Animal collective

Published 2:55 pm Thursday, January 7, 2010

Most college students Christmas breaks are about hanging out with family, resting a lot, getting in touch with old friends, and maybe traveling around. This is normal. My Christmas break was about coming face-to-face with deadly animals.

On Christmas Eve, my father (Andy Millard, who you may remember as The man who killed the Blue Ridge Barbecue Festival) received a call from our neighbor, informing us that there was a bear roaming around in the woods near our house.

A bear? my father asked.

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Oh yes. Its at least five hundred pounds, our neighbor replied. Evidently, the bear must have stepped onto the gigantic scale that our neighbors keep in their driveway.

I spent the rest of my Christmas Eve not giddily awaiting the presents of the Christmas to come, but instead hastily preparing a batch of my famous Bear Spray, which is a special mixture that I use to fight bears. The key to my Bear Spray is that you shoot it out of a gun. The other key is that when I say Bear Spray, I really mean bullets.

Thankfully, the only casualty of the Great Bear Scare of 09 seems to be the Millard Family trashcan, which sustained a more than a few injuries. As far as we can tell, the bear has since left.

I thought my travails with carnivores had finished, but then the night of Christmas happened. We spent Christmas at my Grandfathers house with the rest of the Millards. It was a wonderful, animal-free time. Our feelings of safety and security in knowing that we had mastered nature were to be interrupted by the ride home.

If I recall correctly through the immense trauma that I suffered, we were traveling north on I-26, passing the South Carolina Welcome Center, when the front-left bumper of our Toyota Prius struck a massive coyote at least five hundred pounds.

Thats right, a desert-dwelling, roadrunner-chasing Coyote.

If you are in any way remotely familiar with Priuses (Prii?), youll already know that they arent exactly renowned for their size or ability to withstand damage when engaged in bumper-to-paw combat with wildlife. The front bumper of the Prius is now cracked and dented, with little tufts of coyote fur protruding from it.

But hey, at least it was my dads car. Consider it karma for canceling the BBQ Festival.~ Modern Age written by Drew Millard