Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Don't Look!

So I hit a peacock on the way to work today. Yeah, the national bird of India. My bad.

But really, it hit me. I mean man, that thing can move. I was driving along, trying to anticipate the dizzying array of things that could go wrong while negotiating Delhi's roundabouts and crowded streets. I successfully navigated the people on bicycles, and I've gotten used to the shared understanding everyone here has about switching lanes on all turns. I used my horn before making any sudden movements (when it worked), and I didn't freak out when 3 cars came within 6 inches of me on all sides. I was feeling good. Maybe I wasn't the lead ballerina, but I was playing my role in the dance called Get to Work Alive.

Then that darn bird decided it was going to make a break for it. I don't know what "it" was, because there was nothing that interesting across the street. But it started trotting across the street, acting like it owned the place. Right as I saw it out of the corner of my eye, it decided to make a bee-line right for the spot directly in front of my car. Oy vey. And then it accelerated.

I swerved. I swerved into the oncoming traffic. But yeah, I bumped it. There was an explosion of feathers and one very surprised looking peacock suddenly going the other direction. And it flew! So perhaps it wasn't "bumped" too badly. I'm sure it's in shock somewhere today, telling a very different story to all its bird friends.

So yeah, I felt bad, but I didn't have much time to do so, because I was suddenly in the flow of traffic from the other side. One more swerve, though, and I was ok. I had a little taste of metal in my mouth. I drove on, and made it to work, and told no one. I hope this can be our secret. Sorry Mr. Peacock!


At 11:39 PM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Wow! Bummer, man. But just think: what if it had been a cow?

At 1:45 AM, Blogger Alizarin said...

I won't tell a soul.

Sorry, man ... no one wants to be the guy who hits a peacock. The whole thing sounds like it would terrify me, really.

SW makes a good point re: cows. Elephants would probably also be bad, if less sacred.

At 4:59 AM, Anonymous archetypist said...

An elephant would be bad, though with less feathers. There's the whole mass ratio thing not working in your favor.

And while maybe less sacred than cows, I wonder if maybe it's because they're beyond such things: having achieved a form of (massive) enlightenment, maybe most of them stick around to work and play with us, and are only distantly disappointed that we don't usually get their jokes.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Crawdad said...

Beautiful. I'm sure this is the case.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't believe it. There are no peacocks in Delhi streets. You are full of it

At 9:15 PM, Blogger Crawdad said...

Is that true? You've signed in as anonymous, which along with your hostile attitude damages your credibility.

I will grant you that it all happened very fast, so I could definitely be wrong about what kind of bird it was. However, when I saw a larger greenish bird in the split second before we collided, my thought was "Oh cr*p, a peacock!?!" In other words, I definitely thought it was a peacock, but it's not like I had time to get a feather sample.

Whatever it was lurched / flapped away, low to the ground, but quickly. And I also lurched / swerved back into my lane, and quickly.

Here's my question, if you're still around, Anonymous - why do you say there are no peacocks in Delhi streets? I feel like almost anything could appear in Delhi streets and I wouldn't be that surprised...

Note - just checked Wikipedia, and their picture of a peahen looks pretty similar to me, but again, it was pretty fast.

And last, why would a person jump to accusations of me being "full of it" as opposed to that other common term "mistaken"? Ah well, maybe anonymous just had a bad day. Or maybe he meant "full of wit and good cheer"? Here's hoping so.

At 4:03 AM, Blogger Alizarin said...

Although I've never been to India, I've found that a peacock in a Delhi street was making national news less than a year ago. Its appearance seemed natural; only its plumage was unexpected. *cough* I expect it's easier to troll than to say something helpful to the conversation....

At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Mrs. Peacock said...

I wish someone would run down Colonel Mustard in the streets of Delhi. Dreadful animal.

At 6:23 AM, Anonymous shrinkwrap said...

Could be a whole new edition of "Clue"...I like the idea. Let's inclulde elephants, too. Winner's deduction: Mr. Elephant by a (diplomat's) car in front of the U.S. Embassy, Delhi.

At 3:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've definitely got better, prettier street wildlife than we do in Haiti. We get goats, the occasional pig and random naked men on the way to work. Give me a peacock any day!


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