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2001 critter count bonus:
Things kitty's daddy hit on the way home

   While returning to Hermitage from a visit to the folks in Warren, Pa., our hero became the first in the Zavinski clan to bag a deer in 2001 on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Unfortunately, the official season wasn't supposed to start till the following week. The details:

Roughly the reflection Bambi saw just before impact.

Bambi must be deaf, 'cause he didn't "Run, bambi, run!" when I likely screamed "oh, shit".

Backing up to the beginning...

As I was leaving Warren, I pointed out to mom how it bothers me that the seam is a little out of alignment on the front passenger quarterpanel of my Acura Integra. There's also a door ding or two that mar a car that otherwise I've loved owning since '97.

"Oh, only you would notice that," mom said.

An hour or so later at about 7:40 p.m. I was cruising on rural, 4-lane Route 8 south of Franklin when suddenly Bambi appeared out of nowhere. I think he/she was on the white striped lines facing me head on; it all happened so fast I don't recall whether it had antlers.

I swerved to the right. Bambi fled toward my right. Ol' bambi apparently rolled down the driver's side of my car. Thump, rumble rumble rumble.

I pulled off and surveyed the damage:

The morning after: Somehow that grocery-cart door ding didn't seem so noticeable anymore.
  • Broken plastic on front turn signal.
  • Front left and rear quarterpanels crumpled and paint flaking.
  • Side-view mirror guts hanging from wires.
  • Windshield looks like a large spider built a web 1 foot in upward and rightward from bottom left.
  • Deer fur in gas-cap door, which required a screwdriver to pry open.
  • Mud on the front bumper (bambis should wipe their feet before entering the roadway; it would give them better ability to run like hell).
  • Enough contact on every part from the front bumper to back bumper and spoiler that everything must be repaired, replaced or repainted. Even the driver's side window was scratched by the mirror on its way off the car .

With flashlight in hand, I walked through the darkness back a quarter-mile looking for bambi and for my side mirror. No bambi, but I spotted the mirror in the passing lane, somewhat intact. At least something survived the crash.

I paused to let a car go by before walking onto the roadway. The car swerved into the passing lane to avoid me -- right over the mirror. Plastic flew in the air in all directions. So much for the mirror.

No sign of bambi other than rustling noises in the woods way across all four lanes of the highway, so I think I just winged him. At the very least, he was going to be really, really sore the next morning.

Car was driveable, although the missing mirror didn't make things easy.

I guessed $2K in repairs. Not even close. How about $3,959.88.

Dev poses with my baby in better, less-wrinkled times a few weeks earlier.

On the plus side:

Ya'know that little door ding on the driver's side that drove me nuts for years? Now you hardly notice it.

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