The Vermont Zoo

I knew there would be animals up here that don’t exist in Georgia outside of zoos. New England has some large fauna that can truly damage your car if you wrap around one. All part of the new adventure, right?

Of course I mean hippies. This is their natural habitat, and it’s reflected in the large number of organic grocery stores and shops that sell tea tree oil.

The hippies are unusually aggressive this year, so be careful! I expect they will gradually return to their normal sessile state now that the California primary is over, but I’m not a zoologist.

Watch for hippie warnings

Watch for hippie warnings

It’s not just hippies either! There are plenty of other hazardous unemployed mammals here.

"Hey Rocky! Watch me trample a Canadian tourist into a puddle! Nothin' up my sleeve..."

“Hey Rocky! Watch me trample a Canadian tourist into a puddle! Nothin’ up my sleeve…”

The moose are large and in charge. They are part of the deer family, but they are not Bambi. They are several baseball bats held together by mass and anger. They are such interesting creatures that many unaware visitors can’t resist a selfie. Lots of coroners have commented about how surprised those visitors look.

Do NOT confuse moose with hippies. Unlike hippies, moose are powerful, scary, impressive, and you need a license to hunt them. Moose will also seriously ruin your day if your car gets into an inertia fight with them.

(Okay, I’ll leave the hippies alone. Honestly, I like them. My own politics more closely align with Vermonters than with Georgians, and I like having a wide variety of coffee shop. I only tease hippies because I am jealous of their hacky sack skills.)

I haven’t seen a moose in person yet, but it’s not hard to see their influence.  This is a common road sign when you get out of the Burlington city limits.

We are not a subtle people

We are not a subtle people

A few weeks ago, I drove from Burlington to Bar Harbor, Maine — a lovely town about six hours away along roads that wind scenically through forests and mountains. I recommend the trip unless you need to find a bathroom.

But as you travel east from here, you notice something about the moose signs. You start out with simple family-oriented signs like the one above, but once you get to New Hampshire, things get dire.

New Hampshire doesn't just ramp up the moose carnage, either. That place is an abattoir.

New Hampshire doesn’t just ramp up the moose carnage, either. That place is an abattoir.

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White Mountians Warning Sign

Ok, this one isn’t about moose, but seriously — if you must go into New Hampshire, use the buddy system

If you make it to the far side of New Hampshire, you are positive you are going to t-bone a moose, which will only make it angry. By the time I got to Augusta, Maine, I wasn’t worried as much about hitting a moose as I was about getting jumped at a gas station and them beating me up, cutting my brake lines, and canceling my insurance. These things are sinister.

The warnings tapered off close to the coast. I don’t know if the moose intimidated the local highway people into leaving us unawares or they made some sort of armed truce with the lobsters or what. Maybe they saw that coastal Mainers were willing to turn lobster into ice cream and decided those people were crazy.

You think I am joking but I am not

You think I am joking but I am not

I made it back from Maine without having seen a moose. Maybe the bicycles are tastier this time of year, I don’t know. Count my blessings. So far, the weirdest animals Shammy and I have encountered were a beaver and a Prius with a Trump sticker on the back.

But my day is coming. It comes for us all in the end. Ask not for whom the moose honks.

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Next: “Daddy, where do F-16s come from?” “Why, they come from next to Christian’s apartment, son!”

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