God Have Mercy on the Poor Roadkill
Mike Rowe Cleans Up Roadkill
I Really Had A Tough Time
sorting out my headline. I wanted a headline that had both, the cold truth, and a bit of clever word-smithing about roadkill, which by the way, is a common sight along every highway system in the U.S.A. I know. I have to go to Tupelo, Miss., a few times each month to visit my doctors, and rolling down I-22 from Hamilton, Ala., to Tupelo you can take your pick of seeing roadkill: deer, dogs, cats, raccoons, and an occasional snake just laying there. No one with any sensible, respectful image of themselves are there to do the right thing in taking the roadkill to a nice place of rest.
But nooooo! I guess that the county or state departments who handle such problems are not motivated enough to stand-up from their lazy butt's and get the offensive roadkill taken away to clean the right-of-way's of said highway, so us travelers can ride without offense. I mean. Have YOU ever driven or ridden and suddenly, there was this huge animal just laying on the roadside or even (in) the road? Didn't you get a twinge in your stomach? If you did. Don't worry. You are supposed to feel something, because you have something most mortals do not have: compassion. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a few hundred compassionate men and women who just might work for nothing to just keep our highways clean of dead carcasses which can cause people to be ill and sometimes have a serious accident from glancing at these animal remains.
Believe me. This hub was NOT easy to write. In fact, I wish that I had enough fodder to write about the late (and very lovely) Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell, and Natalie Wood. Any or all three would be just fine. But . . .I have heard that if you write only about the "soft" and cushy topics, you will not know how to cope with a challenge--such as this challenge. How many of you have ever sat down and staring right at you (on a scrap of sticky-note) was an idea of "writing about roadkill?" If you have, did you first squirm with discomfort? Did you head to the nearest golf course to take on 18 holes rather than tackle the Roadkill Topic? If you did both or one, I am not here to judge. I suppose that you have already sensed that I am FOR the roadkill.
Putting Myself Into The Shoes Of
roadkill, firstly, I would be very scared and cautious if I were standing on the side of a busy interstate and cautious due to it being my life or the life of my loving companion that was fast enough to get to the other side of the highway. I would say that “she” is a younger species of my chosen species, but that would sound like that I am making excuses for not scampering to get to her. But her young age notwithstanding, my issue of her being younger is not her fault. I was caught-up in a fiery wave of lust during one hot summer night and well, there I was just trotting down a trail in the woods and there “she” stood, looking so pretty and her figure, well, what normal minded varmint (such as myself) would run from a female like her?
Well, to make a long story short, we got together and had a great night and for the rest of that weekend and we had made plans to move from the wooded area where we met, so we could get to the other side of the highway where I was walking, then she winked at me and in a flash she was gone—leaving me standing by the side of this highway and I know that if I were to take a few steps, one of those diesel rigs would surely make mince meat out of me, so you can understand my dilemma.
The Sad Fact Remains
that that it is the toughest task in the world to live and exist as a varmint such as myself. I would describe my looks, but I am not joining any Lonely Varmint's Club, so I will just leave it right there. Actually, I am a gentle varmint. I do not growl or bite unless provoked. Live and let live is how I live. And there has been the awkward occasion where I encountered a trigger-happy human being hunter, but I eluded him by hiding in a hollow log, but that was when I was a younger varmint. Now, thanks to my wild night-time love life with my companion, this lifestyle has taken its toll. I am not complaining.
And really, I do not blame anyone for running over animals and varmints because they had free will and if they did not know when to run or get hit by a tricked-out automobile driven by a wild teenage guy, then that is their lot in life. But what about me? I know that by each passing moment, my companion just might be hooking-up with another varmint like me, or well, kinda like me. Time was when she and I met that I was known as a Play Varmint and all of the female varmints knew me and how I lived, but they didn’t care. The thing is, I wanted to settle-down and give up that wild night life, so Mother Nature had it that I met this gorgeous female varmint and that was the best four-months of our lives.
So what should I do, stay or run like the wind? I have never been so scared. My four legs are trembling. I have even hoped that a jack rabbit, swift as the wind, would venture by and let me talk him into letting me ride on his back so he could get us both to the other side of this dangerous road and then find my female varmint mate. Yeah. That would work. Oh, it won’t either. The jack rabbit would get angry at me even asking to ride on his back because he would surely accuse me of being a gay varmint. How could I get him to see that I am a normal wooded varmint who means no harm to any varmint with an alternate lifestyle. Just let me get across the highway safely. Is that too much to ask?
If I Had One Human To Tell
about it feels to live like a varmint as well as die like a varmint, I feel that the Human Race would not be so hasty as to run their vehicles as fast as a fading moment just get to somewhere else and take my life and other’s lives in the process, but I do not. Actually, “we” the Varmints, who are NOT yet roadkill, should be more grateful that we are able to get through these woods—because there are sharp thorns and vines in there and my friends have just learned how to “growl and bear it,” and go where we can. It has not been easy, I am here to tell you.
If it were left to me entirely, I would put these ideas to work and possibly save my varmint buddies and then my lovely Female Varmint, “Varmie,” would see how that I am taking care of my friends and when she sees me (from the other side of the highway) she would run back to my four legs.
First Off I Would
put more Signal Lights to work instead of those hokey “Varmints Crossing” with a silhouette of me, drawn to look like me on the yellow sign, you know? Like those stupid Deer Crossing signs, I know that “my” sign, colored in Green, with a real painting of me smiling, not looking fearful, would cause the humans to stop and think and then possibly save the lives of us Varmints, deer, dogs, chipmunks, squirrels, deer and snakes and help maintain wildlife for Mother Nature.
Secondly, I would ask for a meeting of the Spokes-Varmint, me, of course, and the Highway Departments of the United States and sit down and talk about this problem like civilized people and Varmints. Talk CAN lead to minds being changed and I tell you, CHANGE is what all my friends need. If both parties,the Varmints and the Highway Department come to a peaceable understanding, we, the Varmints, would not be having to run our four feet off to get to a safe passage to be with our companions and friends. I would also add that the speed limit for a certain amount of miles can be lessened in order to give me and other Varmints a sporting chance thus helping “us” to stay alive and letting the human being alive as well.
Thirdly, I would have elections given in “my” Varmint Kingdom, to elect noble, sensible, and gentle Varmints to set as guards every 20 or so miles and they would be responsible for the other Varmints who wanting to cross the said highways. I would name the other Varmints as Guard Crossing Varmints, and get them proper attire such as Red Vests and White Helmets just so the wild-driving humans could spot them and let the big hearted Varmints to live another day and cross another highway.
These Three Things, I Believe
are enough for the human beings (whom I have been talking to) start thinking in terms of Safety and Survival of us Varmints. What I really mean is: Shouldn’t the varmints’ lives be treated as fairly and safely as those of human beings? I do. I really do. And if my three safety measures can save ONE varmint, then the ideas were well worth it.
I feel much better now. Ahhh, it has been said that “All good things come to those Varmints who wait,” so there is my break. The State Troopers have stopped the traffic for a license check, so I can walk as slow as I please to hopefully find my only true love: “Varmie.”
Long live the Varmints, here and across the U.S.A. And the world at large. After much deliberation and soul-searching, I can tell you that “Varmints are people too!”
June 25, 2019______________________________________________
© 2019 Kenneth Avery