The telephone rang at 6:30am. It was Monday morning. Through the fog of sleep, I reached for the phone and placed the handset to my ear.
All I could hear coming through the earpiece was a stream of hysterical babbling. After a moment, I realized it was Ma Fat and she was terribly upset.
“Where are you? Have you been in an accident? Are you okay?”
Through her tears, Ma Fat told me she had been in an accident and was heading for home. I headed downstairs to await her arrival. The Fatlings were busy readying themselves for school. I asked them to wait until Ma Fat had returned — I was not sure of the nature of her accident and did not want my younguns going out until I knew more.
Time moved slowly. Where was Ma Fat? Why was she not home, yet? The phone rang. A less frenzied Ma Fat was on the line saying she had hit a deer about a mile from home and was finally on her way.
I updated the Fatlings, urged them to drive cautiously, and then sent them off to school. Ma Fat pulled into the garage just after the Fatlings had pulled away. Like a fine martini, she was shaken, not stirred.
Her tears returned when she saw me standing in the garage. I helped her into the house, sat her down, and fixed her a cup of tea. Then she told me her story.
She had been slowly following the school bus out of our neighborhood. The flashing lights on the bus suddenly signaled that the bus was about to stop. Ma Fat was slowing her car when a deer unexpectedly jumped into the road in front of her. Bam! The deer went flying and Ma Fat pulled off the road. Tears immediately came to her eyes.
Ma Fat made her frantic first call to me. She followed this with a call to 911 — she wanted to alert the police to the presence of an injured deer on the road. Ma Fat waited at the accident site and flashed her lights to warn other drivers about the injured deer.
Suddenly, the deer stood up and looked around. It was still in the road obstructing traffic. The next car to arrive began honking its horn to frighten the deer into leaving. The deer did eventually run away. But, the loud honking had another, unexpected effect.
Old Lady PhatButt, Biggie PhatBuck aka Miss Biggie, had been fast asleep when she was awakened by the sound of horns blaring. She donned her flowered housecoat and pink fuzzy slippers, and stormed out her front door to add her 2-cents to the fracas in front of her home.
Instead of asking Ma Fat if she were okay, Miss Biggie began throwing expletives around and ranting about speeding through her neighborhood. She then stormed back into her house, slamming her front door closed as she entered.
Ma Fat was crestfallen by this unexpected barrage of anger. After all, she was the victim, not the perpetrator, in this affair. She had done no wrong and could not understand why this strange woman was berating her.
Ma Fat told me all of this between tears and gasps. As her story ended she slowly regained her composure.
“Would you like me to drive you to work or are you too shaken to go in today?”
Working is Ma Fat’s best stress buster. I knew she would want to get to work as soon as possible. So, I dressed myself and headed out to clear the ice from the Fat Mobile’s windshield.
As we drove out of our neighborhood, Ma Fat pointed to the place where she had collided with the deer. She also indicated which house had spawned the Evil Witch of Wicked Words. I just drove and paid close attention to the shadows paralleling the road — I did not want to experience a Close Encounter of the Deer Kind.
And now the Flat Mobile and I are out looking to get the damages repaired. Maybe the body shop can wrap rubber bumpers all around Ma Fat’s car. Watch out, deer, here we come!