I’ve told this story before, but I need to add it to my blog for personal posterity.
Just about the worst traffic jam of my entire life was on I-66 WEST on a Saturday morning around 11AM. It’s not exactly rush hour then, so what’s the big deal? Traffic was completely and utterly stopped. To the point of most people getting out of their cars and standing around in the road. I’d never seen so many people on a freeway in my life.
What if someone was having a medical emergency? Diabetic shock? Labor? A heart attack? THOUSANDS of people were being stopped. Not just in one direction, but in BOTH directions.
Eventually, after a LONG time — I want to say 30-60 minutes — traffic started to move again. We saw the cause of the jam: A baby deer had been hit by a car, and some stupid fucking bleeding-heart couple had tied it to the median, in order to try to save it. ***SEVEN*** COP CARS were pulled over, on BOTH sides of the freeway, blocking lanes in BOTH directions. OVER A FUCKING DEER.
Do I need to mention that deer overpopulate and cause car accidents?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there are about 1.5 million car accidents with deer each year that result in $1 billion in vehicle damage, about 150 human fatalities, and over 10,000 personal injuries. The actual numbers are probably higher because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s figures for deer accidents, rely on inconsistent state reporting- there is no standard reporting of deer accidents in the country yet, and a “reportable deer accident” varies significantly between states.
This is why we have hunting season, and serve deer as food. It’s them or us. In the cycle of life, food gets eaten by humans. Food is NOT supposed to cause traffic jams.
So you know what? I yelled out the window when I passed them, and promised that I would kill 3 deer later in my life to make up for this. They did NOT make a difference. In fact, I can guarantee that by saving that baby deer, they caused at least 3 full-grown deer to die. Why? Becuase I plan on killing the fuckers myself. I swear to you — when I have more expendable income, I’m going to buy a gun and go hunting. If I can’t kill a deer, I’ll kill something else. Either way, I am going to go out of my way to do this SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE of that couple’s actions that morning.
The moral of the story is: People do favors to feel good about themselves, but often these favors hurt others more than the one they are helping.
The classic example is the person on a main road who slows down to let someone on a side entrance get in. They do a great favor to that one person, at the expense of everyone behind them who has the legal right of way. Just last weekend, someone did this on Rt. 236. What happened? I missed the red light. I was the very first car at a red light that I otherwise would have made it past. By doing a favor to one person, they slowed me down. They helped one person, and hurt another. The net effect was simply shifting the time saving from someone who had the right of way [me] to someone who didn’t [the person on the side of the road, who would have eventually had a gap in traffic].
Before you do someone or something a favor, think of the consequences. There very well may be some. If you cost 2,000 of people 30 minutes of time, you are collectively wasting 41 days of peoples’ time. A deer’s life is not worth that — especially when it’s already caused an accident by going on the freeway in the first place! (more…)