Monday, April 12, 2010

Not A Job I Want

Who picks up the animal carcasses on the road?

Oh, is that one of those questions that no one ever thinks of? HHBL will tell you that this would be a question that I would definitely come up with.

It is just how my mind works.

It occurred to me today that there must be some city or county worker whose job it is to drive the streets of my fair city and pick up the animals that have thrown themselves in front of cars in a vain attempt to cross the road.

I live in semi-rural suburbia, there seem to be a lot of these kinds of incidents. There is never a day that goes by when I am driving around that I don’t see some raccoon or opossum splayed out right on the yellow line or in the middle of the lane, innerds now outerds and not looking too good.  And sometimes the road kill isn’t so little. We have our fair share of those scavengers with hooves deer and they love to jump out into the road and run into your car for no reason other than they have a death wish.

This morning it was a beaver of all things. Yes, I said a beaver. I know a beaver when I see one, even if it is belly up in the middle of the road with it’s innerds protruding out of certain orifices. Is that graphic enough for ya? How do I know it was a beaver? I have watched The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe enough…and I could see it’s tail. Very distinctive.

When I driving out to go and walk, about 6:45a, there he/she was. A sacrificial beaverlamb on the altar of our progressive driving surface. Having given it’s life in the vain attempt to get from one side of the Chagrin River tributary to the other. Smooshed. It was there when I drove back home at 7:40a after a punishing 2 mile walk with my walking buddies. Same place, same gnarly condition.

But, when I drove back along that stretch at 1p…no beaver. Not a hit, not a smidgeon. Well, there might have been a slight smear but I wasn’t going to stop in the middle of the road to check.

Someone had to come along and scoop him up. In the winter time this might be job that wasn’t too terribly awful. It would be awful, there is no doubt about that. A raccoon plus a car doing 50 mph in the middle of the night do not a happy couple make. But this job must be something down right heinous in the middle of summer. Hoo boy.

I hope it pays well.

I think I will be looking in some other direction for my mid-life “what do I want to be when I grow up” search.

Sorry, I just thought this would jump start some excellent conversation. Talk amongst yourselves people. I will be back tomorrow with some more scintillating thoughts on life.


  1. Yep. They do indeed pay people to do this job. The deer that went bump in the night out on our Interstate usually disappear within a cay or so. Frogs? That's a different matter...they don't get much respect.

  2. I agree--a sad job indeed! Your post reminded me of a difficult memory of when we lived in NJ years ago. Was on my way to work via US80 and found myself crawling past an overturned garbage dumpster of long gone critters. Unbelievable.

  3. @ Whitestone - When the snow melts the deer bodies on the side of the road emerge. Yuck!
    @ Kathy - a garbage dumpster full of long gone critters? I can't imagine the fragrance.

  4. Ahh, road kill. What a fun topic! My girls and I still laugh about how I used to tell them that these were just animals that decided to take a nap on the side of the road. I'd say, "Boy, that's a strange place to fall asleep!" And they'd believe me. (What I wouldn't do to humor myself during those young years!)

  5. So... some friends of mine and my husband's from college made a mockumentary for a high school projectt. They showed it to us so we could laugh at their nerdiness. They went around picking up roadkill and labeled themselves "carientologists." Hilarious.

    Also, a girl I know did this as an intern. They collect things and run tests or something. For real. GROSS.

  6. I've always wondered about that too. However, one of the most favorite stories that my Husband has about my late father-in-law is how whenever he would see an animal on the side of the road, he would pull over. He was a taxidermist and taught both of his boys at a young age how to determine how long the poor animal has been dead. If it hadn't been for too long, he would scrape it off the side of the road and take it home for "practice." lol


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