It All Comes Back To The Simpsons

Friday, September 16, 2005

"It's Awful...It Looks Like Wisconsin!"

For the past few weekends, our family has been traveling the state of Wisconsin, visiting brothers and sisters and state parks. We've gone through hilly country, cranberry bogs, pine forests, prairies, and beautiful old cities like Madison and Stevens Point. It's a beautiful time of year, the trees are still in full foliage, with the leaves just starting to turn colors, and the oppressive heat and humidity of summer are waning significantly. There is, however,a gruesome exhibition decorating our state's highways.

You would not believe the carnage...oppossums, deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, cats, skunks, not sure but I think it might have been either an alien or a badger, chipmunks, birds and greasy, grimey gopher guts are strewn across our roads, smeared, in some cases, a good hundred feet or so. It's hard to get worked up about the beautiful scenery with the cold face of Death around every turn. There are limbs sticking out at impossible angles, rotting flesh and bloated corpses everywhere. In some cases, you can, over the course of a quarter mile, witness a mommy raccoon, one baby, two babies, three, four, and sometimes even the daddy, and you wonder: was it one car that did all this? Or did they, in their animal grief, take their own lives, rather facing the sting of hot steel than to face a day without their family? Or are they just stupid? Hard to say, really.

These morbid highways have been a part of life in Wisconsin ever since they cut the budget for the WI Department of Natural Resources a few years ago, and the dead animal pick-up service was eliminated. The idea was that the scavengers would take care of the corpses, and that the dead bodies would serve as warnings for drivers, as well as other animals. Good theory, but the animals don't seem to pay heed to the "warning cadavers", and the dead animals are piling up at a staggering rate. It has been good for the scavengers, though, including Bald Eagles, which have made a big comeback in our area lately. They're not so majestic when hunched over a dead rabbit on the side of the road, but last month Sy and I saw one swoop down out of the air and catch a fish at the lake by our house, and that was one of the most awesome things I've ever witnessed.

There is a practice in Buddhism where you are supposed to meditate over a dead body to contemplate your own mortality in direct terms; sort of like the Biblical quote "You came from dust and to dust you shall return" (not sure of the exact quote, I'm sure there's probably a "thou" or a "cometh" or a "shite" in there somewhere). I think a drive across Wisconsin in the summer should at least qualify you for the title "Dali Bratwurst Rinpoche" (or something like that...). Or at least get you free tickets to Nirvana.

Of course, you'd have to be pretty stupid to buy Nirvana tickets...


  • At least they still pick up the people.

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Fri Sep 16, 07:35:00 PM 2005  

  • Hey! Maybe we have the answer to our energy crisis. We can fuel our cars with animal carcasses!

    (got this from Taysters blog)

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Fri Sep 16, 09:10:00 PM 2005  

  • Ah Wisconsin and its carnage! And they always said the smell was from the cows.

    My cousin just started college at UW Stevens Point. Aren't there Amish near there?

    By Blogger Shannon, at Fri Sep 16, 09:40:00 PM 2005  

  • Sy, that was hilarious! you're re-tah-ded! ...You ah!
    And I'm not sure why, but I get a mental picture of some sort of cuisinart contraption when I think of fueling our cars with dead animals...sort of like the end of "Back to the Future".

    You're right, Shannon. The Amish represent in Point, yo! Seems like you're constantly passing black buggies on the road up there. Some of them will return a friendly wave, some will give you the stink-eye. It's impossible to tell the "cool" Amish from the "jerk" Amish, at least as far as I can tell. I hate to sound racist or whatever, but I can't tell one Amish man from another. Does that make me bad?

    By Blogger sideshow bob, at Sat Sep 17, 12:45:00 AM 2005  

  • Nirvana? I thought they were still in the studio. Holy crap, I hope they come to Albany! I love their angry grunge melodies.

    By Blogger Shamus O'Drunkahan, at Sun Sep 18, 10:21:00 AM 2005  

  • Maybe all the carcasses are why you peeps have that feral cat problem? They should look into cleaning them up before they decide to shoot the kitties, thus creating MORE carcasses...


    By Blogger ORF, at Mon Sep 19, 09:20:00 AM 2005  

  • ORF- we taxidermy what we shoot. It's the Wisconsin way.

    By Blogger Sylvana, at Mon Sep 19, 11:16:00 PM 2005  

  • There's something wrong with me. All I could think about while reading your post is fresh meat. Not really.

    When I think of the carnage I see on the Discovery Channel, mean big animals eating cute fluffy baby animals, I'm not sure there's a good way to go for our furry friends.

    I hate thinking.

    By Blogger "AG", at Tue Sep 20, 07:03:00 AM 2005  

  • If I were an elected official, money for the random drug testing of high school students would get cut from the budget long before the money for the dead animal pick-up service.

    By Blogger Grace, at Tue Sep 20, 11:10:00 PM 2005  

  • So like, is the state slogan for Wisconsin "I see dead animals" ?
    Just asking.

    By the way, here via AG. And I got a real belly laugh out of your line "...a 'thou'...a 'cometh' or a 'shite' in there somewhere."

    Fun post! (except all the death and stuff) :)

    By Blogger Weary Hag, at Wed Sep 21, 04:12:00 AM 2005  

  • grace- I think we'd be a lot better off drug testing the politicians rather than the students.

    weary hag- our state motto is "Forward"'s easy to remember because it's the opposite of our national motto "Backwards".

    By Blogger sideshow bob, at Wed Sep 21, 03:11:00 PM 2005  

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