Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

suicidal raccoons & automotive carnage October 22, 2012

Filed under: anecdotes — Shawn L. Bird @ 11:51 am
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After a blissful and inspiring weekend at the Surrey International Writing Conference, I was driving home, listening to Davina Porter narrating the audio book of A Breath of Snow and Ashes, breaking into giggles every once in a while recalling conversations or events at the conference, pondering a workshop I thought I should propose for next year’s conference, and generally minding my own business on the highway, when out of the blue a suicidal raccoon strolled onto Highway #1 directly in front of Sheila the Bug.

I hit the brakes.  He hit his brakes. He stared me down.  Sheila the Bug had been coasting along at 90 km/hr.  If Ranger Rick had decided to keep moving, either forward or back, he would have been fine, but his death wish was strong.

If I’d swirved at that speed and distance I would have rolled Sheila, and I was on a mountain with a long cliff to the lake below me.

Ranger Rick was going to die.

He hit Sheila the Bug. There was a loud thump of collision, and several smaller thunks and bumps as he travelled beneath the car.  I sighed regretfully.  I have never hit a creature before, beyond birds which flew into me.  I was imagining the carnage beneath my vehicle: blood, guts, fur.

Suddenly my temperature gauge light came on, then it started flashing madly.  I was entering a small town 30 mins from home.  I pulled into the empty mall, parked beneath a light and looked beneath.

There was no raccoon carnage whatsoever.

Instead, there was automotive carnage.  The bumper was smashed in half, something black and important looking was missing on one side, the radiator had a dint in it.  Pale, glistening autoblood was streaming from radiator.

Damn raccoon.

I phoned my knight in shining armour, and he rode up on his trusty Honda steed and rescued me, tow truck following behind.  When I called ICBC to report the damage, the operator said, “Wow.  That must have been a huge raccoon!”

I have to say, I was stunned at the revenge extracted by that striped bandit.  Not content to kill himself, he had to take out poor Sheila!

Sheila the Bug will be in the car hospital for quite some time.  No doubt Ranger Rick is lying in wait for the next unsuspecting VW Beetle!

Plainly, I should just have stayed in Surrey with all those wonderful writerly people.


Fluevog here, Fluevog there… March 3, 2011

Filed under: Commentary,Grace Awakening — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:53 am
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Hot on the heels of my recent blog on Fluevog shoes, I discovered John Fluevog himself looking out at me from the cover of Vista magazine while I was visiting my local health food store today (stocking up on dark chocolate covered ginger and stevia)  Check it out. The article is on page 22.

Fluevog is asked how his love of cars influences his shoe designs and he responds,

I like cars because I like the way they look; it has nothing to do with the way they drive.  I actually walk to work every day and I don’t drive that much, thought I have four cars.  Oddly enough, cars and shoes have a lot in common.  They’re multi-angular, multi-functional, continuously moving shapes.  I think cars are fashion guards–the lack of fashion lately in cars is a reflection of society and what people think.

This amuses me because in Grace Awakening Fatima the Bug is almost a character,

Like everything else about her, Auntie Bright’s car was very distinctive.  It was an ancient VW Beetle that she’d had painted a vivid Mediterranean blue, and then she’d hand painted it with a swirling variety of giant paisleys in purples, blues, yellows and reds.  Here and there were dots of gemstones glued on as accents, just to add sparkle.  At first glance it seemed as if she’d upholstered the car with vivid cloth and sequins.  People did double takes on the highway, and she generally had at least one person stop to admire and to ask her about it wherever she went.  Children were drawn to it.  People smiled as they saw her coming.  It always made her shake her head and remark, “People are such cowards.  They come and rave about how beautiful my car is, how they wish they could have a unique car, and yet they content themselves to drive around in boring mud coloured cookie cutters.  I don’t get it.”  (p. 269)

We’ve already established that  Bright would love Fluevog’s shoes.   I wonder what he’d think of Bright’s car?

Or mine, for that matter!


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