Friday, December 09, 2005

Road Kill

This picture, the results of the pickup truck hitting a deer (I'm assuming), reminded me of a rather scary moment I experienced many years ago.

One night, when I was living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (this was probably in 1984 or 1985), I was the front-seat passenger in a car driven by a buddy of mine, Craig K. We were heading back home after a weekend outing with the local Hashers. The road was pitch dark – no street lamps at all and Craig was driving like he normally did, i.e. quite fast. All of a sudden, a camel appeared in the headlights, standing right in the middle of the road. Craig swerved in an attempt to avoid hitting it, but we were going too fast and were just too close. We struck the camel on the passenger side front bumper, right in front of me. The camel flipped up, smashed into the windshield, again right in front of me and then up and over the top of the car. We didn’t dare stop as if we had been caught, two Americans having killed a camel in Saudi Arabia, it probably wouldn’t have gone very well for us.

We were lucky the car was drivable – Camels are pretty big creatures. The bumper and passenger front quarter panel were fairly well damaged, and the windshield in front of me had "starred" but did not, fortunately, break. I don't know how the deer in the picture could have gone through that windshied - perhaps it was a buck with horns which penetrated it somehow.

Our camel accident was not an isolated one, either. When my oldest daughter visited me in Riyadh, we took a road trip to Jeddah, Abha, the Asir National Park and Najran. We must have seen dozens of dead, bloated camels, lying by the side of the road throughout the trip. They were a very depressing sight indeed.

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