Bobby McGee

ya ya haT 2 My eyes mist as I drive by the place they make sausage. I pray that a truck will not be parked there as I pass. So that I will not witness a guy poking a stick in the side holes, nudging a couple of scared cows out onto the one way path. But, even if the place is void of activity, I can still see the brown stains from where the many bodies have brushed against the white, cinder block wall and a lump forms in my throat. One spring morning, with an orange ball of sun on the horizon, I was following a lone, wooly, lamb, who was trying to keep balance, in the back of a pick up truck. I was thinking, "How cute are you, little fella?" The truck turned into the sausage place. I was a fucking MESS. God forbid, I should see a semi with chicken feathers and beaks sticking out the air holes, on the interstate, or spot the snouts of pigs sailing by. You see, I am a vegetarian, trapped inside the body of a carnivore. And there is not a pill or a surgery that I am aware of, that will turn me into a vegan. So, I am forced to live with the guilt that comes along, after finishing off a half a pound of bacon, before the bread is even toasted and the tomato is even sliced. I cannot help the way I am. The emotional outbursts that occur as I am driving along however, are sometimes, inexplicable. I just cry in cars. My first car crying experience was on a rainy afternoon, a long, long, time ago. I was sitting in traffic, waiting for a red light to turn green.  My windshield wipers were flapping back and forth on medium and Janis Joplin was belting out, "Windshield wipers slapping time I’s, holdin’ Bobby's hand in mine.  We sang every song that driver knew.Windshield wipers slapping time. These are friends of mine." I was singing my lungs out along with Miss Joplin, because I know she would have wanted me to and then my voice cracked during, "Freedom's just another word, for, nothin’ left to lose." I have an awful singing voice, which no one will deny, but it typically does not crack. It's just out of tune. That is when I realized that I was crying. It was odd. There were no trucks stuffed with animals in sight. The next thing I knew, I was balling my head off. This was terrible timing, because, the light had turned green and I was headed onto the on ramp to the beltline. It was a dangerous situation. I turned the wipers on high. They no longer kept time with 'Bobby McGee.' The weirdest part about the situation is, I'd thought for a split second, while I was waiting for the light to change, about my deceased, ex-father-in law, who had been gone for more than a year. It is true that I had not grieved him properly at the time of his passing, but I still find the timing of my breakdown, curious. Fourteen years ago, my granddaughter Oceanne, who was all of three, yelled to her mother, "I don't know why I'm crying! The crying just comes to me!" She was seated in her car seat and kicking her little legs, when she made that statement. Apparently she has inherited the same affliction. She may have it worse than me. I have never been struck with an outburst when others have been in the car. And I do not kick my feet like that. But, this story is not about crying. This story is about clearing my name. The Wisconsin Circuit Court Website says that I am a, Serial, Deer, Killer. This is totally unfair. Truth be told, deer used to confuse me with Dr. Kevorkian. And I never looked anything like that man. I also have never pulled any plugs or smothered anybody with any pillows or given anybody any lethal pills to swallow. Deer hurl themselves at my vehicles without abandon. They force me to kill them. I am the victim. Why can't they just jump off a cliff or something and leave me out of it? For awhile I hoped that maybe they just couldn't see me. Could it be the color of my car? My friend Shirlee, worked for the DMV. She looked it up. "Statistically speaking," she says. "there are more sliver cars involved in deer accidents than any other color." "See, I was right!" I exclaimed. "Yes," she said. "But it's probably just because you have a silver car." "Oh." When my day in court arrives, this will by my attorney's closing argument. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, this is a very caring and sensitive individual. She cries in cars for God's sake, especially, if she sees any type of animal cruelty. Surely, she would not have killed all those deer on purpose! Why, she has even been known to let the fish out of the live well before getting back to shore."


We were a couple of blocks from home, on the road along the lake. My sons Marques and Rene, were nine and seven at the time. They were also in the car, still wearing their karate outfits. Marques was speaking. "You are never supposed to use karate, unless it is in self defense. Because your hands are lethal weapons, Mom." I was nodding in agreement with his bullshit and.. BAMN! A deer bounced off the front bumper and landed in the yard of a neighbor's home. "AHHHHH!" we were all screaming. "AHHHHH!" we screamed some more. The deer had no pulse. "Mom, why did you kill that deer?" We drove home. I was incoherent, so the karate kids, had to explain to Sven what had just occurred. Sven went down the street and he took care of business. The boys said it was all my fault.


I was driving up cemetery hill, in the Subaru from hell. I was alone. The sun was getting ready to set, making the sky pink, which was reflecting off my windshield, which was covered with a grimy film of pollen and bug guts. I pulled the lever on my steering column forward, to clean the windshield, so that I could enjoy the magnificent sky. The blue fluid sprayed onto the glass. The wipers went back and they went forth. They went back. And then, there was a buck, with a big rack, right in front of my car. RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY CAR. BAMN! He flew off to the left and I flew off the right side of the road, into a barbed wire fence. "AHHHHH!" The police came. Then Sven arrived and he took care of business and took me home. The boys said it was all my fault.


It was my turn to car pool after baseball practice.

Left in my vehicle, were, Marques, Rene and one neighbor boy. We were about a half a mile from home.

We were just passing the Laundromat on the right, at about twenty miles an hour and the park was coming up on the left.

The conversation was all about farts.

Because it always was.

I learned all about flagellations, as a car pool mom. You cannot get an education like that anywhere else.

A deer came running out of the park at full throttle.

I hit my brakes.

The deer hit my left headlight.

All the people in the car were screaming.


The deer ran away.


"Mom! Why did you hit that deer?"

The boys told Sven it was all my fault.


I was listening intently to a talk radio show and slowing down for the stop sign, where I would be taking a left onto cemetery hill.

There was static interference.

I hate static interference.

I was turning the knob to tune it in, because it was still the, radios have knobs, era.

Sven is upset that knobs have been replaced with buttons.

He always says, "You could turn a knob the tiniest bit and tune your radio in. Why did they have to mess with that?"

He has a point. But he is still upset that you don't get a T.V. guide with the Sunday paper anymore.

Anyway, I turned that knob the tiniest bit and the static cleared.


A deer smashes into my right front passenger door and falls backward.


I cried all the way home.


Sven went to take care of business.

He came back ten minutes later and said, "Millie the deer is gone."

The boys said it was all my fault.


It was dark.

I was at the wheel of our new, white, Tracer and Sven was my passenger.

Apparently, I had one less beer than Sven did.

Otherwise, he would have been driving.

We'd spent the day helping my sister and brother-in-law move into their new house.

In case you don't know, it is a Wisconsin State Law, that beer be provided for all movers.

My sister and brother-in-law had complied.

I was talking as I drove.

I don't remember what I was saying, but, I can guarantee you that my lips were moving, because they always are.


A deer bounced off the white hood and at the very same moment we were pelted in our faces with exploding air bags and the horn instantly was stuck on an all out BLARE.


It was an hysterical scene, between the blaring horn that would not shut up and the deer who was not yet dead and the woman who was screaming shrilly for somebody to come and shoot the poor suffering animal who was trying to get up.


By the time the police arrived the deer had passed. Sven had figured out how to turn off the horn. Sven's glasses had been found under the back seat, twisted beyond repair. And the crazy woman, was just sniffling.

"Have you been drinking?" asked the young policeman.

"No Occifer," I answered. "We were helping my sister move today."

Well, that was a stupid thing to say, with our state law and everything.

But, that nice kid in uniform, took pity on the woman who could have been his mother, with mascara all over her face and the old guy with the twisted glasses, who was with her.

He drove them home and he dropped them off and he wrote no ticket.

But he did give us a suspicious look.

When Sven told the story of how that deer came out of nowhere and just landed on the hood of the car, the boys said, "It's all mom's fault."

"That's it," I told Sven. "Marques and Rene will not be invited to my murder trial."

"Murder trial?"

"I have got to clear my name, Sven."

"What name?"

"Everybody thinks I'm a deer killer. Look, even the hat she made me has a car smashing into a deer glued on it."

"I think that's just a joke," he says. "Have you noticed the rest of your hat?"

"Yeah? Well, then how come it says, Mille Noe, Serial Deer Killer, on the Wisconsin Court Website?"

"Are you sure about that?" he says.

"Well, it says I have killed a lot of deer."

"You have."

"I am going to tell the judge exactly who to send the invitations to. And Marques and Rene will not be on my list."

"Do you mean, subpoenas?" he says.



[one_half]janis joplin[/one_half]

[one_half_last]"One day up near Salinas Lord, I let him, slip away. He's lookin’ for that home, and I hope he finds it. But I'd trade all of my tomorrows, for one single, yesterday, to be holdin’ Bobby's body next to mine."[/one_half_last]

Maybe it was lyrics.



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