Entry 64: The Passed Menagerie

About 20 years ago, we were driving home to Westchester on the Merritt Parkway after visiting friends in Wilton. Or maybe it was Weston. Or Westport. Anyway, it was dusk and suddenly our car was blasted by a sniper rifle. Or at least we thought it was.

There was an explosion, and the front windshield blew in, showering us with tiny shards. There was impact all along the driver’s side as well, including the back seat, where our 5-year-old daughter was seated. We never saw what hit us.

I pulled over, made sure everyone was relatively unscathed, punched out some of the crackled windshield, and drove to the next exit, which happened to be Greenwich. We were rolling slowly along a dark local road with no idea where we were, when a Greenwich cop pulled us over and told us to follow him to the police station. There he examined the car and showed us the bits of deer fur embedded in the steel.

“Definitely a doe,” he said, holding up the hair as if this was obvious. “You hit her in the front and her rear end wrapped around and banged into the side.” If it was 10 years later, he’d have been shooting a pilot for CSI: Bronx Zoo. Then he added, “You can have the carcass when we find it. You’re entitled to one kill a year.”

We declined, although our daughter took the deer hair to kindergarten for show-and-tell.

So now we live in North Stamford, and we can see that there has been no decline in wilddeath which is, of course, the opposite of wildlife. You know what I mean: road pizza…flattened fauna…furry frittatas…deadestrians…free range corpses…inanimate animals. You see them all the time: almost two-dimensional fatalities with tire treads like the grill marks on a panini. The roads here should be rated PG-13 for excessive gore and violence. Let’s just say, if you cried when Bambi’s mother got killed, you should definitely not be driving around Stamford.

Don’t get me wrong; Westchester has its share of squished squirrels, crushed ‘coons, deceased deer, and scrunched skunks. But the authorities seemed to be a lot faster about picking up the bodies.

If you drive the same route every day in Stamford, you can get a thorough education in the stages of decomposition.

There was one rac-corpse that my wife got somewhat attached to. She reported on his progress every day. “He’s on his back with his legs straight up in the air,” she’d say, holding her arms straight out in front of her. Then the next day, she remarked: “He’s sort of toppled over on his side. I feel so bad for him.” A few days later, “I think his head is becoming detached.” And so on. I fully expected that one day she’d tell me there was nothing left but the circles around his eyes.

So my question is: isn’t there some department in the local government that’s supposed to take care of these things? Or alternatively, isn’t there some species of scavenger that should be cleaning up this mess?

Somebody’s not doing his or her or its job here!

See you soon.

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3 Responses to Entry 64: The Passed Menagerie

  1. Marilyn Trefry says:

    Call City of Stamford Customer service 203 977-4140 to report dead animals, tree limbs on roads or any out of the norm situation. Your request/complaint will be forwarded to the proper city dept for corrective action. It would be a waste of tax dollars to have a city truck randomly roam the many miles of Stamford roads. Glad you and your family are ok.

    • markhal says:

      Marilyn–Thank you for you reply. I must say, though, that a crew driving randomly on any major road would find no shortage of dead animals to pick up. But here’s an idea: supply volunteer motorists with electronic tagging devices. Then we could shoot the corpses as we drive by, which would activate a signal at Stamford Customer Service Headquarters and illuminate a light on the huge city map you’d have there, telling you exactly where the body is. You can’t get much more efficient than that. Also–and this applies to almost everything I post on this blog–I’M ONLY KIDDING!

  2. janice weiss says:

    That just means our crows and predators like hawks and turkey vultures don’t like Stamford, but prefer Westchester!!

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