By Jack Edwards
If I had to describe myself in one word, that word would be “omnivore.” “Omni” meaning “eats everything.” And “Vore” meaning “which is not securely nailed down.” Merriam-Webster.com defines omnivorous as, “avidly taking in everything as if devouring or consuming.” Not merely “taking in,” mind you, but “avidly taking in.” (Avidly, meaning enthusiastically, eagerly, fervently.) So, essentially, according to Merriam-Webster, I am a gigantic, snack food devouring locust. Sadly, this is true.
Omnivores eat a wide variety of meats, including the beef variety, the pork variety, and, I am now learning from reliable news sources, the roadkill variety. Lawmakers across our fruited, and apparently carcass-strewn, plains have been busily making sure we can legally announce that roadkill is “What’s for dinner!” According to a Fox News article published last year, Montana has joined about one-third of U.S. states to legalize “harvesting” roadkill. The article includes the following actual statements:
1. Roadkill “provides a leaner alternative to factory-raised meat.” (If you don’t mind the aftertaste of road tar.)
2. Certain states that allow the harvesting of roadkill require a permit. (Perhaps this is an option sportsmen can check when buying their annual hunting tag. Instead of just choosing firearm or bow, they have a third option, “Ford Taurus.”)
3. Residents in certain states are apparently just too good to eat roadkill, including: Texas, Washington, Tennessee and California. (Who would have thought that Texans were so hoity-toity?)
The article didn’t clarify whether you needed to buy the roadkill permit before or after your lucky twist of fate. I once drove from Great Falls, Montana, to Havre (also referred to in Montana as, “You can Havre”) late at night. The woman at the airport car rental kiosk told me it was a dangerous nighttime drive because of the deer. It turned out that she had a gift for understatement. Conservatively, there were about one million deer per highway mile – all staring with their beady, glowing eyeballs at me. Several times, I had to stop my car, get out and lure them off the highway with a bag of caramel corn which I had the good fortune to buy at the airport. Now that Montana has joined the civilized world, I want to go back and purchase a permit. I’ll rent a Hummer, you know, just in case I accidentally hit a deer.
A few years ago, creative entrepreneur-chefs in a small Oregon town opened a place called “The Roadkill Café,” surprisingly, it went belly up. It now appears that they were culinary geniuses ahead of their time.
For years now, I’ve been thinking of starting a bumper sticker company. This is because I feel passionately about a deeply personal and truly heartfelt message. And that message is that printing a ten cent sticker and selling it for three dollars is about as close to printing money as you can get without those goons at the Treasury Department throwing you a little surprise party which ends with them dragging you off by your ankles never to be seen or heard from again. But I digress. One of the stickers I’ve always thought would be a red hot seller would read in large bold letters, “I Brake for Animals,” and then directly below in lower case it would say, “taller than my bumper.” But now that I’ve been educated to this hip new wave of eating roadkill, while the top line of my sticker will still read, “I Brake for Animals,” the bottom line will now read, “after impact.”
Well, it’s been a long day. I plan to unwind by going on a leisurely drive through the countryside. I’ll take my F-350 4×4 Ford Pickup, the one with the reinforced steel front bumper. You know, just in case I accidentally hit a freezer full of venison.