Friday, June 12, 2009

Bimmer: 1, Buzzard: 0

There are many "firsts" in life: your first kiss, your first date, the first time you bunt a buzzard into the Great Beyond with your vehicle...

That's right, I hit my very first buzzard yesterday, on I-74 in southern Indiana, just shy of the Ohio state line. I was tooling along at eighty in the slow lane and thinking "Wow, that's a big bird. Is that a hawk? Huh, it looks like he's going to land in the fast lane. He did! Whoops, my car has spooked him and he's taking off. OH $H..!!!" Now with him straining for altitude right over my hood ornament, I could see that he was not, in fact, a hawk...

There was a clatter of impact as all the hard parts of a buzzard pranged off the windshield header. I looked up, expecting to see a tear in the top, but it seemed to be intact, so I continued on to my next gas stop at Georgetown, Kentucky, sure that the roof of the Zed Three was strewn with buzzard subassemblies and wishing for a good rain to wash them off.

My fears were unfounded, however, as Buster the Buzzard didn't even chip the paint so's you'd notice. I hope his buddies ate him. I shouldn't have wished so hard for rain, however, because it then proceeded to rain like a cow peeing on a flat rock from Lexington all the way to the far side of the Tennessee border.

I-75 South was crowded with Michigan and Ohio plates. I don't know what it is about cars with Ohio plates outside of Ohio, but they all drive one of two ways. Either they creep along at one mile-per-hour under the limit, as though there were a valiant member of the Ohio State Patrol sitting in the back seat and peering over their shoulder at the speedometer, or they drive as though they'd just escaped...

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

Better a buzzard than a deer.

Glad you are O.K.

:-)

Shootin' Buddy

Nathan Brindle said...

Wow. Indeed better than a deer.

I've noticed that about Ohio drivers, too.

knirirr said...

Pheasants are the problem around here.
It's good that you got away without any damage. The last time I mowed down a pheasant it smashed the grille over the radiator.

JimB said...

That's a big bird to hit at high speed. Glad you are all right.

Anonymous said...

I think his name might have been "Beaky The Buzzard".

Bram said...

Is a buzzard like the Turkey Vultures we have in NJ? They are huge.

Jay G said...

There are turkey buzzards in NJ?

Fitting.

reflectoscope said...

Seeing as you weren't hurt in this (good thing) you can now have some nose art painted on.

Picture a Trosley-esque Z3, a buzzard with a stunned look on its face flying in a ballistic arc toward a basketball net with 0:01 on the clock, and the caption,

"Buzzard Beater"

Jim

Joanna said...

One of my great road trip memories from childhood is my dad clutching the steering wheel, seething about Ohio drivers. And Illinois drivers. And Kentucky drivers ... Ah, memories.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Nice "shootin'". Keeping the car on the road and going in the correct lane / direction is a bit of a feat in those circumstances.

My own personal best was a Canada Goose, which, sadly, was somewhat beyond "oven ready" as I scraped off the windshield.

Buzzard's gotta be worth more style points than a goose.

theirritablearchitect said...

How 'bout a deer...in a major downtown?

Second carcass I've seen in a month on my inbound run on I-35, in the same spot. And when I say downtown, I mean, like a few blocks from the 'scrapers.

amcljr said...

It's a little hard to figure exactly so I just checked my copy of Potter's Fundamentals of Engineering and he says:

"Objects impacting each other, with no external forces acting, experience a conservation of momentum. The 'coefficient of restitution, _e_ ' is used in such problems. e = (relative separation velocity) / (relative approach velocity). If e=1 the collision is 'elastic' with no energy loss; if e=0, the collision is 'plastic' with maximum energy loss."

I'd guess that while the smear value approached 1, your personal e for that bird is most decidedly 0.

In any case, your tale is a good reminder of why I moved to 4 wheels from 2 after tagging a turkey at speed. Bye-bye plastic fairings, hello elastic re-thinking of transportation options.

MCSA said...

I speak English, but phrases like "to rain like a cow peeing on a flat rock" and "buzzard subassemblies" have never been part of my city-slicker lexicon...

Pure awesome...

Anonymous said...

I've hit a bats and an owl, but no buzzards. Weird about the Michigan plates...I average about 9 hours on the road five nights a week here in the southeast, and I've definitely noticed a much higher proportion of Michiganders than is usual. I know that the economy up there is hurting, but is out migration at such levels that it's noticeable on the freeways?

Boyd said...

In Texas, we have a similar but more extensive description of "heavy rain:"

...like a double-[redacted]ed cow pissin' over a cliff, through a screen, onto a flat rock.

Or mebbe the rain is just differnt in Texas.

og said...

You. Are. My. Hero.

1: For the post title.
2: For the action that prompted the post title.
3: For having something happen to you that is actually more surreal than most of the crap that happens to me. For a change. I only wish you had pictures.

perlhaqr said...

Never got a buzzard, but I had an ex-cop Dodge Diplomat that I nicknamed "Sparrowhawk" after one particularly ... "fruitful" roadtrip.

It was raining, and the birds didn't seem to realize that it took a little longer to get off the ground in that weather than dry stuff. Admittedly, they were Arizona sparrows, so they may have never seen rain before. But I hit something like 15 of the blasted things.

Of course, those guys didn't have a patch on the suicide bunny commandos of southern Nevada...

D.W. Drang said...

Glad to hear both you and Bimmer are OK, a co-worker committed bambie-cide with his bimmer on the way to work last year, and is they are still waiting for replacement parts.

Your description of Ohio drivers is apt, of course: They are, indeed, either conditioned to drive as though a member of the OhStaPo are in the back seat. But I'm prejudiced, being an escaped Wolverine myself. We always figured you could save time and money while driving through Ohio, skip stopping for lunch, and just hold hamburger patties out the window for the the Highway Patrol to microwave for you.

Rob K said...

Bram, yep, they are the same birds. Once at the zoo, I made the mistake of saying "there's a buzzard, kids" in earshot of one the attendants, who snippily replied "They're not buzzards. They're vultures. There are no buzzards in America." Yeah, but that's what we call `em.

Glad nothing bad came of it, Tam. My parents hit a turkey once in their pick-up and it smashed the windshield.

El Capitan said...

There was the guy in my dorm at college who hit a buzzard on a backcountry East Texas road. The buzzard had fed just a bit too much on some ripe dead thing in the road, and due to excess takeoff weight was unable to gain enough altitude before impact.

It went in through the windshield clear to the backseat, then vomited up several pints of semidigested roadkill before expiring.

The smell was such that the car had to be totaled after several attempts at steam cleaning. As he said; "There's a reason they're called 'Fowl'".

lucky-fool said...

"Buzzard subassemblies" just made my day. I think that will replace "innards" in my lexicon.

wv: clintag - a game played by female White House interns in the 1990s.

Rabbit said...

Cap, one of my dad's employees had that experience in a shop truck- I think it was a '68 Chevy panel delivery. Came through the windshield and completed the explosion inside the cab.

Dad got the windshield replaced and got rid of the truck within the week. We used to joke with the guy any time we smelled something bad- "is that buzzard I smell?"

Regards,
Rabbit.

Kristopher said...

So, are you going to paint a little white buzzard silhouette on the driver's door?

Tennessee Budd said...

Peddie, I don't feel lonesome anymore. I nailed a goose a couple of years ago. Thought it'd come through the windshield, but it hit the base of the roof. Apparently, '81 Caprices can withstand buzzard impacts.

bram said...

Jay G: NJ is too broke to clean up the hundreds of dead deer on the road every day so they leave it to the Turkey Vultures and Black Bears.

George said...

I love the concept of the nose art ... but you definitely have to paint the silhouette on your driver's side door ... just below your rank and name.

This could be the start of something great ... and provide a new lease on life for the Bimmer.

Regards.

fast richard said...

Be glad those OH drivers are not from NJ where they still try to enforce the 55mph speed limit, even on roads posted for 65. They're even worse than passive agressive Minnesota drivers.

Anonymous said...

...as the British would say... your bimmer is..." in proof."

Top of the Chain said...

Just think Tam,

Four more buzzards and you'll be an ace.

Alex said...

"Four more buzzards and you'll be an ace."

That's awsome.

LabRat said...

You were damned lucky. El Capitan's experience is the normal one for taking out a vulture- that wasn't a coincidence, vomiting is a self-defensive maneuver for them. Some of my cousins had to get rid of a car for the same reason; you do not EVER eliminate that smell.

B Smith said...

My dad almost got taken off his motorcycle by a redtail hawk once. It came up up off a fencepost alongside I-275 (also in IN, near Lawrenceburg)
I live in Cincinnati, and drive like hell whenever I manage to escape :-)

(WV: duracyci- not enough to withstand a redtail-strike, it ain't.)

D.W. Drang said...

Top of the Chain said...
Just think Tam,
Four more buzzards and you'll be an ace.

Next stop Hinkley, OH!

Stranger said...

Be thankful it didn't wind up entangled with the upholstery. I lost a van that way. Never could get the stink out.

Stranger

SpeakerTweaker said...

"Buzzard Subassemblies"?

WOW, that's funny!!!

Ed Foster said...

Glad you're O.K. Also glad your lovely little bit of Appalachin workmanship is still purring smoothly.

Lost my Saturn Vue 19 months ago to Bambi's Daddy @ 80+ MPH on Route 15, and lost the windshield of my Jeep two years before that to a "Patridge", localese for a humungous Ruffed Grouse.

WV tormaten, which I think is what is used by unruly Teutonic children so splatter the windows of assumed witches and wizards.

A buddy of mine named Roger has averaged at least two deer a year with his little Ford pick-up since about the Declaration of Independence, and I think just about anybody living in a rural area here in Connecticut has at least one good collision story.

If you total up all the private land and public land, rifle, shotgun, black powder and archery tags allowed one individual around here, the max allowed number of deer in this state is 15 or 16, and it's still not enough.

My brother-in-law Dana rarely has less than a dozen deer a year hanging in the garage, and my sister is so disgusted with venison she gives away several hundred pounds a year.

There's something to be said for inheriting a construction company.

He hunts northern New York the first two weeks of October, southern New York the second two weeks, New Hampshire the first half of November, Vermont the second half, then black powder, shotgun, and private land rifle in CT until Christmas. I wish I could say I thought he was overdoing it, but all I feel is envy.

Zed 3's are one of the sweet ones, and you're kinda fun too. Again, glad everybody's O.K.

Anonymous said...

All that for a bird?

Wait till you nail a bull in back country Wyoming on a curvy stretch of road. Dang Angus are hard to see at night and they pretty well total out a 250 ford at the right speed. Even the brush guard was destroyed.

TheOtherLarry said...

Funny story!

When I lived in Alabama many years ago I hit a buzzard with my Ford pickup. It flew straight into the grill, through the radiator and through the fan. To say the least, the engine compartment was spray painted with liquified buzzard and feathers. It took me a week to clean the aromatic mess - and then fix the damage.

The smell was almost as bad as when I hit a skunk with an old Torino. Folks at work never did find that dead skunk in the parking lot.

Brigid said...

On tonights Menu Buzzard Beemer Stle.

Assrot said...

Good thing that wasn't one of them sacred "California Condors" or you'd have busted a windshield from all the lead he ate in gut piles left by hunters.

;-)

Joe

P.S. - Glad you lived. You are one of my favorite bloggers.

Eric Lee said...

I would say im in the second group of Ohio drivers. plus Fort Campbell frowns on soldiers being late from a 4-day pass