When Bambi Winds Up In Your Trunk

It’s my birthday today. Last night we had a gathering of friends, old and new. Those old friends are great for reminding you of the stupid things you used to do. And to reminisce on some of the really stupid things that have happened to you over the years.

Like the time my car was stolen and everyone thought it was hilarious except for me.

Remember that red Honda that I buried in the sand? Well she debuts again in this ridiculous series of events.

While in school my then boyfriend and I lived in a tiny apartment in a rough part of town. The fall after I graduated college we moved into a rental house in a quiet residential neighborhood. We got a dog, we painted walls, we had a washer and dryer inside the house. I was in heaven and we felt like we were on our way to adulthood.

Apparently when you move from the crappy part of town to a decent part of town, crappy-town comes looking for you. We were in the house for less than a month when I woke up one morning to find my little red Honda was gone. Stolen right out of our driveway.

Strangely, that’s not where this story gets ridiculous.

For one thing, crappy-town stole my car and then took it back to the crappy part of town. The police called me in the middle of the night a month after it was stolen. They found it, the starter broken and battery dead.

“Ma’am, was your pet in the vehicle at the time it was stolen?”


“Are you sure your pet was not in the vehicle at the time it was stolen?”

Was I sure? I’m looking at my dog and cat. No, midnight-brain was positive that my pet was not in the vehicle when it was stolen. But why is he asking me that?

“No, I’m looking at my pets; they were not in the vehicle. Why?”

“There’s an odor coming from the trunk. Do we have your permission to open it?”

Um, YES! What if there is a mob-dumped dead body in there? Perhaps a dead lady-of-the night, maybe an exhaust-induced suicide? The options were limitless and I did not want any of them to be true. So yes! Open that trunk! There was indeed something dead in the trunk. The body was not, thankfully, a dead prostitute, or any other human form. However, the source of the odor was… a deer.

Yep. Crappy-town stole my car. Poached a deer. Took the head and some of the meat and left the carcass to rot in my trunk. I was traumatized; I pictured Bambi mutilated in my trunk. When I called dispatch in the morning to find out where to pick up my car, she laughed, “Oh yes, the deer-in-the-trunk car.” When I called the insurance adjuster he also laughed and said “Glad you got your car back, even if it came with a little extra baggage.”

I was not amused. But even my friends could not contain their laughter. They said they were sorry and that I would find it funny later.

Finding a deer in your car still wasn’t funny when I found out that State Farm does not total a vehicle just because there was a dead body in it; deer or human. They had the vehicle ‘detailed’ and gave it back to me. The inside of my car smelled like dryer sheets and death. I made them detail it a second time and then I sold it faster than you can say Bambi.

The story did get funnier over time. Who does this kind of shit happen to? Of all the people I know, I only know one other person who had her car stolen, but she didn’t get it back with a deer in it. That little red Honda was broken into 5 different times. Took me to Arizona and back and toted around Bambi’s dad for a few weeks. It could have been the poster child for Honda’s adaptability.

Thankfully I have lots of friends who never tire of hearing this story, never tire of making fun of how upset I was. God bless friends and the chance to have another candle on the birthday cake. Sure would be boring if you didn’t have those people to heckle you. In my world, heckling is love.

Oh Deer, Happy Birthday
Oh Deer, Happy Birthday

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Theresa Rice

Writing a modern day western and telling my daily stories of humor, sadness or inspiration. Depending on the day, it might be all three.

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