How many of you dodged five moose* and two herds of elk on the way to work this morning?
Oh, really? Well… um… so did I. (I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting any answers in the affirmative there. Kind of took the wind out of my sails. I had no idea Boston or the Hudson Valley or Brooklyn or South Georgia or North Georgia or the Twin Cities or Southwestern Kentucky or Knoxville or Rochester or Adelaide or Capetown had such an abundance of large ungulates.) (And I’m clearly counting on someone in each of those localities to actually be reading this - wishful thinking, I’m sure.) (And I apologize if I left anyone out. Tell me about it in the comments. De-lurk, if you must.)
You might expect a photo of a moose or an elk at this point, but I wasn’t about to stop on the shoulder of the highway in my full park service regalia and whip out a camera like a giddy German** tourist. Besides, there will be plenty of time for wildlife photography when I’m dressed more anonymously.
Speaking of wildlife, I keep talking myself out of an evening run due to all the grizzly bear activity around where I live. Normally when a person is jogging down a designated US highway with a posted speed limit of 55, they are primarily concerned with four-wheeled traffic. Last week when I hit the pavement for a short out-and-back I was instead scanning side to side for traffic of the four-legged variety, which tends to weigh slightly less than the wheeled kind (but not by much,) although the ones with wheels don’t possess free will and seldom view a guy in Adidas runners as an hors d’oeuvre.
But bears come with the territory, so if I’m going to keep up the running, I’ll have to take my turn, sprinting down the roadway like it’s a human buffet line while ursus horribilis waits in the trees, sharpening his claws, ready to spring on me from some dark place before I can clear the gauntlet.
Or I could buy a treadmill.
Actually, just an hour or so ago there was a bear about a mile from my residence that attracted a crowd and ended up bluff-charging someone. Probably a German tourist. Or maybe some Quebecois. They can’t drive either.
*Anyone who uses the non-word meese in the comments will be immediately and unceremoniously kicked off my sidebar. And if you’re not in my sidebar I will instead put a voodoo hex on you, malady to be determined (but probably involving parasitic infestation of the small intestine and/or an eruption of coarse, uncontrollable ear hair.)
**I’m giving the Japanese a break. At least the Germans know how to drive. Stereotype? Yes. Racism? No. Residents of Tokyo are just like Manhattanites: they don’t know how to drive because they don’t own a car. Hertz and Avis don’t seem to care either way.