In childhood, on a rare occasion, we’d see a dead cow on one of the surrounding country roads. It was always unsettling. I remember one specific incident when the carcass was just east of our house, passed the 30/G Rd intersection. Dad was home for dinner, looking out the kitchen window, and called to my mother, “The dead wagon is here, taking care of that critter.”
I hopped up from my chair at the table. Summer afternoons were never too exciting for Thomsen kids, and though the words “dead wagon” didn’t sound glamorous, they weren’t ordinary. I followed my dad’s gaze to the road. It was nothing special, but the existence of such a thing was haunting.
I often work through bad times by reassuring myself that I’ve been through worse:
“At least you’re not having a baby right now, “
“At least you’re not waking up early to detassel.”
“At least you’re not driving the dead wagon.”
Thankfully, I’ve never actually driven the dead wagon, but the idea of it makes cleaning the toilet seem like a delight.