Or, more like a deer in the headlights. Which is exactly what my drivers license picture looks like. And to think, I was all excited about getting a new license with a shiny new picture. You know, they only allow you to renew that old license with that youthful picture for so long.  I waited in line at the DPS for 4 hours!  Can you believe it?  I was looking around for Ashton Kutcher.  I thought I was being punked.  I think they make you wait in line at the DPS for 4 hours so you’ll look exactly the same as you’re going to look when the cops pull you over.  A little cranky and put-out!  So, I tried to create my best fake smile.  And, I remember waiting for weeks for my license to come in the mail (of course they mailed it the following day…but it was mailed through the US Postal System…need I say more??)  There I was, anxiously anticipating the receipt of my new license through the mail. Only to find, to my disappointment, the worst picture ever! It looked as if someone had goosed me right as they snapped the picture. Hence, the deer in the headlights. Oh well. Enough about that!
With the winter holidays and holiday travel, you may encounter a deer or two in your headlights on your road trip. Perhaps even a reindeer, but doubtful.  In the winter, deer find their way out to that black top pavement where the sun has been warming it all day.  So beware! Don’t let anything distract you while you’re driving. Give yourself plenty of reaction time and know where your “out” is at all times.
I’m originally from the Midwest, where the deer are massive.  My Dad hit one of those giant deer when I was a kid. He was coming home from work (i.e. the pub). The deer came through the windshield of his car and the antlers cut him across the forehead. He still has a frankenstein-like scar (that’s actually his surgeon’s name…really).  And then we had venison for about 3 years after that. My mom didn’t know how to prepare it.  So she’d mix it with ManWich Sauce.  She called them “Deerwiches”. I hate venison to this day. Just plain burned out on it, I suppose. My parents probably still have some in their deep freeze from 43 years ago. My mom hasn’t cleaned out the deep freeze in about 43 years. That’s for sure.  Jimmy Hoffa and the Lindergh baby are probably in there. That’s when a Kenmore lasted 40+ years. Don’t get me started.
During your excursion this holiday season, should you encounter a deer in your headlights, don’t panic.  You just don’t want to hit it head-on like my dad’s deer.  He was lucky.  That deer could easily injure you or possibly kill you.  Or, wouldn’t be just your luck that you’re going through a camera light with that deer sitting on your lap? That would be on You Tube forever.  The best thing to do, if you can’t avoid hitting the deer, try to create a sideswipe on it.  Whether you hit it head-on or sideswipe it, either way, it’s probably not going to survive.  But at least both y’all don’t have to die.  Human life is more precious than animal life.  So if it’s between your family and that deer, you gotta take fluffy out.  Fluffy’s gotta take one for the team.  In mountainous areas, I am told, they teach drivers to shut their headlights off briefly, so the deer will be “un-stunned” (is that even a word??…it is now…and you’ll see it on Wikipedia tomorrow, I betcha!).  I hope they don’t neglect to tell those mountain people “don’t forget to turn the lights back on”.  Now I’m worried!  Oh dear…I mean oh deer!  Until next week.  Have a wonderful deer-free, venison-free holiday.  And look out for that reindeer in your headlights!

Daun Thompson