I've been extolling the virtues of my home state Wisconsin since my return as the prodigal son after 20 years astray.
Beautiful scenery, kind people, world-class cheese, abundant sausages.
But I'd forgotten the fatal mixture here.
No, not gin and vermouth.
Car vs. deer.
I hit a deer last night on my way home for an interview.
And I had just driven home from my office in Spooner along Highway 63, where there are more deer than people on the road. I scanned the ditches along the roadway where deer portray their own version of "Jackass."
There were no deer in the frightening 26 miles. One of my colleagues has hit two deer along the route in the last two weeks.
So I paid no attention when I turned into my little neighborhood.
I didn't see the deer until I hit it.
On the upside, I was driving the speed limit -- 25 miles an hour. And the deer? Just a fawn.
I got out of the car to see how the deer was doing and look at the damage.
But the little guy stood up, shook its head and made its way toward mother, waiting on a nearby lawn. The only damage appeared to be IQ points so undoubtedly it will become a fan of the Chicago Bears.
And then, more importantly, no damage. It had been a tender fawn with little muscle mass. Shit. Now I'm getting hungry.
Someone passing by stopped to tell me a nearby homeowner feeds deer so in the future I need to be on the lookout. The driver pulled away and I saw doe and fawn in the yard, discussing the incident.
"It's not my fault, mom," the fawn said. "Dude was speeding and I could smell liquor and I got an owie, mom, please kiss it."
Mom licked the gimpy knee.
Then she pointed a hoof at me and said, "Morte."
Italian for death.
Great. Of all the deer I have to hit, it's mafia deer.
So in Wisconsin we have beautiful landscapes, great food, abundant sausage -- and mafia deer.
Peace and no morte unto all of you my brothers and sisters.