Friday, June 03, 2011

Deer Want Us All Dead (plus: Help A Brother Out!)

It's a beautiful day outside! The arrival of June has finally meant that Manitobans are able to enjoy some prolonged sunshine, with clear days and beautiful warm weather expected throughout the weekend. This means that many of us, freespirited wanderlusters that we are, will take off into the wildernesses in all directions to enjoy some peace and quiet out amongst nature -- aaaaaaaand nature will immediately attempt to murder as many of us as it can.

Before I get too far into today's top story, though, I'd like to reintroduce a segment I call:

Help a Brother Out!

Okay. Where in this city can a guy get a steel folding chair? Just a plain-ass metal chair. None of this sissy guff about "padding", or "fabric", or "style", or "comfort"; I want a straightforward, no-nonsense, one-hundred-per-cent-metal folding chair. Colour is inessential, and in fact discouraged; plain grey or black is the ideal, although I am willing to compromise and accept beige, brown and blue as viable options.

They are portable and easy to set up, very sleek and functional, which I appreciate. But there's a motive beyond that, and an entirely predictable one: I'm sure I've mentioned at least a few times before -- and if you don't know, now you know -- that I dig the classic tropes of professional wrestling. (Full disclosure: I am wearing an "I Broke Wahoo's Leg" t-shirt right now.) So ideally I'd have two of these chairs, one for home and one for the trunk of my car, just so I have my bases covered in the event that I decide it's time to try and solve something by running in with a steel chair. Say what you will about a fake sport, but there are solid fundamental principles behind swinging a solid hunk of metal that only counts as a weapon if somebody sees you use it as such.

So! Anybody know where in Winnipeg a man can purchase a steel chair? Such a security system would surely come in handy if I one day need to, say, fend off the assault of a deer on my dog. Just as a purely hypothetical example, completely unrelated to today's post.

ha ha ha naaaaaah who am i kidding

Deer Will Murder Your Children and Pets

Yes! Perhaps you, you dirty Bambi sympathizer, had been unaware or unwilling to admit that deer are bloodthirsty marauders who will storm your lands and slaughter your loved ones with no perceivable provocation whatsoever. No longer! Twitter was abuzz last night, and regional news outlets abuzz today, following the Readers Digest Kenora Daily Miner & News article about a woman whose dog was trampled and whose thirteen-month-old daughter was nearly slaughtered by a rampaging deer in her yard.

Kenora resident Courtney Van Aertselaer, who had previously left a local petition to cull Kenora's rising deer population unsigned, indicated to media that she'd since changed her mind after one such deer attempted to exterminate her family:

"That whole story about the deer cull last weekend, maybe we need to reconsider before somebody really gets hurt," she said. "It's bad enough that my dog is as bad as it is but it could have been my child. It could have been anyone's children."

EVEN YOURS, READER

Nobody knows what the deer's deal was, which is the missing piece that makes the story more interesting. It could have been chased into that yard by an unseen predator, trampling anything it came across in an adrenaline-fueled rush of perceived self-defense. It could be the harbinger of a mass deer uprising, a preliminary strike to eradicate humans at the beginning of the season when humans traditionally start wiping out deer along highways by mistake. Or maybe this deer lost a bet with Ol' Roy. Maybe the evil influence of Giygas has spread to infect the hearts of animals, and they turn now to violence to terrorize humanity and defeat the heroes of Earth. Or maybe this was a particularly bad apple of a deer, who does this all the time; that deer knows it's too young to face any strong criminal repercussions, and furthermore knows that the judges will let it off easy for the unfortunate social circumstances it was born into. This could be the latest in a long string of unexplained murders and property damage, and the big payoff is that somebody finally saw the culprit and never would have guessed it was a deer. (Do we have any local short-story 'zines? Because this is actually a reasonably good premise.)

Or you know what? Maybe deer are just dicks. We have to acknowledge this as a possibility.

Granted, this happened in Kenora, which -- if we're being honest -- is pretty well an honourary part of Manitoba but technically sits in a different province. (Northern Ontario would probably be way better off as its own province, but we can get into that another time.) A similar deer invasion is statistically less likely to be a problem within the city of Winnipeg, both because of the enemy's migratory patterns and because (if I've been reading our local newspapers correctly) entire neighbourhoods' worth of Winnipeggers just walk around armed at all times. Even still! This is an important reminder that venturing outside the Perimeter is no time to let your guard down, because there are vicious creatures lurking out there just waiting to rend you limb from limb. Even the herbivores want you dead.

So if a deer charges you with intend to murder your offspring and domesticated animals, because that's apparently a thing that deer do now, what are your options? As the news reports indicate, the first and best thing to do is to get your most easily trampled (trampleable?) party members to safety. Absolute first priority is to save any babies and toddlers you left lying on the ground, the defenseless ones, just take whatever lumps you have to to scoop 'em up and get them away from the scene.

However, once you have them out of harm's way and the deer moves up to larger targets, it may fall to you to ward the deer off your teenagers or smaller adults. I mean, unless you aren't particularly attached to them. In which case, it ain't your responsibility to go get them; it's safest to find shelter and see if your idiot friend figures out to follow suit, and if he or she doesn't, welp. You did what you could! The deer don't care who they kill, so long as there are corpses at the end.

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that you decide to be an idiot too and head back out there to save your human companion or whatever adorable pet is running a distraction. I want to tell you this right now, because you need to keep this in mind: as cool a story as it would be, you are not going to win a fistfight with a deer. Deer are big; whitetail deer like the ones around Kenora range anywhere from 110 to 300 pounds, can grow up to almost eight feet long, and can leap ten feet like nothing. Whereas you get winded going up three flights of stairs, and your favourite TapouT shirt has somehow mysteriously shrunk recently to become half a size too small. So no, tough guy, your usual battle plan at Monty's is not going to cut it.

Remember that you are a human, and humans solve problems with tools; cars and cottages are both viable places to keep things that might come in handy, just in case you are one day charged with combating the whitetail rebellion. If you've read a newspaper even once in Winnipeg, you are well aware that bear spray works on more than just bears. No permits, no training, no wait time for purchase; you don't even need to know how to aim bear spray! Just shoot it anywhere that isn't directly towards your own head, and it should get the deer off your case.

Knives and broken beer bottles, classic Winnipeg favourites for close-quarters combat, are probably just going to get you trampled; people allegedly try to hunt deer with knives, but this seems to depend on A) having the advantage of an ambush and B) knowing to stab its vital areas. Which is a problem for the majority of us -- myself included -- who have no prior expertise on internal deer anatomy.

Having noted that I am no deer expert, I've thought this next part through, and I believe it's sound reasoning. Limited to stuff you could conceivably find in your trunk or porch, and assuming you don't have licensed firearms just lyin' around all over the place -- if a deer is trying to end your dog's life, and you're coming at it from the side with whatever you could grab, a good solid baseball bat would probably be the ideal. You ever get a good look at a deer? It's built like a meat zeppelin on stilts. It can't trample anything if it can't support its own body weight, so aim for anything on the leg that looks like a joint and just go to town swinging. Hindenburg that sucker!

Oh, wait, geez, I completely forgot about fireworks! Okay -- do you want to really screw with that deer's brain? If you're the type to take fireworks to the lake, lighting those suckers (away from the car, smart guy) ought to surprise the deer enough that he takes off. Unless we're completely underestimating the resolve of these deer and how badly they want us dead, because -- from the way that Kenora story was reported -- somebody apparently bred bursts of T-1000 programming into these suckers.

And when all else fails? When you've exhausted your car's trunk, and the deer is still circling your elderly grandparents with full intent to trample them to death? There's one nuclear option, and you know it's the one they hate: hit them with the car. We know that's definitely their weakness, you can yell for grandpa to get the hell out of the way before you rocket into them, and hey -- as long as you're economical with the details, MPI will cover whatever happens to your vehicle.

"What happened?"
"I hit a deer."

So stay vigilant, hinterland explorers! Don't take any unnecessary risks, but be ready to do whatever is necessary to fight back the savage hordes who want you and all your ilk dead in a shallow puddle of blood at their hooves. Oh, and most importantly: enjoy your weekend! Have fun out there.

1 comment:

Fat Arse said...

James,
Based on my life experience in the mid-80s I seem to remember that the simple functional grey metal chairs you covet can (maybe still?) be found at the Headingley Jail. Err... course problem is how to get them out without being admitted ;)