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The day Skippy crossed my path [LEWC]

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posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 07:45 AM
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Some say that you aren’t a true Australian until this has happened to you.

Although this tale is not really a life changing experience, it certainly ranks up there as an experience I’d rather never repeat.

For those you currently frowning at the title(or perhaps not old enough to remember), Skippy is in reference to an obscure Australian TV show aired in the 1960s. It tells the tale of a young boy and his pet kangaroo and their adventures. In short, it was terrible.

Skippy The Bush Kangaroo

I’ve always viewed what happened this day with a clear sense of irony, as the end of it showed me just how meaningless material possessions can be, and how, up until then I had placed a great emphasis on having a status of sorts, especially in material things.

It’s ironic this tale came about also due to a car crash. My girlfriend at the time had recently lost her sister in a car crash, on the same road I was on this evening. As a result of the crash she was scared to drive on this road, and as a result after work on Fridays I would drive the 10 or so kilometres out of town to her place, pick her up and bring her back to my house, then repeat the process after the weekend and drop her off.

So this night, on the verge of dusk, I was heading out to get her. I remember it was very grey, and raining lightly, so the roads were slick. In hindsight I should have been going a bit (or a lot) slower, but having a brand new, very powerful car under my right heel was just too much temptation. The money from my first divorce, which had been very messy, had paid for this new ride, and of course I was proud to have gotten something back, having lost pretty much everything else. So this was my pride and joy and the last bit of four years of hard work.

I was close to half way there when I saw him, or possibly her. I didn’t really get a good look. But there Skippy was. At the time I was rounding a right hand bend at close to 120km/h, and he was sitting on the other side of the road. Then he jumped right at me.

Now God only knows why a kangaroo would jump towards a car, I did have my lights on, that could well have been it. But jump he did, right at me. Next thing I know he’s clipped the front of the car, and is tumbling towards the windscreen. At this point all I remember thinking “my poor car.” Selfish I know, but when you’re young and a guy, your car is like a symbol. Next thing he’s coming through the windscreen. To this day, and this happened quite a few years ago, I still remember it clearly. His tail kind of came over like a whip and thumped the windscreen as the rest of him caved it in. His body pretty much was coming through the screen, and it was at this point I actually started to panic.

All I recall after this was the sound of two pieces of very heavy metal being dragged over each other. If you've ever heard that horrible screeching sound, you could understand.

Next thing I’m standing at the back of the car, with both hands on the boot, hyperventilating. It was still raining, and the first thing I remember is feeling wet somewhere on my forehead. I put my hand up to wipe it off thinking it was rain, and when I looked at my hand, it wasn’t rain. It was blood. A lot of blood. I had somehow cut my forehead, and was bleeding from somewhere.

As reality came back, I surveyed the damage. I had braked pretty hard, but in the wet the car had slid, at over 100km/h into a tree. A big tree. Looking back I was kind of lucky, because there was a 100 metre hill on the other side. For now though, my car and the tree were pretty much one. For some reason though, I started looking for Skippy. Why? To see if he was still alive, or even to finish the job if the car hadn’t. I don’t know. I do consider myself to be something of a humanitarian, so I like to think the latter. But surveying the damage, it’s quite possible the former could have also been true. But alas, Skippy was nowhere to be seen. Looking back it was something of a good thing, because it meaned he or she survived the impact, as kangaroos going up against cars tend to do.

By comparison my car hadn’t. The front light and the front side of the car had been pushed back to within a foot of the smashed windshield. The original bonnet was about 5 ½ feet long. It had been ripped up like foil. The front wheel had been torn off in the impact, and it was never found, most likely down the gully somewhere. I had hit it so hard it had broken the engine free of it’s mount. For those not familiar with engines, it is basically a joiner between the body and the engine, and pretty solid.

So my car was pretty much dead. After a few minutes, I began to feel pain, but I was more pissed off than anything, so I didn’t pay it much mind at the time. I got my phone out, and of course it had no signal. Before 3G, country areas in Australia had pretty sparse coverage away from cities.

So, still raining, in now a lot of pain, I began to walk towards my girlfriend’s house, some five kilometres away. I made it almost a kilometre before I saw lights coming up the road. Luckily for me, my girlfriend had realised I hadn’t turned up in the usual time, and tried to ring, with no answer. She jumped in her car and came looking for me, despite her fear of this road. I still remember her look when she pulled up.

“Did someone beat you up?” True words.

At the hospital I underwent scans and x-rays and found out I had fractured my cheek by somehow colliding my head with the steering wheel (in the days before airbags), and received a deep cut just above my brow. I also had three cracked ribs from the sudden grab of the seatbelt, and fractured the bone in my lower leg somehow. Walking a kilometre in the rain with those injuries actually shocked the doctors. I often wonder if I’d known the extent of the injuries would I have just lain in the road and cried like a baby.

As for my pride and joy? Total write off. Perhaps it was just another of life’s lesson that being proud of a material thing is just a way to make fate force you to let it go. I still like my cars, to me they are a sense of freedom and a major money pit and pain in the proverbial all at once. But as for the day Skippy crossed my path? It is a day I’ll never forget, in more ways than one.
edit on 9-7-2012 by 74Templar because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 08:21 AM
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I've also had "skippy" cross my path. Midnight doing 80km. I seen the first big gray jump onto highway. At the time I thought Sh!t that was close. Then split second later the second jumped up to hwy from bush land . Luckily for me he/her was in crouching when I hit, so I ran straight over the top
. First animal I'd ever hit, I cried all the way home in a very noisy car not game to stop incase it wouldn't start again. I was lucky only lights smashed & bumper smashed. You not so lucky.
Apparently they nearly alway travel in 2 or more, so I've since been told. So if you see one expect another. Scariest drive of my life.

My hit is going back to drought yrs, they were starting to come to town. There had been lots of talk of dog attacks by Roos & people out on walks having close calls. We live rurally and I've seen them lying around in paddocks close to home. But my hit happened just out of a major town.
edit on 9-7-2012 by feelingconnected because: (no reason given)


ETA: it's amazing what a human body can do when needed, luckily you didn't have to walk the whole 5 .
edit on 9-7-2012 by feelingconnected because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 08:26 AM
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reply to post by feelingconnected
 


I've hit three in total. The second one wasn't as lucky, but the first one had to be six feet easily, it was like hitting a wall. The third one I hit in a crusty old work van, and it imprinted his body in a dent on the front of the van, but he bounced off and survived. Luckily in a way, because there was a family behind me in a BMW, it would have done some major damage to their car by comparison.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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Do you know, I'm nearly sure it jumped away the one I ran over. I'm sure it would have been seriously hurt though
. I know they can be a pest, but it was still shocking. Yes they can get big, I reckon the 2 I seen & one I hit would have easily been 6ft.
edit on 9-7-2012 by feelingconnected because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 08:31 AM
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S&F.That lesson is a hard one to learn for most all of us. It is also a very good one to learn. I am glad you made it out ok. It could have been worse. And I am glad Skippy was ok too... naturally.
It's funny how something that happens in a split second can change your life forever. I enjoyed reading it very much. Thank you.

ETA, how cool it must be to live where kangaroos cross the road instead of white tail deer and opossum! I know they are as dangerous to traffic as our deer...but I would love to see one cross the road before my lifetime ends.


edit on 7/9/2012 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 05:41 PM
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reply to post by 74Templar
 


Very good story. Glad you survived that, even if your car did not! I know what you mean about the sense of freedom a car gives you; I have the same affinity for cars for that identical reason. But yeah, one of the lessons in life is when you have material possessions and get too darn happy about it, loosing them is right around the corner!

S&F

Good read.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


Thanks.
I guess we take for granted here the natives, having been around them forever. I mean, I even have a few green tree frogs occupying my bathroom, and at one stage had a tree python living somewhere in the backyard. Usually if you get up just after dawn there are a dozen or so roos hanging out on the property line, and you see them heading down to our dam for a drink just on dusk most nights. I'll see if I can get close enough to take some pics at a later stage, and post em up.



posted on Jul, 9 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by OpinionatedB
 


Thankyou.
I think the whole process was about being to attached to material things.

Just wish it didn't hurt so damn much learning it though...



posted on Jul, 14 2012 @ 04:06 PM
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reply to post by 74Templar
 


Please extend my condolences to your gilfriend.

Those animals are so fascinating and so huge! It really is amazing that both you and Skippy did not perish. Ever since someone introduced the moose species to Newfoundland, they've been multiplying like rabbits. They can do quite a lot of damage too as up close and personal they are almost the size of a building. Lucky for me I live in deer habitat, but last time I braked, the deer and his doe were busy trekking together.



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 06:23 AM
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a reply to: Kangaruex4Ewe


Where I live they are on most golf courses.
And roadside eating the green pick..

I hit a black angus bull one night at 120 kph.

He was looking the wrong way - so I did not see the eye reflection that you look for...
Luckily my car at the time was modified - including suspension - so I was able to swerve and just collect his snout!

Dropped him big time!

However when I went back he was sitting belly down but stood up and walked away !

My car , however sustained damage but my family was fine!

See!

Even Aussie roads are a life hazard !!

ETA: Snicked a couple of roos - hit their tails and watch the cartwheel into the scenery !












edit on 7-9-2014 by Timely because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 7 2014 @ 07:11 AM
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a reply to: 74Templar

Mate - forgot to mention the emus ...








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