Roadkill

Ohio

March 2012

Lots of farm land lies between Hoosier Hill, the high point of Indiana and Campbell Hill, the high point of Ohio.  From my perspective in the passenger seat, I see an emaciated cow in one of the numerous fields.  Closer inspection reveals that it is not a cow at all.  It is a llama.  Clever llama, fooling me into thinking he’s a cow.

When Lisa is driving, she will shield her eyes if there is an animal carcass on the roadway.  She shields her eyes so often on this drive, I wonder how she even keeps the car on the road.  “Man, there’s a lot of dead shit out here.”  Yeah, well, this is what happens when you pilot a 3000-pound vehicle at 75 miles per hour down the highway, and you meet a two and a half pound raccoon wearing no clothing.

We Americans create 350 million dead animals on the highway every year.  Reminds me of a book I saw in the South a few years ago.  It was called Manifold Destiny and it was about — dare I say — “fast food?”  It was a cookbook for the automobile traveler.  You would scoop up whatever raw meat you might find on the roadway, pluck its feathers or cut away its fur, wrap it up in aluminum foil and put it on your car engine, the manifold.  Recipes specify not what temperature to cook, but how many miles to drive and at what speed.

Combine that with another book I saw when in the South, The Road Kill Cookbook, and you’ve got it made.

There is a lot of sameness outside our car window, leading to the kind of monotony that can get you killed if you try to cross the road.

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