The Day a Deer Tried to Kill Me

It's been an interesting three days in the Life of Mei Flower, y'all.

It all started Thursday night. I went to my book club, where we discussed A Million Little Pieces for approximately 15 minutes and spent the rest of the time gossipping and complaining about men. The others drank a lot of wine, but not me, because 1) I would totally get pulled over and fail a breathalizer; 2) I don't like the smell or the taste; and 3) I think it's kind of inappropriate to drink an alcoholic beverage if you're talking about a man who's been in REHAB.

You might be surprised to hear that I kept my opinions to myself.

Around 11:00 p.m. (I KNOW!), I was driving home from The Metropolis and had to go through a Bad Neighborhood. I had my cell phone in my hand (just in case) and my friend Addie was following me (not because of the BN; she lives in Randomville too).

And look, The Metropolis is a HUGE city. The Bad Neighborhood? Also pretty big, with the lights and the highways and the cars and all the crack and the hookers. So it's not like I was driving through my little podunk Randomville, where roadkill is the Official Highway Decoration.
So I'm driving along, minding my own business, hoping I won't get carjacked, when all of a sudden, I see two little pinpoints of light facing me.

Deer eyes. They were about three centimeters away from my car.

You probably know where I'm going with this.

I'll try to replicate my thought process as accurately as possible, starting with the moment that freaking deer tried to take part in a murder-suicide.


oh no what happened what do i do what's that noise what happened there was a deer where's the deer what's that noise what do i do WHO IS SCREAMING what happened where's the deer should i stop what's that noise oh no is that wind why is there wind WHERE'S MY WINDOW what do i do where's the deer what's on me WHAT'S TOUCHING ME there's something on me oh no oh god oh god it's the deer IT'S THE DEER what do i do oh god what if it's deer please don't be deer what's that noise oh no where do i go what do i do where's the deer what do i do THIS IS GOING TO COST ME A LOT OF MONEY

I pulled over, taking great care not to send my car into the deep ravine at the side of the road, and sat there. And stopped screaming. And shook. I got out of the car, and my door wouldn't open all the way. When I stepped out, shards of glass (but not deer pieces) fell all over the highway.

Addie pulled over behind me and looked me over, making sure I was okay. Well, I was ... physically. I was still very shaken, but I was determined to hold it together, at least as long as I had an audience. Addie had seen the deer hit me, but she didn't know what happened after that.

I called the police, because I thought that's what you're supposed to do. I'd never been assaulted by a deer before; I'd never even been in an accident with another vehicle. (I'm not a good driver, but I'm pretty lucky).

Addie and I waited, in the dark, in the Bad Neighborhood, for almost half an hour before the police came. The officer looked my car over and told me she wasn't going to give me a ticket (which: Are you kidding me? I AM THE VICTIM HERE!) because obviously it's not my fault that deer are stupid stupid animals.

My car was in a bad way. The deer had hit right above the front left tire and then, I guess, sort of rolled over the driver side door. Along the way, it took out the rearview mirror and my window, and the parking light was hanging on by a thin wire. There was no blood on the car, but it had taken a beating. Fortunately, it was still driveable.

Addie followed me to my parents' house; by this time it was close to midnight. Almost as soon as I got out of the car, I indulged myself by having a nervous breakdown, while my dad got busy duct-taping some plastic to The Place Where There Used To Be A Window.

My mom was comforting, like moms tend to be, and I was a mess, as I tend to be.

Me: Mama, I can't drive that car! It's awful!
Mom: Mei, you're very lucky.
Me: Mama, have you seen my car?
Mom: Mei, some people don't even have cars.
Me: I don't care about other people! I care about ME!

And this is the point at which my senses began to return. I figure, if you're already working out in your head how you're going to relate this story to your friends, you're halfway to recovery.

My mom drove me home, and I packed up some clothes and my cat and went back over there for the night. (It's nice when somebody takes care of you). My dad and I talked out a plan for getting another car after school the next day.

It was probably 1:30 a.m., and I had a splitting headache, and I had to be at school in six hours. My mom gave me this AWESOME pill that flat knocked me out. I probably couldn't have slept at all without it.

Of course I was not able to concentrate on school when I got there. I was furious, first of all, for the following reasons:

-I had had a plan. I was going to FINALLY pay off my last credit card in May, after which I would be free to save up some money to be able to pay cash for a new car.

-I had lived in a VERY rural area in Missouri for two years, and HAD NEVER ONCE SEEN A DEER, let alone had one run into me.

-I'd had a good time at the book club, only to have my night ruined.

-My dad had to drop me off at school, just like when I was in the eighth grade.

-THAT WAS MY CAR. It was in my name, and it had been my college graduation present. I'd had it for almost ten years. It had seen me through four jobs and five moves, and it was cute and it looked like the kind of car I would have. Everyone knows it's me when they see my car.

-In the past two years, I have put in a new engine, put in a new transmission, bought new tires, installed a cd player, bought new brakes (which are less than two weeks olds), and I HAD JUST PUT GAS IN THE CAR. That is a lot of money, and deer don't pay insurance.

-I don't have money for a new car, so my dad was going to pay for one, which means that I would be in debt to him for the rest of my life. Plus, I AM THIRTY. You'd think my dad wouldn't have to do stuff for me anymore ... but no.

-I knew that any car I got wouldn't be the one I really wanted. It would be a rebound car, like a rebound boyfriend: it would do until something better came along. And nobody really loves a rebound boyfriend.

And then, since it was Friday, none of my kids wanted to do any work and it's possible that I may have said something like, "Does it look like I give a rat's tiny little rear end whether or not you want to be reading this story? DOES IT????" More than possible, even.

So anyway, I was in a crappy mood, because I'd had a crappy day that followed a crappy night, and I didn't see it getting better anytime soon.

And that's when things began to get interesting.

Here is my cute little baby car that I love.

And here is what that freaking deer did to it.

Don't be fooled; it's MUCH worse than it appears.

This is the point of impact. The deer bent the fender so badly that the car doesn't open all the way, and you can't open it all from the outside. Making a right turn is pretty hard too. And that's not blood; it's where the paint came off the car, so the steel is exposed and is now, due to the rain we've had the past two days, rusting. Notice the sad parking light holding on for dear life.

Here you can see the lovely plastic-and-duct-taped window. It's the most common automobile accessory in Randomville. What you CAN'T see is the carpet of glass shards that covers most of the interior. Classy! (and glassy, har har).

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