The other night I was driving home from work at midnight on a very remote stretch of road. I came around the curve and saw a car stopped in the oncoming lane. My first thought was, “Oh great, now what? How altruistic am I willing to be, a woman alone at midnight in the middle of nowhere?” But then I got closer and realized why they were stopped.
There was an albino skunk standing in the middle of the road. It was one of those moments when your first instinct is to rub your eyes and look again, as if some sort of adjustment in focus is required. But there he was, on the center line, looking kind of dazed and confused. Needless to say I wasn’t going to usher the poor thing off the highway, not with those scent glands. So I just slowed down as I passed by. Surreal.
When I got home I Googled it and discovered that albino skunks only occur once in every 20,000 births. But skunks apparently also come in brown, grey, and white with a black stripe instead of the other way around. Go figure.
It’s not the first time I’ve been driving along minding my own business and have encountered total weirdness. One time it was a herd of llamas on the side of the road just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Another time the tire came off the pickup truck ahead of me, axle and all, and rolled about 100 yards before veering off into the ditch. Needless to say the truck didn’t quite make it that far.
I once had to call the cops in Las Vegas when I witnessed a fist fight. It was occurring in a car between the driver and his passenger. They were whaling on each other, I mean fists were flying, people, and yet the driver was still driving.
I almost went over a cliff when I came upon a herd of wild horses in Mesa Verde National Park, and in Yellowstone a buffalo walked up beside my van and glared at me. He was bigger than the van. It was enough to make me find religion.
On my way to the bank on my lunch hour I once saw a prostitute in her third trimester of pregnancy, wearing a purple satin spandex unitard.
You know, in retrospect it’s kind of amazing I don’t get into more traffic accidents.