did seem to knock the rear tail-light
into working again.

I waited for about half an hour with the car turned off–read: freezing. I made an LJ phone post.
Finally, I just called up USAA, which is the greatest insurance company
ever, should you happen to find yourself in the military and eligible
for its services, and told them that I was fucking cold and could I
just file a report with them and press on? Because it’s like 2 am now,
seriously. Catherine at USAA, after a bunch of OMGOMGAREUOK? noises,
said that USAA does not require a police report for deer incidents and
to go ahead on home and they’d follow up with me the next day.

As she’s saying this, the staties finally roll up. But at that point I
didn’t even want to deal with it and with the permission of USAA,
thanked them, apologized for my apoplectic German Shepherd who was
at that moment leaning out of the window telling them that their mothers were filthy peasant
whores, I proceeded to zoom off through the Ohio flatlands towards
Cleveland without incident.

RIP Clyde.

On the bright side, I have some highly amusing Clydefur sticking out of
my wheelwell like a frigging hairbrush. Also, grailquestion has dubbed me an honorary Midwesterner, having
been struck by deer. So, w00t on that. I think I’m an honorary Briton,
Californian, and Midwesterner now. Although not an honorary Southerner.

And really, this could have been so much worse–for example, had Clyde
hurtled backwards, completely airborne, hoof-first, and gotten his
bones all up in my grille. Or if I had not swerved in time to avoid a
deer-sandwich with a side of windshield. My back hurts a little, but we
are all ok, and the dogs only have a small lasting hatred of deer. Sage
even looked guiltily at me afterwards, as if to say “Um…did I do it?
There is a possibility that I did it. I do a lot of bad things. Do I
have to sleep outside tonight?”

Upshot is: I am fine and in Cleveland for a week while Sam is home
wassailing with his parents. Next week I am in Denver with my long-lost
family. After that we are both finally home for anniversary, Christmas,
and New Year’s. Then we have a very brief period left before he ships
out to the Gulf for a sizeable chunk of 2006.

Hopefully Heloise will make it home ok for her date with the VW
dealership to deal with the back-end and CD player. Now she can get it from both

And so, the flying livestock comment on my final phone post, which was
meant to reassure whatever late night readership I might have that I
was not deerfood on the freeway, should make more sense now.

And it snowed here! YAY! Except for the icicles and deerfur hanging
from my shattered bumper. But at least that’s kind of funny in a
caveman-apocalypse sort of way.

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