Member Musings: Carole J. Greene

Member Musings features the reflections and thoughts of an NPC member.

Signs Of The Times

Carole J. Greene

Have you ever thought much about deer crossings? I have—several hours’ worth—on a long stretch of rain and wind-swept highway. My mind undertook the exploration of this subject a few minutes out of Fort Lauderdale on Alligator Alley, on what we hoped would be an uneventful drive through the night back to Naples. It all started when, as we zipped along at 40 mph in Sunday post-holiday traffic, I spied a “deer crossing” sign.

Since I didn’t have much else to do while dear hubby drove, I spent the rest of the journey thinking about that deer crossing. First, I wondered WHEN the study was undertaken to determine that deer would cross at that point—2007? 1907? 1807? (Impossible to answer.)

Second, I asked myself just what expert on deer commuting habits had fixed that exact point of crossing. (Or could it be that the deer read the signs and thus knew where to cross?) Then my mind dealt with the problem of why I should believe some unknown nature-lover when my logic told me there couldn’t be all that many deer (crossing or otherwise) in one of the most densely populated areas of Florida’s east coast. (Answer: I shouldn’t.)

At that point, I questioned what kind of deer would choose to cross an eight-lane expressway heavily traveled almost 24 hours a day. (That one was easy: one bent on self-destruction.) Next I wondered what a driver was expected to do in the event that a suicidal deer DID try to cross the highway. Was everyone expected to slam on the brakes and cause a three-mile pile up (in both directions) to protect one misguided animal? Now, I’m as much of a conservationist as the next person, but if it comes to a choice between a deer and ME, guess which one would lose?

So it comes down to this: what good is the stupid sign?

For the remainder of the journey, having wrung all the juice I could out of the deer-crossing subject, I turned my mind to more important matters. Like: What is the purpose of all the construction materials lying on the ground adjacent to the recreation area off-ramp? And: Did I remember to top up my SunPass account or would we get a bill for tolls, plus a nasty letter pointing out the obvious—that we needed money in our SunPass account? And: How long can I continue to use the excuse “I’m creating” when dear hubby asks me to drive?

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