Sunday, November 12, 2006

Butt seriously

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.


Daisy said...

No moose in our immediate area -- but as I travel North, I could see one. I'll keep the Officer's words in mind, and hope I'm still smiling when it's over!

Kirsten said...

great advice! no moose around here either, but i wonder if the same works for deer...

MothersVox said...

Reminds me of what a colleague who drives the New York State Thruway regularly recently told me . . .

A state trooper told her that if a deer dashes out in front of you that instead of breaking and trying to stop, or swerving to avoid, you should, sadly, floor your accelerator because it's too late for the deer, and you're more likely to save yourself if you hit the deer hard enough that it bounces up and over the top of your car.

If you slow down, apparently you increase the chance of it going straight through the windshield.

That's what the trooper told her.