Please, play this song while you read the following post.
Tooling around the US, Margaret and I began to notice another form of waste we had never considered before: roadkill. You may not think of it as waste, but as many as 1 million animals a day (not including bugs) are hit by motor vehicles. This adds up to a lot of bodies rotting on the road.
Not surprisingly the roadkill changes from region to region. In the Northwest you see a lot of opossums, racoons, squirrels, and a few deer, occasionally you will also run into something large, mysterious and smelly that may have been the elusive sasquatch. As you head south into California you see many of the same creatures, but add in some small birds and snakes and an veggie burger or two.
We didn’t see much roadkill in Arizona, but that’s probably because we weren’t looking. Rocks, dirt, and more rocks were about all we saw in Arizona.
The roadkill gets a lot more exciting as you get into the South: we saw smashed armadillos in great abundance from Texas to Arkansas to Florida and Georgia. In this region we also saw lots of crushed turtles, and even an tread-branded alligator or two.
Moving north again, we saw plenty of pulverized deer in Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine–deer get roadkilled pretty much everywhere on the East Coast.
DC is probably the only place where we felt the tables had turned. If you are foolish enough to drive a vehicle in DC, you no doubt know that the pedestrians have the inalienable right to the roadways. This means they even walk over your car should you be stopped where they want to cross.
As far as the roadkill of the great metropolis of New York, we never saw it, but it most have been some kind of very big and huge animal that was doing some serious rotting, judging by the odor that is general throughout the city. My money is that there is something in the subway system…
Explanation of the song above: a gentleman by the name of Louden Wainwright the Third wrote a song about roadkill (Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road), extolling the odor of a dead skunk hit by a station wagon car.