Dogged Pursuit

Dogged Pursuit

This old favorite is from April, 1993. It received a lot of favorable response from readers. I know, because I received two letters. That was a “favorable response” in the era just before email became the norm. I think it was a particularly good metaphor, calling to mind the perfect imagery  for Gene’s situation. Don’t worry: it was a metaphorical dog.

22 responses to “Dogged Pursuit”

  1. So it’s a Brit hedgehog that substitutes for Marmota monax on 2 Feb, but for a dog if in danger of being run over by a Morris Minor. True that; those were the only hedgehogs I saw in the UK in ’52-’53. I’ve read re armadillos being “road pizzas” in the South.

    • emb, I don’t know if this is true or not, but I have read the reason so many armadillos die from road accidents is due to their startle reflex. The article I read said that when startled, they tend to jump straight up. Unfortunately, if they are under a moving car that is most often a fatal response.

  2. I think that my son was about Gene’s age when this first ran. He is now married and has a 3 year old son. Yes crossing that highway went REAL quick.

    Speaking of crossing the highway, I flew into San Antonio and then we drove to Del Rio last night. This morning, we crossed the border into Acuna. It is always amazing to see the stark differences in the buildings and businesses when you cross over. This weekend was the Detroit marathon and runners cross the bridge into Canada and then back through the tunnel into the US. There is some differences, but not as stark as going into Mexico.

    I am really getting into counting calories. I google the food that I am eating or plan to eat to find the best options. This week will be a test as I often pig out at the hotel breakfast, have a light lunch and then a big dinner. I ate eggs and turkey sausage but ended up getting a couple pieces of bacon as the sausage tasted like the cardboard that it came out of! They had sausage gravy, so I might put a couple tablespoons to flavor the eggs tomorrow. So far I am down 4-6 lbs in 2 weeks, but that is how I want to lose the weight, slowly but surely.

  3. cx-p: Not only can armadillos get leprosy, the offspring in each litter are genetically identical, making them excellent test subjects. As far as their reaction to cars, I suspect they’re too near-sighted to see them. One almost ran into me and did run into the side of our tent while sniffing around our campsite years ago.

  4. Armadillos are found dead in the middle road because they have a fondness for the taste of yellow highway paint. We know this because they are most often found in the middle as apposed to the side of the road with the white stripes. I’ve driven hundreds of thousands of miles and can verify this as fact.

    Trucker Ron, back me up here.

  5. Don’t know about armadillo, but as pointed out here often, opossum is tastier than raccoon.
    And yes, c x-p, emb can elucidate that, though the details are still iffy. About 3 decades ago, BSU’s Center for Environmental Studies hosted an international conference on the chemistry, biology, and possible industrial uses of peat. We have lots of peat bogs in N MN [their most abundant vegetation is sphagnum moss]. So do Ireland, Scotland, England from near Cambridge up to “the Wash,” and the Scandinavian countries. We boarded a Finnish peat biologist who attended, which resulted in a mostly free week in Finland for Elaine and me the following summer.
    At the conference I learned that Mycobacterium leprae, the leprosy-causing bacillus, thrives in armadillo and lab mouse soles, and also in peat bogs, and was largely responsible for a leprosy epidemic in Norway around 1900. I understand it causes disease only in us. [NB: In the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament, leprosy and leper relate to any persistent skin problem, not just Hansen’s Disease. Hansen hadn’t been invented yet.]
    Not a good idea to install your outhouse uphill from your home in the bog. Yes, if the climate is soggy enough, sphagnum bogs can cover slopes, not just low ground.
    Also, your water supply should be off to the left or right of the home.
    For more, search: Sphagnum Vegetation Coastal Norway Mycobacterium leprae .

    • We tried armadillo years ago at a funky old restaurant near Winter Haven, FL. As I recall it was served in gravy, tasted a lot like pork, and was pretty tasty. Heard a folk song once that had verses about various types of what some would call “trash” meats (possum, raccoon, armadillo, etc.). Each verse ended with the appropriate version of the line “But when possum’s all you’ve got to eat, possum ain’t bad!”

  6. I was at a weekend retreat and was riding back to our retreat center with a guy who was from Texas. I remarked that I had seen LOT of dead armadillos. As I said it, an armadillo appeared in the middle of the road. Instead of taking evasive action, he drove his Jeep directly over the armadillo!

  7. Jimmy, you’ve brought to mind a lyric from one of my favorite singers, Steve Forbert of Mississippi:
    “Well dogs chase cars, and men chase dreams…
    The dog is the more practical it seems.”

  8. I have seen very few dead ‘possums in the road. I now wonder if that’s because during hard times people collect and cook them? Or even in good times if they’re so tasty?

    As for roadkill causing damage to big trucks, I did have a big ‘coon bounce around under my rig one night and knock the exhaust pipe and muffler loose on my auxiliary power unit. The poor thing (the APU) went from purring to thundering that next hot night. And there was also the yearling buck that leaped high enough to take out my radiator. And the AC’s evaporator. And a headlight. And damage the fender as well. It took the Volvo dealer over a week to get all the parts in; and I didn’t much like the Freightshaker the company had me drive while waiting.

  9. Galliglo of Ohio: There really wasn’t too much difference between Volvos and Freightliners as far as specifications on paper would have it, but there was a noticeable difference in how they rode and how comfortable they were to live in. I had been “pampered” by having the better ride. Today’s truckers are missing out on a lot with all the advantages of the newer trucks… double-clutching will soon be a lost art, as will floating gears (shifting without clutching). Given a choice, I’d stay with a manual transmission.

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