Monday, December 3, 2012

Tears of a Cow

Nick:  Amanda has specifically disclaimed anything to do with this post.  Not only because only I witnessed it, but because of my chosen title.  So, this post is solely from me.

Amanda:  I would like to mention before Nick gets started on this story that we received cards from  Colleen Prosser, Chelsea Ams, and Maggie Glass within the last week via snail mail and it totally made our week...THANK YOU, YOU LADIES ARE AWESOME :-) Also, I got a package from my mom in the mail this week and it was VERY exciting as well...THANKS, MOM!


In what is probably going to be a unique post, I will be the bearer of breaking news.  Witnessed a mere 4 hours ago.  I would have posted this sooner but we needed to go shopping for several varieties of Spam; you know how it is.

I was jogging down Marine Corps Drive, the main road in these parts, which runs along the coast in downtown Hagatna.  It is a rather busy road.  Remember this, it will be important later (in, like, a paragraph or two, but I don't have much faith in your attention spans).  It was about dusk.

Suddenly, I see what appears to be a Great Dane prancing down the road, being chased by a man.  I start thinking, "huh, that looks like a big Great Dane."

It would have been a huge Great Dane.  It was, in fact, not a dog at all, but, as you might have guessed from the title of this post, a calf.

Yeah, a guy is chasing a calf down the middle of busiest street in the capital city.  This is how we roll in Guam (apparently).

Eventually, the "holy crap this is amazingly bizarre" feeling passed to "um, this isn't going to end well."

Again, astute readers, noting the title of this post, will deduce that it did not end well.  So, if the details will trouble you, read no further.

The calf is running down the turn lane, man chasing after him.  Cars are whizzing past on either side, either unaware that there is a large calf one lane over or just not giving a shit (both are possible, based on the way people drive here: they treat red lights like we treat yellows, as in "okay, three or four more cars, tops.").

A smart driver on the right has a brilliant idea: he cuts over in front of the calf in the turn lane and stops, angled to the left.  This works, insofar as it blocks the calf's immediate forward path.

In another, more accurate sense, it did not work, because the calf is still quite agitated, and has but one direction to turn: left.  As they drive on the same side we do on the mainland, you may also recognize this as "into oncoming traffic."  Who also are now unable to see the calf because there is a car between them and it.

Well, calf turns left, two cars are barreling down the road, side by side.  The calf darts for the sidewalk, but not fast enough: the back half takes a direct blow from a large white pickup.

The calf flies off onto the side of the road.  The truck continues forward another 30 yards and pulls into a parking lot where I am standing (the calf originally was coming towards me and passed me before this ended.).

A couple of guys got out, the driver a young 20ish blond California surfer type.  "Whoa, did you see what I hit?  Was that a dog?"

I informed him that, no, that was not a dog, but a young cow.  He was kind of blown away by it, but kind of exhilarated.  Nothing he could have done to avoid it, but I'd think you'd be a little more upset at taking out a calf.  Then again, that's probably about how I reacted the time I totaled my Mustang hitting a deer near Gary, Indiana.  I strongly recommend not hitting a deer in that area.

By this time, a bunch of people started streaming over to see what happened.  Meanwhile, a host of people were coming up the sidewalk.  There was an old man carrying a rope; I can only assume it was his calf.  Behind him came a host of small children, who I hope were merely curious onlookers instead of people concerned about the fate of their beloved pet.

The calf was quite dead, having crawled into the driveway of a local business.  There was blood everywhere.  Not a pretty sight.

So I finished my run, because what was I going to do?  I gave my name and number to the guy who hit the calf, in case there was any legal inquiry.

Now, I suppose I could have headed out into the street to try to help rope down the calf.  It could have been a "George saves the whale in Seinfeld" moment, or maybe something from City Slickers, but more likely I would have been taken out by a car too, or at least gotten a good stiff kick from a clearly-freaked-out calf.

That's life in Guam.  It is a strange place.


  1. No PIX? ALWAYS carry a camera!

  2. Disturbing account!! Poor calf.

    Glad you got my card! <3

  3. I kind of stumbled across this blog searching for Americans working in law in Guam. I don't know if there is a way to e-mail you, but I am kind of looking for a way to shake life up if you will. If there was some way to reach out, I would be extremely grateful.

    1. Yes, let me know your email address and I will shoot you an email.