The decisions we make today have a direct impact on our tomorrow. Most of us older individuals understand this, although many of us didn’t quite grasp the concept when we were younger.
In the summer of 1991, I was driving back to my duplex one evening after work when I accidentally ran over what I assumed was a dog. I got out of my car and was startled when I discovered that I’d actually hit a rather large beaver. That was a first for me.
I knew there was nothing I could do, so I got back into my 1987 Ford Taurus and proceeded in the direction of my home. That’s when I made the decision that would directly impact my tomorrow.
I decided to return to the scene of the accident to retrieve the carcass of the deceased rodent. Before doing so, I went to the duplex to get a couple of large garbage bags.
After successfully bagging the beaver, I returned to my house where several of my friends had gathered, which is when the skullduggery commenced.
Since it was a beaver of considerable size, I decided I wanted to get it mounted. Fortunately, there was a large ice chest in close proximity, which was already filled with ice. The beaver fit perfectly into the ice chest, and as I went to bed that night, I felt I was well on my way to meeting my objective.
Two weeks later, I found myself in need of a large ice chest. I saw one out in the middle of the yard and went straight for it.
Earlier, I mentioned these events took place in the summer. It gets very hot in Alabama that time of year.
There must have been an impenetrable seal on this ice chest because there was no warning of what I was about to experience.
When I opened it up, the whole world stopped right before my eyes just prior to me being blasted by a dead beaver that had been simmering in the Alabama heat for two weeks.
I was woozy, queasy, and a bit uneasy and wasn’t sure what to do. I closed the cooler, but the damage had been done. The seal was broken and the smell was in the air. After gathering myself, I knew I needed to dispose of the ice chest and its contents.
I carefully loaded it into the trunk of my car and started driving toward the country. Although it was in my trunk, the smell was ever present, so I rolled down the windows and put the pedal to the medal.
As I rounded a curve on Oak Bowery Road, a dog wandered out onto the road forcing me to slam on my brakes. The world again stood still as the ice chest filled with the dead beaver and its liquid contents tipped over in my trunk.
It was as if I could see the putrid smell coming at me through my rear view mirror. My eyes were watering as indescribable sounds came from my innards as I jumped out of the car like I’d just discovered a rattlesnake slithering around on my floorboard.
Eventually, I opened up the trunk to deal with the task at hand. After unsuccessfully trying to scoop the dead beaver back into the cooler, I decided I’d simply grab it by its tail and sling it to the side of the road in one flail swoop. The buzzards would be happy.
However, my plan backfired. When I grabbed the tail, the skin came off like a two week old banana peel in one flail swoop. Once again, there were indescribable sounds coming from my innards.
Eventually, I removed the dead beaver from the trunk, but the damage had been done. I was a beaten and battered man. I drove around for weeks with the trunk ajar until the smell finally dissipated.
In hindsight, I should have left the beaver on the side of the road that night, because he wound up getting the last laugh.
We should always think about the consequences of our actions, because the decisions we make today directly impact our lives down the road.
In case you are wondering, I decided to keep the ice chest. A guy just doesn’t get rid of a good cooler.
Jody Fuller is a comic, a speaker, and a soldier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.