Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Accidental Taxidermist, and a fine idea

From time to time here on NAY I divulge secrets about myself in an effort to 1) shed one more dark layer in an attempt to peel back to my shining center (a lifelong exercise, let me just tell you right now), and 2) to get response from y'all about whether or not a particular secret is a shared item amongst humanity/the blogosphere or is peculiar only to me.

Today, you lucky dogs, is one of the "secret" days! You get to know another little tidbit about the Tiff!

Here goes:

As many of you know, I have a rather long commute to and from work (why, the distances "to" and "from" are nearly identical, now that I think of it! Amazing!). Much of this commute takes place through country, and by country I mean "country," with farms and cows and forests and suchlike as you'd find in a rural southern community.

Example: there's a place not far from our house that advertises "turkeys, poults, and chicks" for sale. A bit further down the road is a beat-up trailer home that regularly advertises "free kittens" on a crooked hand-lettered sign. A week or so ago, at 10 p.m., there was a harvester in the soybean field next door bringing in the crops. I pass a place that has pygmy goats tied out in the front yard.

Stuff like that.

So, in all this "country," and with all the driving, I have the opportunity, if you will, to pass many varieties of wildlife who have been knocked lifeless and left on the side of the road. As one old swain termed them - "road-ready flat snacks."

Here's my secret: I HAVE to look at every single one of them and try to identify what it once was.

I know, it's icky, yet I can't help myself.

Deer are easy, except when they're fawns, when they can easily be mistaken for dogs. Usually deer can be ID'ed through fur color or the presence of a deer-y ear or fluffy tail rising up from amidst the carnage. Cats are also usually easy, though can be mistaken for skunks, particularly in colder weather when the telltale scent is frozen into submission. Dogs and foxes can be hard to figure out, especially if the fox is a gray one and the tail got mooshed. Sometimes a real stumper comes in in the form of some manner of bird, and because I'm no ornithologist I can't tell if that tangle of feathers is owl or seagull or hawk. (note to self: work on that)

As if that's not bad enough, I go beyond the identification process, taking the horrific compulsion one step further.

I go all CSI on the scene of the crime as I whizz past at 50-70 MPH, and make an attempt to figure out time of death.

This is easier in the summer. I won't go into why.

Some questions arise from this morbid preoccupation: Was I a taxidermist in a former life? A scavenger? A turkey buzzard? More importantly, does anybody else out there share this odd fascination, or am I, as usual, alone in my twisted little world?


Found this on Yahoo today, and think it a most excellent idea.

I haven't been to the official website yet (for fear of getting the dreaded "this site is not in compliance with corporate policy, you have been marked as a naughty girl for this infraction, you base little minx!"), but this seems to be a mighty fine idea in theory.

One big ol' happy world - woo!


If anybody does choose to go there (you brave little soldiers, you!), please feel free to report back on what you find!

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