Officer Brock is on the staff of Campus Safety at the college where I work. He is a retired firefighter, and his responsibilities include running fire drills in the residence halls and then, when he has the group of residents gathered together, doing a post-drill reminder about fire safety protocol.
He always uses the opportunity to tell students about another issue he encountered frequently in the line of duty - responding to motor vehicle accidents that involved moose. We live in a rural area, and it's not uncommon to be driving down a dark country road and suddenly see a moose looming in your headlights. If you are moving fast and the animal is standing still, it often becomes a contest of moose vs. metal - and let's just say the metal doesn't always fare very well. And, often, neither do the people riding in the car.
So Officer Brock offers an important safety tip to students every time he does a fire drill. Ask any student on our campus what to do if you think you're going to hit a moose, and they'll do their best Officer Brock impersonation, admonishing you with a growl:
"Aim for the ass. Moose don't back up."
It's a running joke on our campus.
But two weeks ago, a shaken student arrived at the Campus Safety office looking for Officer Brock. He'd just been on the road and found himself headed straight for a moose. Officer Brock's words rang in his ears and he swerved for the moose's backside. He walked away rattled, but unharmed.
I don't know if you're likely to see moose where you live. But someday you may be on vacation, and you may find your car speeding toward a hulking mass of animal. And if you do, just remember Officer Brock and these words that could save your life:
Moose don't back up.