Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Killer Deer

Once upon a time I had a real job. I was a ‘Global Account Manager’. This meant that I was responsible for things outside of my control, all over the planet. I worked for a large telecommunication’s equipment manufacturer based out of New Jersey. Part of this job was providing high-level training for new and existing customers so they would purchase more telecommunication's infrastructure (or in technical jargon, more 'stuff'.)

I took a customer to the corporate briefing center at Pebble Beach, California. Okay, let’s face it, Pebble Beach is not known for the quality of its Executive Briefings; it’s known for golf, woefully expensive and miniscule servings of food (however, I must say that the food is very ‘pretty’). Meals typically are a veritable feast for the eyes – but you’ll still spend $60 for it and you’ll be eyeing the Burger King on the way back to the hotel. I’m sorry, did I say hotel? What I meant to say was Resort. When you’re dropping $400 a night to sleep there, ‘hotel’ just doesn’t cut it. At this 'resort' the woman at the front desk told me that the rooms were not air-conditioned. Well, at least for $400 per night you get all of the heat that you would want. At the time I was living in Florida and $38 per night got you an Orlando area Days Inn with cable, air conditioning, and one of those vibrating beds.

The customer was able to play the obligatory rounds of golf at Pebble Beach while I rode around in the cart noticing how very overcast and chilly it was. For the golf nut, this was Mecca. The customer even commented that this was his dream, “To play Pebble Beach”. My dream, on the other hand was to get a $5.00 meal and a sweater (which I picked up later in the week at the gift store for ONLY $98).

The briefing event took an unexpected turn with the introduction of “Thom”. Thom was the briefer assigned to ‘brief’ the customer on new product enhancements, feature functionality updates, and applications in the Enterprise. To briefly sum up, I’ve never used the word ‘brief’ this much in one paragraph in my life – but I digress.

On the morning of the briefing, my boss, who was also at the briefing center, mentioned that she had opened the exterior door of her room early in the morning and had seen a deer. The deer (which apparently didn’t have enough money to eat at the restaurants either) had been munching on the flora of the meticulously manicured grounds (why didn’t I think of that? Here I was walking around hungry all the time…).

She and the deer both regarded each other for a moment and then returned to their prior activities, which is to say, munching, and observing. It wasn’t until later in the morning that she was made aware of just how close she had come to death. Thom (okay, is this a guy too lazy to spell Thomas, or is his name really Moth, and he’s dyslexic?) told the following and riveted us with his personal account of the ‘deer incident’. Thom explained that ‘Ninja Deer’ stalk visitors to Pebble Beach. I’m pretty sure I remember the conversation verbatim (and what I don’t remember, I will make up). It went something like this:

Thom began, “Yes, I walked out into my backyard, and there it stood -- the deer. It was much larger than a dog, but not quite as large as, say, as the USS Enterprise. It stared at me with evil intent. Suddenly, it reared up on its back legs and lunged at me with its razor sharp hooves. These talons (I know, deer don’t have talons, but this is pretty much Thom’s story from here on out) flashed razor sharp in the moonlight. I fell back against Patty; Patty O’Furniture the Irish man who lives on my porch, and I felt the wind from the wildly flailing beast’s stiletto-like hooves. I thought it was all over for me, so I turned, grabbed, and threw Patty into the path of the oncoming cyclone of death.

Patty fought bravely, but being afflicted with the Irish Curse, he was also fighting drunkenly. The deer, having no genetic need to imbibe mass quantities of cheap amber beverages effectively neutralized Patty by eviscerating him with the first assault. Luckily, in Patty’s altered state, there was no pain. He fell to the ground like a steaming mass of last year’s Corned Beef and Cabbage.” At this point Thom appeared visibly shaken.

Thom concluded, “I was lucky to escape with my butt – and every day I thank God for that.”

For Patty, death was delivered not through a prolonged liver-related illness, but rather through the killing machine that Walt Disney laughingly referred to as Bambi, Prince of the Forest.
So the next time you stare into the cold dead eyes of ‘your average deer’, remember Patty. Let his death be a warning to you. If you’re ever driving through Pebble Beach and a deer sideswipes your car, don’t open the door and leave the vehicle.

I’ve seen “Jurassic Park” and I’m here to tell you that modern deer are the Velaciraptors of today. That fuzzy veneer and perky white tail disguise one of nature’s greatest killing machines. Bambi, my butt, these guys are killers.

I know, because Thom told me so. I’ve been briefed.
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