Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Driving in the Dark

I think my fear of driving in the dark started back when I was younger. We would drive two hours up north-usually in the dark-to my grandparents (literally over the river and through the woods), for Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc... I felt like we were always on the lookout for deer. One time, I was in the backseat with my sisters when my mom yelled, "DEER!" My dad slammed on the brakes, the Barbies in the back window flew forward and hit me in the head, and we may or may not have hit the deer (I can't remember...it was obviously a traumatizing moment for me).

Ever since that experience, I hate deer or anything that decides to cross the road blindly at night. Ugh, why can't they just look both ways and cross when it's safe??

Last night, I was driving home from River Falls. It was 11:00pm and absolutely no one else was on the road with me. No one. My hands were choking the steering wheel in the 10 and 2 o'clock position, and my eyes continually scanned the road and ditches for little red eyes. Then I saw something, but it wasn't a deer...maybe a coyote or a fox...it was low to the ground and it sprinted across the road. I didn't slam on my brakes, because there was no need to, but my heart was pounding a mile a minute and my lower body went numb - no joke. I hate driving at night.

I have another story too. Back in high school I was driving my friend Andrea-the one I was visiting in River Falls-back from a volleyball game. We live in a semi-farming community, so horses and cows are fenced in close to the road. So we're driving down the country road and I see a gigantic animal about 200 yards away.

"LION!!!" I yell. My common sense must disappear when I'm caught in a frightening situation, because there is no way that lions live in Wisconsin.

Andrea asks, "Where?" But now I've slammed hard on the brakes. In front of us is a ginormous Clydesdale Horse that looks like it is about to eat us and the car whole. Mr. Ed's steroid cousin starts creeping towards us.

"What do I do? WhatdoIdo?" I scream to Andrea, who is pretty calm compared to me. She tells me to back up and drive into the owner's driveway. So I do. There, we get out and walk to the owner's door. The horse follows and we watch it lounge around in the yard as we knock. Andrea explains to the owner what happened and he puts the horse back where it belongs.

Now that the adrenaline rush has subsided, Andrea and I laugh uncontrollably the rest of the way home.

So for all the deer, coyotes/foxes, and horses out there: Stay off the road, please. I don't want my last words to be "Lion!" as Bambi prances from the ditch into my headlights.


  1. hahaha! thanks for the laugh! I definitely needed it :) We live about 10 minutes from town, but if you followed us home, you'd think it was further. I freak out about the deer too-all 5,000 of them that live near us. Wal-mart sells "deer whistles" for people like us. Sounds stupid, but apparently they put off some kind of highpitched noise and the deer will run the other way. It's worked for me!

  2. I hate driving at night too - worst of all is driving when it's dark and rainy. I have seen deer right at the side of the road many times but so far (knock on wood) haven't hit one. I think that would probably scar me for life.

    I'm still cracking up about you yelling "lion!" And that your friend was like "where?" I can just picture Mr. Ed's steroid cousin too - sounds like a scene from a movie!

  3. I'm glad you both enjoyed the post. I love making people laugh :)

  4. LION! Thanks to you, I shall now yell "lion" whenever I see an animal crossing the road, even if I am alone.

    PS In regards to your comment about the John Cusack breakup: I find that totally acceptable and valid reason for someone to be broken up with. High Fidelity, one of my top 5 all-time, enough said.

  5. Funnnnyyy! My sister goes to school at UWRF - is that where you were in RF? Driving isn't my favorite either...

  6. Yes, that's where I was! My friend goes to college there.

  7. Funny story! I hate driving at night too but I can't say it's because I'm on the lookout for scary animals.

  8. First time stopping by your blog and I got such a kick out of this story! So funny!

  9. Don't feel bad, my cousin was in the car with me and screamed SQUIRREL at the top of her lungs. Like an idiot I slam on the brakes and scream "Where? Where?" like a godzilla squirrel was gonna attack the car. It was on a billboard.... (It didn't help with my unnatural fear of squirrels either.)

  10. Oh my gosh Kinsey..I remember the first time you told me that story... I think it STILL makes me laugh till I want to pee! It's especially the way you yell LION (you should add a video clip!) ;)

  11. Geez Kins, I laughed till tears ran down my cheeks--(even tho I was part of hearing that experience for the first time when it happened.)
    Laughing is my favorite thing, especially when it is a true story.
    And, no, we did not hit the deer that night...but we sure laughed hard after the dolls went flying and Dad said he thought I was addressing HIM when I was yelling "Deer/Dear" and he's responding with "What--What???"

  12. I have some deer horror stories to tell you! your not gonna believe them when i tell you...

    p.s. alien marathon... this week... It's a date

  13. I love it. Was I in the car when the deer thing happened? I don't think I remember this incident! OH yeah - check out my blog I gave you an award. Thanks again for designing my new blog background - I love it!!!