Wednesday, January 09, 2013

hyphenated venison

Earlier today, as I was driving down forested Route 55 toward Route 66 on my way to work, I saw what was perhaps the most awesome (as in "awe-inspiring") roadkill tableau in my experience. I'm guessing that a deer had been hit by a massive truck and had, well... exploded. Lurid, basketball-sized chunks of meat and fur lined the highway perfectly down the center of the right lane, as if the offending vehicle had dragged and deposited those pieces of flesh. At one point I saw part of a leg-- a sad organic hyphen, punctuating nothing.

What made the scene so dramatic wasn't just the presence of those grotesque meat chunks: it was the blood. I don't know exactly how long that streak was, but my car rolled over it for a good three or four seconds at about 55 miles per hour. (I just did the math on my cell phone's calculator; that comes out to about 240 to 320 feet-- the length of a football field.) The blood covered the road unevenly, like a Rorschach blot stretched cartoonishly far-- patches and clouds like red-black glyphs of mortality, making that part of the highway resemble an airport runway designed by Stephen King. The secret language of demise.

Finally, there was the awful mystery that shrouded this macabre scene: where were the guts? For that matter, where the hell was the deer's head? In my mind's eye, I could imagine the head having been punted far, far away by the truck, its antlers whistling through the air as it arced gracefully and landed on some farmer's property, all staring eyes, lolling tongue, and dragging trachea. But I saw none of those parts as I passed; there was only the meat. And the blood. The blood.

I have to say: that made for interesting thought-fodder on the way to work.



  1. I saw this a LOT when I lived in Montana.

  2. They drive fast in Montana, yes?

    This sight was new to me. I've seen plenty of deer carcasses in my time, but they're almost always whole and recognizable, even the ones with guts coming out of their assholes. To hit a deer so hard that the thing disintegrates... well, up to now, that was well-nigh unimaginable for me.

  3. "A trail trolled by a Peterbilt, full of wound and furry, punctuating nothing."

  4. Malcolm,

    So. You caught the oblique Macbeth reference.



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