Saturday, February 23, 2013
Hey Kids, this week old man Stambaugh's gonna lay down the wisdom on roadkill and what it's all about. There will not be a quiz but it is still recommended that you pay attention because what follows here is LIFE SKILLS and also craaaaaaazy stories which may or may not work to your favor to tell at a party. Depending on how your party circle intersects with the readership of this blog, you may not have much audience at the party who hasn't already heard or told these stories.
Roadkill. What's that all about? I'll tell ya. Roadkill is how you get quality meat for FREE, WITHOUT STEALING. Full disclosure, it is still illegal (in California), but MORALLY PERMISSIBLE. Just don't get caught. Some people think eating roadkill is weird. I don't know why. I mean, I know why they think it is weird, but I don't know why they think what they think. They'll say something about parasites or diseases in the animal, as if this was a condition transmitted through contact with cars at high speed. That is a silly notion. Roadkill is just like any other game animal. If you're worried about parasites or diseases, COOK IT. Boom.
FIRST RULE OF ROADKILL: BE CHOOSY. The meat is free, so you can afford to be particular about which parts you keep and which you toss. Always use your eyes and your nose to assess the quality of the meat. If it is not the color of meat (such as green), do not eat it. If it is bloodshot, do not eat it. If it is a ruptured organ, do not eat it. Actually, don't eat any of the organs, unless you saw the animal die, or if it is fucking cold outside. Those things spoil so quickly. I'm a fan of hearts and livers and kidneys and whatnot, but they ain't worth the risk.
I'm gonna switch to stories now. I don't know why I tried to do this in a structured manner.
FIRST ROADKILL STORY: I saw a dead deer on Foothill once, just past Patricia. The girl I was traveling with at the time was not really into the whole roadkill scene, and encouraged me to leave the corpse. If we hadn't been in a serious relationship, I would've told her to walk home while I snagged that sweet, sweet corpse, but we were in a serious relationship, so I didn't tell her that. Neither did I snag the corpse. I should've broken up with her on the spot, once it was clear that she was trying to control me, but I didn't have the clarity of mind, nor the balls to do so. She broke it off 2 months later, but the deer was already gone. God dammit.
SECOND ROADKILL STORY: I was on my way to Costco on a Saturday morning to get some bread flour. I jokingly suggested to my co-pilot Patrick, who is ultra-squeamish about this sort of thing (I mean REALLY, like, damn, as little as 200 years ago this guy would not be viable as a human being. Sorry Pat, I love ya, but you are impractical in a pre-supermarket world) that he keep an eye out for dead deer on the side of the road. He spots one. We haul ass to Home Depot, where I get a 5 gallon bucket, a tarp, some gloves and other stuff, then go back to the body and hoist it into my trunk (I drive a Corolla). I stopped at home to get my best knife, then I took the body to 50 Del Mar where Max and Taylor were living, among other people. There were a lot of people there, but I am only mentioning Max because this is his blog and Taylor because he is a farm-boy/bio guy and was really useful in showing me how to clean roadkill and stuff. I couldn't do it at my own house because Patrick is squeamish and we lived together. Now Patrick lives with Max. Anyway, I show up at 50 Del Mar, and who is outside but Jim, the landlord! "Aww shit" I says to myself, not sure how Jim feels about me (not his tenant) butchering a deer in his yard. Turns out he was okay with it. We butchered that deer and sent Jim home with a good piece. I boiled the head to try to preserve the skull but it didn't turn out very well. I also tried to tan the hide but ended up just salting it. It smelled quite strongly of deer for a long time. I wore it to a few parties as a cape, but it was not well received. Some people speculate as to the contributions this made to a sexual dry-spell which I experienced around that time. Well, it certainly didn't help. Max asked me later to not bring any more dead deer to his house for butchering. Taylor said to disregard what Max said (they had equal seniority at the house). Oh also the deer was a lady and she was pregnant with twins which I put in a jar of rubbing alcohol for my sister. Turns out that alcohol is not a preservative. Sorry, Sis.
SPECIAL UPDATE FOR CONNOR BARICKMAN (AWESOME DUDE):
I took the head to Connor's house because I wanted to use the brain to tan the hide, and Connor was the most likely person to have a Dremmel. His dog went absolutely apeshit over my shoes. Somehow she knew that I had been walking around in deer blood all day. He offered me a circular saw as well, which I declined at the time but did actually return for later. I ended up botching the brain-tanning process because I was totally unprepared and rushed the whole thing. Don't do that when you brain-tan your own hides. Thanks, Connor. You're the best.
THIRD ROADKILL STORY: In my 5th year of college I drove around town on Saturday and Sunday mornings looking for deer which had been hit by drunk drivers the night before. Winters in SLO are just barely cold enough to preserve a body for a few hours at night. I had been searching 3 weekends in a row and found nothing. I chatted with Tracie on Friday night (she was in Malawi at the time) and she said she would eat roadkill if I found some and saved it for her (this is significant because she is a vegetarian). Anyway I found a poor widdle Bambi by the army base the next day. Tracie denies praying on my behalf. I believe her. I drove the dead Bambi straight to Max's house against his wishes. It so happens that Noura (a vegetarian) was in town that weekend. Thankfully they were not at the house when I came by. I strung the deer up in a tree and went to work, and a neighbor started givin me shit about deer being out of season. I told him I found it on the road. He didn't seem to care. Screw that guy. I gave Max the backstraps for his birthday, but he didn't really receive them too well. I guess I should have expected that. It's okay. I buried the remains on Bishop's Peak during the Superbowl so that I wouldn't be spotted. Clever, no?
FOURTH ROADKILL STORY: I picked up a dead deer in Fremont after I came back from France. Michael and I butchered it in his back yard. Lisa won't let us do that anymore. Here are some pictures: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10100141471287265.2503921.6421154&type=3
I've messaged a lot of girls on OKCupid about roadkill. Most of them don't get too turned on by it, but the ones who are into it are REALLY into it. Try out this pickup line fellas: "Hey baby, I've got a bucket, tarp, gloves, hack saw, ropes, pulleys, chains, and a fuckin sharp knife, all in the trunk of my car. Want to drive out into the woods with me (looking for roadkill. I'm not gonna kill ya, I promise)." That one actually worked out okay for me. We decided that it was not really a first-date sort of activity (she proposed it, I agreed). I think we settled on 5th or 6th date? Whatever, we never made it that far because WOMEN ARE WEIRD. I'm glad I'm not one. I did eventually go on a roadkill-searching date on a Saturday morning with a lady with whom I was already involved. We didn't find anything.
Here is an excerpt from a failed conversation (did not result in a date).
FROM HER PROFILE: You should message me if: You want to! I would go on to list potential arbitrary little idiosyncrasies that you might have that might appeal to me but....I won't. ;)
First message (7:53pm):
Hey I'm Mark. I read books and used to drink Mate when I lived with an Argentinian guy, but not so much since then. Also I pick up and butcher, and eat roadkill. I hope that is one of the idiosyncrasies that you are into. If it is, respond to this message and maybe we can have a little chat. If the roadkill thing is a major selling point and you are already thinking about sharing a gourd with me, I can promise that I do not have any orally transmitted diseases. Hope to hear from you!
First response (8:15pm):
That sounds really unappealing actually (the roadkill part)... may I ask why?
Second message (8:22pm):
I'm not a hunter, but I like venison. Also, it's free meat! Also, I think butchering animals is a pretty neat skill to have, but I would feel bad buying animals to practice on. A roadkill deer is already dead anyway, and it will either rot or get eaten by birds or thrown in a landfill if I don't take it. The meat is still good (no parasites yet!) and also it is free.
How did the rest of it sound?
Third message (8:25pm):
Oh I forgot to mention that many of my vegan/vegetarian friends will eat roadkill, since they don't see it as morally wrong to use an already-dead animal. I like to cook, so it is nice to be able to expand my vegan-friendly repertoire. There are so many great dishes that would be great for vegans and vegetarians if the main ingredient wasn't beef. With free scavenged venison, it is not a problem.
Fourth message (9:22pm):
Come on hit me with another question, I'm on fire tonight.
There was no second response. WOMEN. AM I RIGHT, FELLAS?
FROM HER PROFILE: You should message me if: you're in san diego and want to meet new people. you're down to earth and funny. and preferably not an ax murderer
First message: Hi. I'm the down to earth and funny guy you requested. I'm also in the SD area and looking to meet new people. Oh and also I'm not an ax murderer (despite what the contents of my trunk suggest). I guess all that makes me exactly the guy you're looking for, which might make you the first person to have any success on a dating website. Aren't you lucky! Anyway, take a quick glance at my profile and if you see anything that I like to do which you also like to do, send me a response and we can maybe arrange a time to do those things together. Or we can just talk about them. Whatever you're into.
FROM HER PROFILE: The first things people usually notice about me: I have to say its my eyes since I'm asian. But, I have huge knockers for an asian girl so that comes soon after.
First message: Hey I heard you've got huge knockers for an asian girl. How huge are we talkin here? Like, cow udder huge, or pregnant woman huge, or what? More information is required. If you don't want to talk about it, that's cool. I see that you're into Harry Potter. What house would you be in if you could choose? I've already made up my mind, and if we're in opposing houses, I won't be sending you any more messages. I can't tell you what my house is though because I don't want to skew your preference. Remember when Harry was like "Not Slytherin!" ? That was total BS of him, so just be straight with me. I'll judge you more harshly if I think you're a liar than I will if you're in an opposing house.
FROM HER PROFILE: You should message me if: You have something good to say, or maybe something fun to do. I'm usually always down for fun.
First message: So ya like fun, huh? Here's a fun thing to do. Drive out in east county with me looking for roadkill on a Saturday or Sunday morning. Winter is the best time to do it because the cold helps preserve the body. If we find a deer, we'll put it in my trunk, take it to some wilderness area, hang it from a tree, skin it, butcher it, and head back to my place to cook up the tenderloins. Then we'll split the meat and you can take the bonus of a ridiculous story which your friends will laugh at you for. They'll say "Holy shit Natalie, you could have been raped and murdered and chopped into little pieces and fed to wolves." Then you tell em to buzz off cus ya had a good time and you'd do it again, but not for awhile cus there is still a lot of venison in your freezer.
Anyway, just think about it. If that doesn't sound like a good time to you, I'm open to suggestions.
Got a profile view. No response.
FROM HER PROFILE:
I'm a graduate student at UCSD. I moved out here last fall to start the program. I was born and raised in Michigan (yes, the midwest). I'm really looking for someone who can be a friend, a confidant, an adventurer, and give me that feeling of excitement when we make plans to see each other. Kind of corny, I know. But true.
I'd like someone to be interested in what I do, even if its not something they'd want to do. My work and school takes up a lot of my time and if you're not willing to hear about it once in awhile, it probably won't work out.
You should message me if: you have something interesting to say
First message: Hi. You're cute, I'm bold. I'm messaging you because I have something interesting to say. Are you ready? Get stoked.
It is illegal to pick up roadkill in California. This has not stopped me in the past. Three times I have picked up deer off the side of the road, and three times I have eaten them. So there, I'm a criminal, on the loose, still acting like a normal part of society. I'm an electrical engineer working in Carlsbad. I rent a condo and drive a corolla. It's the perfect camouflage. Nobody. Suspects. A. Thing.
Anyway if you want to hang out some time and share secrets, we can totally do that. I guess I'd like to be someone that you are excited to see now and then. We can talk about your research if you need someone to nerd-out with. You just tell your story and I'll interject with the "fuck yeah!"s and the "that's awesome!"s. I'll mean em, too.
So that's what I'm offering. I don't know what more you're looking for in an internet stranger. I guess whatever it is, you can just ask and I might have that too.
Got a profile view. No response.
That's enough for now, Kids. Send your requests for more information to firstname.lastname@example.org . I'd like to try doing an advice column if some people want to throw their concerns at me. Complete anonymity and discretion etc. etc. All topics are good, all questions will be answered completely, unless a complete answer would require details of my sex life which I do not want to divulge. This is mostly out of courtesy to the women who had sex with me and may now regret it.
Editor's note: Stories #2 and #3 actually involved Mark cleaning the deer in my backyard while women I was romantically interested in were at my house. Additionally, before Story #3 I told Mark explicitly "please do not bring any more road kill to my house" which he ignored. This bit him in the ass later on when he wanted to do a Hawaiin BBQ in this big grave thing he dug in the dirt and the same neighbor got mad at him again. So yeah I feel a little vindicated. Seriously though that guy was a major dick.
Author's note: the BBQ turned out real well.