Repost from my old blog, with minor edits - originally posted 10/23/2006 10:20 pm

So something really interesting happened to me last week. Interesting as in, worth talking about but it really sucked.

We had an encounter with America’s deadliest animal. No not the shark (I haven’t been to the beach too much this year) or the rattlesnake (give me a break) or the bear or the mountain lion or the alligator or the black widow spider. Here’s a hint: it happened at 2 a.m. while we were coming back from the city. Here’s another hint: it happened on the 101 freeway. (Never mind, that’s just going to make it harder).

Basically, we hit a deer. At full speed. Smack right in the middle of my radiator. Never saw it. I saw its friend which was politely waiting on the shoulder, and I told my friend “Oh look a deer” and she opened her eyes and she looked right in the eyes of deer #2 as it learned first-hand about the conservation of momentum when you get in the way of a 7,500 pound GMC Yukon going 65 mph.

So it’s really interesting what reactions you get from different people.

My first reaction was “Oh f*ck that really f*cked up my car.” (true)

Followed by “That’s going to be such a pain in the ass.” (which turned out not to be the case — the car was sufficiently drivable to get us home and I have a really good insurance company. AAA.)

Her reaction was “Holy shit we’re alive.” (for the record, we were not just alive, but we were still going 65 mph in the same lane, still on cruise control, just had deer guts all over the car).

Somebody actually asked “What happened to the deer?” (Well, hon, what do you think happened to the deer?)

Or “That poor deer…” (pity was pretty far down on the list of numerous emotions I felt since the encounter)

So it turns out, my guardian angel was on the job that night.

First, before we left for the city, we had actually had the your-car-or-my-car discussion which was decided in favor of taking my car (”You’re the boy, you drive.” I’m not making it up but it was a joke at the time). She drives a tiny car, one of those that looks cool but is not practical for anything, really. Not good for hitting deer with.

And even though we were hanging out for a while after the show at Cafe du Nord, I was completely sober. I actually said something like “I sort of want a drink too. But I guess I better not, that would be sort of stupid right before getting on the road at 1:30 am.” True and in retrospect I don’t think it would have helped the situation.

Finally, not ever seeing Bambi was kind of a good thing too. We all know what happens to SUV’s when they swerve at 65 mph and I’m sure trying to swerve would have been my first reaction.

But with all that silver lining shit, I’m still pretty pissed at the deer. What the f*ck is a deer doing on the 101 anyway? There’s no greenery. There’s no park. There’s sound walls and concrete and an IKEA store. Don’t deer know that they're only supposed to be only on 280?

But on the positive side, I can now sort of rationalize why I have spent over $7,500 in gasoline since I bought the car in 2004 (thank you Quicken for that quick report so I can be factually accurate). I’d tried lots of other arguments:

  • I’m really tall so I need a big car

  • It’s handy for towing stuff

  • (no, going offroading wasn’t really an argument; I’m over that one since I took my 4runner through a bunch of manzanita bushes. And I didn’t go up to Tahoe last winter.)

  • It’s a last indulgence before gas gets too expensive to have a 6-liter engine

  • The mileage is really not that bad, it’s better than my last car

  • The batteries in those hybrids don’t last that long

  • Because I can (that’s nice for “f*ck you I can drive what I want and I like this car”)

So now add safety. I guess that’s sort of rational.

Because in a normal car, we would have been dead.

Update 2022:

I still drive the same Yukon, which now has over 225,000 miles and is over 18 years old, and still have the same insurance company (AAA).

The dealership and repair shop, Pearson in Sunnyvale, has kicked the bucket, though, after 106 years (I bet they didn't guess that the car they sold me would outlast them -- especially when they tried to talk me into scrapping it over a broken catalytic converter a few years ago).

I've probably spent an additional $40,000 in gas (averaging $3,000 a year although I drive less now and pay a lot more per gallon) which is approaching what I paid for the car.

The reaction of the CIO for General Motors when I told him the story: "Yup." Like, it's in the design spec.