Beware The Ides Of April

May 4, 2000 – As I have paraphrased before, “Beware the Ides of April.” Monday morning I was in Margaret Black’s office, getting the papers to
file for an extension on filing final tax returns until later in the
year.
She showed me how much to send with several different forms in various
envelopes. I didn’t understand, stacked them in order and put them on
the rider’s seat of the ’94 Mercedes I traded for last year. I was driving home at a reasonable speed, when just about the time I
was past Eagle Hill, just south of Pittsboro, a deer crossed the road,
west to east, going full out.


May 4, 2000 – As I have paraphrased before, “Beware the Ides of April.”
In Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, the playwright has the “Soothsayer,” (Act 1, Scene 2) —  warning Caesar (100-44 BC), a military genius and major figure in Roman history who had conquered Gaul and defeated his arch rival, Pompey the Great, sending word to Caesar to “Beware The Ides Of March.”
Caesar had been appointed dictator for life in 44 BC, and his great power prompted fears he would make himself king. Thus, he was assassinated on the Ides of March, March 15. The 15th of the month was also so designated in May, July and October. The Ides of other months were on the 13th.
What had proved to be a very bad day for Julius, has often been assigned by me to the 15th of April, except this year the 15th was on a Saturday, so the tax deadline was changed to Monday 17.
Monday morning I was in Margaret Black’s office, getting the papers to file for an extension on filing final tax returns until later in the year.
She showed me how much to send with several different forms in various envelopes. I didn’t understand, stacked them in order and put them on the rider’s seat of the ’94 Mercedes I traded for last year.
I was driving home at a reasonable speed, when just about the time I was past Eagle Hill, just south of Pittsboro, a deer crossed the road, west to east, going full out.
He didn’t come close, but I knew another was probably behind him. I checked the rear view mirror and seeing nothing applied the brakes very hard — hard enough so that a camera and Zachary’s back seat cushion and a bottle or so of water, hit the floor.
Also sailing forward were the tax papers.
I’m not sure whether the brakes emptied the seats, or the impact with the second deer.
We later determined that the deer seemed to be aiming at the little black deer alert mounted under the right side of the bumper, just below where the deer’s shoulder destroyed the head light and fog light assembly. The deer’s hind quarter put a good lick on the grill.
The crew at State Farm assured me that I had not installed the deer alert they had given me backwards, since it seemed that it had, in fact, attracted the deer to that spot.
Anyway, the company photographer made sure the little double barreled whistle was in the picture.
I stopped by the sheriff’s office to report the accident, went by the office to get the tax papers and checks in the mail and discovered they had been scrambled. Several envelopes to the IRS were to different addresses and the forms to be enclosed afforded no clues.
I called Margaret and soon had the right forms in the right envelopes, along with checks for twice as much as I made the first year I taught at Southern Miss, and carried them to the post office.
Then I went to the insurance office. They explained the deductible would only be $100 since hitting deer is included under something called comprehensive. If it had been another car or a tree, it would have been covered under collision, which would have made the deductible $500. I suppose if you looked at the situation with rose colored glasses you might consider this to be a good conclusion.
Second guessing, as we are all prone to do, I asked Sid Salter, my adviser in such matters, what he thought would have happened if I had speeded up instead of braking.
“It would have probably come through the door window and butted you on the head,” he opined. Maybe it was better that I had braked, I concluded.
I have never hit a deer before, with anything. I went deer hunting one time and decided if I were the only sober person in the woods that day, I probably would be better off at home.
Several years ago I asked a friend if he was a deer hunter.
“I don’t really know how to answer that,” he said. “Last year some guys asked me to go with them, so we hung a shotgun in the back of the truck, bought a six pack and rode the back roads until almost dark.”
“So,” he said, “I guess I have been deer hunting most of my life, and just didn’t know it.”
Thus, it might be concluded that every time we get on the road we might be considered to be deer hunting, whether we want to or not.
And one kill — I assume it was a kill — is just another reason to “Beware the Ides of April.”

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