Thursday, December 20, 2007

New Life Goal

I have a new mission in life. I am going to train all the deer in the world to use crosswalks with traffic lights or at least those yellow flashing lights so when people are driving they know there is a deer. Deer crossing the road in the darkness of night is not safe. Not for the deer and not for the people driving 130 kmph (80 mph) because they just want to go home and go to bed. Why is this suddenly my mission in life? Because last night as I was driving home at said speed down the lonely road across northern Germany two deer came gallivanting across the road in front of me which made me have to slam on the brakes and swerve a little to the left missing Bambi by probably just a few inches.
On my weekly Wednesday drive home from institute I decided that I didn't want to listen to the radio, I would rather sing Christmas songs. That eventually evolved into love songs which in turn went to Disney songs. I was on Mulan, singing all the words I could remember when all the women are bathing and dressing her for the matchmaker. Just as I got to the grandmama "An apple for serenity. A pendant for balance. Beads of jade for beauty, you must proudly show it." And just then, right before "Now add a cricket just for luck, and even you can't blow it." I saw in front of me something in the road. By the time I realized it wasn't just going to go bounding across I knew there wouldn't be time to stop completely. I stomped my foot hard on the brakes hoping that they were at least the one thing in this car that still functioned properly and luckily they work. As I braced for impact and my tires squealed from the friction I slowed from 130 km/h to about 50 km/h (30 mph) in probably three seconds flat and jerked smoothly (if there is such a thing as a smooth jerk) into the left lane just barely missing the second deer. After I realized we had all made it through ok I pulled over so that I could get my heart rate to slow down a little. It was quite the adrenaline rush. I even got out of the car to check for marks to make sure I really didn't hit the poor stupid animal. I had already coasted too far away from the place of the incident to just walk back, perhaps I should have but I don't like being alone in the dark.
It was an experience that will not be easily forgotten, even though when I play it back in my mind it is still as blurry as when it actually happened. Everything went so fast, and when I pulled my car to the side of the road it felt like I was in a movie; such a surreal feeling that I hope I never experience again.