You might be a redneck
So we were going to church last Wednesday night when this deer decided to cross Sontag-Nola Road at the precise second her personal GPS coordinates would intersect with those of our Saturn Outlook. That’s right. One minute I’m reading aloud the pages for January 12 in our read-the-Bible-through-in-a-year plan (we’re a week behind already) and the next we’re in the middle of one of those slow-motion reels, the ones where you realize what’s happening, but you’re completely powerless to change the outcome. To top it off, the poor doe actually made it most of the way across – had her hoof safely on the shoulder of the road – when she did a schizophrenic move and attempted to retrace her steps.
Thud. (Thud, thud).
The physics involved in swerving and sliding in such an accident should perhaps be explained by someone who paid better attention in eighth grade science than I did. I only know that when we finally came to a stop I was wide-eyed and breathless. And very thankful.
My husband, a state trooper by trade, has spent decades perfecting a professional response in such situations. He has the stoic, nonverbal, grab-the-flashlight and assess the situation thing down pretty good. Daughter No. 2 and I, on the other hand, have had no such training. We were alarmed by the incident and expressed it in varying pitches and decibels. We also dared to voice questions about the deer’s condition and our vehicle’s flammability potential. The Trooper, to his credit, just looked under the hood and politely held his tongue.
Amazingly enough, the car checked out fine. The deer, unfortunately, did not. Before we left the scene I noticed my husband move the dead animal for the second time, this time all the way into the ditch. “Isn’t that nice,” I thought to myself. “He doesn’t want to distract other drivers.” Out loud I think I mentioned something about hurrying up and how it was 40-something degrees, didn’t he know.
Hardly an hour passed, though, before I got my first real clue that my husband didn’t view the deer’s demise as a complete loss. It came in the form of a large garbage bag he obtained from the church fellowship hall, and it was quickly followed by clue number two: the sound of our car coming to a stop by the previously-mentioned ditch. When my husband started shifting stuff around in the back of our vehicle, I realized he wasn’t thinking loss at all. He was thinking providential provision and meat on the table.
I myself was thinking about Jeff Foxworthy, and whether our course of action might be destined to provide material for his next stand-up comedy routine.
We rode home with the windows down that night (don’t ask). My husband, always sensitive to my moods, evidently felt compelled to pull out a story from his road-days arsenal.
It seems that late one night back in the ‘90s The Trooper was called to a wreck just outside of Hazlehurst where there had been a nasty pileup involving two cars, a pickup and a cow. The fact that the cow was solid black, just like the stretch of Highway 28 where she took her last stand, was probably pertinent.
No one was hurt too bad, The Trooper recalled. No one except the cow, that is, and there were other details, too. Something about a tag in the poor thing’s ear and how The Trooper tried hard to locate its owner but couldn’t. He eventually had to radio a request for four wreckers – three to tow the vehicles and one to pull the cow.
And that’s where things got interesting: Wrecker driver W. T. Hudson (known by local law enforcement at the time as “Copiah 500”) had the privilege of hauling the bovine straight through two traffic lights and a significant portion of Highway 51, all the way to the sheriff’s office. A few select inmates had the privilege of skinning it. (Or so he heard.)
At this point in the re-telling it is safe to say that the mental images provided by my husband’s tale were probably enough to trump the 3-D, here-and-now one occupying our third-row seats. The Trooper, however, had one final morsel to throw in for good measure, just in case there was any doubt about the redneck business.
“The first car,” my husband started to tell us, but had to stop to roll up his window a bit so we could hear him better.
He tried again. “The first car, you know, that Chevy Caprice, the one the cow flew over and dented up good before hitting the pavement?”
I nodded, but I think he’d lost Daughter No. 2 by this time.
“Well, its driver was a big guy named Boo.”
Wesson resident Kim Henderson is a freelance writer who writes for The Daily Leader. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.