(For those of you not privy to JUST HOW BIG my beloved Texas is, that's five HUNDRED miles. Same state. 7 1/2 hours.)
It's a testament to just how tired Nolan was to ask me to drive. My job on road trips is usually just to sit there and look pretty, because evidently I'm "THE WORST DRIVER IN THE WORLD." (I'm not. But, truth be told, I'm not fantastic, either.) And although I've lived in Texas for the greater part of my life, and I've made this trip before, I've never driven it alone. And I was alone, with only Sirius FM 80's and Nolan's dulcet snores (that sound like a cartoon) to keep me company. As I was coming out of Eden, TX (not necessarily the Garden spot the name would have you believe), I poked Nolan for a little verification that I wasn't going the wrong way. He thrashes about, grumbling and snapping, and I was distracted for a moment, and turned back to see a large, black bird (or maybe a pterodactyl?) in the middle of the road.
I thought the next things in rapid fire succession:
Holy cow, that is a big dang bird.
Why isn't that bird flying off?
It's really stinking BIG.
Nolan says not to swerve wildly for deer, so maybe this is the same. Will stay the course.
He's going to fly off, soon. Yup.
That tractor-trailer truck passed him and he just hopped out of its way. Maybe he's really enjoying whatever roadkill is in the middle of the highway.
I don't like my dinner to be interrupted, either. Solidarity, Bird.
He'll fly off soon.
Should I swerve? No, he'll fly away.
And....Now. Move, stupid bird!
There was a sickening thump, feathers EVERYWHERE, and Nolan shouting from the passenger seat, "WHY DIDN"T YOU SWERVE?!"
I mean, I just can't win. So now, I have a pissed off husband, guilt over the fact that a killed one of God's creatures with my car, and a Lula Mae has a cracked bumper, because that buzzard was HUGE. Eight, ten feet tall, possibly.
Nolan said that it had probably already been hit, and that's why it wasn't flying away. He said I probably did that buzzard a favor, because the coyotes would have got him eventually. So in essence, I euthanized the buzzard with my car instead of him getting eaten later on. I got all weepy, because even with the bravado I show the world, I'm not a cold-blooded killer.
But the moral of the story? If you're in the middle of the road, and I'm coming at you at 60 miles per hour? You need to get out of the way, because I'm just going to assume you need hitting if you don't.
I mean, I'll be doing you a favor, really.